A Few Good Swims

>> Monday, April 24, 2017

First, I tried something new. Someone named Audrey (who noted she was a year-round swimmer since age 8) commented on a post from last month where I talked about mixing up swim training. She made a good point. I thought I was mixing up my workouts by doing 100s, 200s, 500s, or ladders, but she said:

You need to do speedwork and endurance work (and tempo sets) if you want to improve. It looks to me like your ladders and 100/200 repeats are a lot of the latter and less of the former two. So for greater muscle confusion and progress, I would work on mixing in some speed with your endurance.

I've still been a LITTLE afraid to swim too fast/hard with my shoulder still not 100%. There's a workout that's all 50s (done in sets of 5 with different goals for each of the 5) that I used to really like, but I haven't felt "safe" to do that yet. She recommended this workout:

Do this set 3 times through:
4 x 50 descend, pick an interval with 10-15 seconds rest (I do 1:00)
5 x 100 free on 1:30-1:40 (an interval with 0-10 seconds rest)
2 x 75 back on 1:30
4 x 25 free sprint on :40

That would be a bit too far for me, so I did it twice (not 3 times). I did a 200 warm-up, then the 4x50 descend, then the 5x100s, but I skipped the 2x75 back because I can only do freestyle, and then I ended with the 4x25 sprint. Then I repeated it, and ended with a 200 cool down for a total of 2000. I'll do that again shortly.

Here are 3 more solid swims worth noting in the last few weeks:

- On the 11th, I did 7x200 with 20 sec rest. I wasn't trying (and didn't realize it at the time), but I had nearly a perfect descend with one of my fastest averages in a long time:

2:58, 2:55, 2:56, 2:55, 2:55, 2:54, and 2:50, for an average of 2:55.22/200 yards.

- On the 18th, I did a quick 3x500 swim at work between classes. Again, one of my fastest averages in a long time:

7:31, 7:24, and 7:22, for an average of 7:26.4/500 yards (or 1:29.3/100).

- On the 22nd, I did one of my faster ladder swims, although it felt horrible. (100, 200, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, all with 20 sec rest.) As I was swimming it, I thought it was going to be a slower swim (my longer sets felt BRUTAL), but overall times came back faster than I thought:

1:27, 1:30 = 2:58.04
1:28, 1:29, 1:28 = 4:26.98
1:28, 1:31, 1:29, 1:26 = 5:57.02
1:27, 1:30, 1:28 = 4:26.80
1:26, 1:27 = 2:54.15

My swimming time was 23:32, which was the exact same as my PR version of this swim from 3 weeks before. (When I started swimming this workout once a month, I was between 24:00 - 24:15. Then I constantly got it sub-24. Now I've been at 23:32 twice. Nice.)

Back with a few final thoughts regarding the Cannon Falls Du this upcoming weekend shortly! I'm stupid excited to be racing again! (Although this swim progress won't help me at a du...)


Riding Strong: Another Bike PR!

>> Saturday, April 22, 2017

About 2 weeks ago, I shared this post that noted I had just had a PR on my "go to" bike loop. Two weeks ago, I did this loop along the Mississippi River, up Ramsey Hill, and along Summit Ave with a 21.0 mph average. My previous PR was from 2 years earlier, and it was 20.6 mph.

Well 2 days ago, I went out to do that loop again between classes. It was 39 degrees, everything was wet, and it drizzled a bit during part of the ride, so I wasn't expecting it to be fast. But I got up Ramsey Hill with a 21.4 mph average. I kept it as strong as I could into the wind down Summit Ave for the last 4 miles, and ended with a new PR: a 21.3 mph average! The ride was 0.03 miles farther than 2 weeks earlier, and 29 seconds faster.

A messy bike after a cool, damp PR.

All this bike riding mixed with my fastest running interval workout ever along with a stretch of having a swim, bike, or run workout 67 out of the last 70 days and I'm feeling ready to race next weekend!! Cannon Falls Duathlon, here we come!


Friday Funny 1262: Creative Captions for Old-Timey Books

>> Friday, April 21, 2017

Here are 13 funny captions for "old-timey books" from SnideOctopus on Imgur:

Lots more funny stuff posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!


Friday Funny 1261: Funny Signs from the Boston Marathon

Competitor.com shared some of the best signs from the 2017 Boston Marathon earlier this week. Here are my favorite 18 signs:

And finally, one guy REALLY telling it like it is:

Bravo, good sir. Bravo.

RELATED: Last month, Jimmy Kimmel sent his cousin Sal to cover the LA Marathon. Here's a 4 min clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live:


More funny things posted 10x every day on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 1260: Innocent Coloring Book Pages Turned NSFW

From CollegeHumor:

More funny things on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Instagram of the Day: Testing the Wheels

>> Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On Sunday evening, I Instagrammed this photo:

Caption: “Put my race wheels on for the first time since getting them
from The Racery 18 months ago. They were... fast.
#GreenwayTrail #Flat #ButWithTheWind #RacingInTwoWeeks #CannonFallsDu
#FirstMultisportRaceInTwoYears #InjuredLastYear #StupidExcited”

The wheels were fast, but not FAST fast. Honestly, I was kinda hoping for more. But if it’s not too windy, I’m excited to try them in a race in 1.5 weeks at the Cannon Falls Duathlon.

As I crossed the Lake/Marshall Bridge from St. Paul to Minneapolis, there was a pretty strong headwind that came a little from the right as well. It bucked me around pretty good, and really slowed me up at the bottom of that hill just before the bridge. It was good practice to see what happens to the wheels in a strong wind because Cannon is out in the open and can be windy.

Hoping that I'll have a fast race next weekend based on lots of weeks of decent training, a running interval PR, and this new bike with race wheels. Stay tuned!


Running Interval PR

>> Monday, April 17, 2017

Last week, I did my first real speed work in many months. I went out for a simple 2x2 mile interval run. I figured it was a good hard effort run without TOO much quick/sharp speed 2.5 weeks before my first duathlon of the year.

My first interval had nice descending 1/2 mile splits mainly because this was the first hard running I'd done in a while and I wasn't sure what I could do:

- 2:59.40, 2:56.70, 2:53.73, 2:49.10 = 11:38.93

And as I started my final interval (after 3:00 of walking), I told myself that I was NOT going to descend this one - I just wanted to run it HARD all the way through. And the splits look like that: they look a bit like a race where I start a bit harder, slow up a little, and then push to the finish:

- 2:51.19, 2:53.77, 2:50.87, 2:48.66 = 11:24.49

After my workout, I tweeted about it, and Coach Jen started tweeting back. (She was the one to first give me this workout nearly 7 years ago.) Here was our conversation over the course of a few hours:

I was SHOCKED to realize this was faster! In 2010, I was in better running shape (I'd just set my 17:11 5K PR earlier that year), AND I was really trying to KILL Coach Jen's workouts as she was trying to get me to break 60 at the 2010 TC 10 Mile. Those are 2 BIG reasons why I just assumed I was faster in 2010.

I dug and I dug, and I think that last week was the FASTEST I've EVER done that workout!! Here are links to a few previous (relatively fast) 2x2 mile workout posts:

- First time with Coach Jen (flat by my parents farm) in 11:48 and 11:34.
- A year later in 11:26 and 11:38.
- PUSHING HENRY in the stroller in 11:36 and 11:37.
- Pushing bigger Henry in the stroller in 11:46 and 11:42.

So I didn't realize that last week's 11:38 and 11:24 were so good compared to previous workouts!

SIDENOTE: Here's cute 9-month-old Henry back in 2012 from one of the links above after we'd done our first 2 mile interval before starting the 2nd:

He loved the speed!

So last week I did them on the Greenway Trail, which is quite flat. Normally, I do them along the Mississippi River where I have a decent little hill either just before the end of each interval or just before the half-way point of each interval (depending on how I run them). So the 2nd time I did them (linked above) in 11:26 and 11:38 was actually probably faster than last week just based on the fact that I did those just a bit slower but while working in some small climbs too.

Still, pretty happy with that speed! I was NOT expecting that! Maybe stringing together some decent training weeks is starting to add up! (I've now had a swim, bike, or run 62 out of the last 65 days! That's looking back to February 11th!)



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