Subscribe by Email  |  Subscribe Subscribe
Because when you're out on the course, all that's there is your internal monolog

Archives for fitness category

The Open Water Swim Conundrum

It’s a generally heald belief that long-slow-distance running, does 1 thing very well: it makes you slow.  In fact, the extension is generally true, that the more LSD running you do, the slower you get, unless you’re specifically doing complementatry speed work to keep the tempo up.  The same is true of swimming: just logging long distances in the pool with no thoughts to tempo, technique, pace, etc. will make you slower and slower over time.

You’ll read again and again how the best use of time in the pool is focused workouts: some tempo, some drills, some long, etc.  I’ve adopted this recently.  Mondays are kick days (because my kick sucks and needs specific focus).  Tuesdays and Thursdays are easy/recovery/technique-focus days, where I’ll do a solid hour but focusing on streamlining, catch and pull body and arm position, kick connection, paddle work, etc.  Fridays are tempo days where I try to spend a lot of the workout near critical speed and really get my heart rate cranked.  Finally, Wednesdays are my long-swim days, but even these days are not just mindless kilometer after kilometer: I breakup the workout into segments and each of these segments will have a sub-focus of tempo, technique, drills, kick, etc. The great news is that it’s working for me.

This morning, while I was in the pool, I was pondering this and how it relates to Open Water swimming.  I realized that when it’s cold out and I’m in the pool, I’m very focused on tempo, and pace.  I’m measuring my splits and pushing for improvement.  In the past; however, when I got outside, I’d just swim for time or for distance, but I’d only measure it in the totality of the workout.  Its not surprising then, that my swim pace suffered when I got outside.  All the months of hard work in the pool destroyed by the lack of marked distances outside and the lack of my new-found understanding.

Obviously, with current technology (specifically the Garmin 910xt which I own and open water swim with), there is no excuse to lose my pool swim mentality when I get into open water.  The GPS will track distances for me and I can set alarms to go off every 400m (or whatever) and track my pace and effort to keep up the intensity and not lose all that I’m gaining.

Hurray for those moments of clarity!

Now if only May would get here so I can put this to practice 🙂

Six Simple Shoulder Moves for Better Glide : LAVA Magazine

Six Simple Shoulder Moves for Better Glide : LAVA Magazine.

Good advice and well timed for many of us who are really ramping up the swim milage in anticipation of late summer/fall IMs.

Feel For The Water! Advice & Tips to Improve Your Swimming.: SS Coach Education Courses & CSS iPhone/Pad App.

Pretty good description (linked in article) of swimming at CSS and why you want to, and a nice link to an app to calculate your CSS pace and how to set your Tempo Trainer.

via swimsmooth.  Thanks guys!

Minimalist Running Video: Dr. Mark Cucuzzellas Principles of Natural Running.


This is an awesome vid!  Gotta watch it a few times because it’s so packed with info.


Completely believe this.  We are very suggestible: positive or negative visualization creates a positive or negative outcome.  We create our own reality.

How the Nocebo Effect Can Torpedo Your Training | Sweat Science.

Barefoot Versus Running Shoes: Which Is (Surprisingly) More Efficient? | Sweat Science.

Now, it is just 1 study, so hardly conclusive, but interesting none the less.

Further I think that the long-term benefits of learning to run in a good barefoot form and doing some training that way, though not necessarily racing that way or always running that way, are not insignificant.

IMPanama Countdown: Day 5: Busy Day

Busy day today.  Swim for an hour with 30 minutes at race pace.  Bike for an hour with some race pace in there. Short brick off the bike.  Tomorrow starts the thin edge of the taper, just an easy swim.  Thursday: easy run.  Friday: easy bike, short brick.  Saturday: short, light run and then it’s game time!  BOOYA!!!

My youtube upload yesterday failed, so I started again this morning.  The upload just finished but may be being encoded.  If the vid doesn’t work, try back in a bit.

Off to sweat!

IMPanama Countdown: Day 6: Groomin and V’roomin

Rode a new road today, no speed bumps on this one and closer to home.  It’s a nice road, a little narrow, but not heavily trafficked and with very few potholes.  It climbs from the highway up into the nearby mountains.

No, I didn’t go bike mountain climbing today, that’s not what a taper is made of, but I did ride down and up the foothills… twice.  The 1st time down was lotsa fun!  Fast! Oh my fast.  The 2nd time, I got stuck behind a tractor trailer pulling a massive backhoe and belching black diesel death clouds as it went.  Course, I still had to do the climb, but didn’t get the super-fun of the descent.  Oh well 🙂

I rode with the GoPro again, some nice scenery on this ride and the camera angle is a bit better.   I’m uploading now, but it says 5 hrs to go (yea not great bandwidth down here).  I’ll post a followup with the youtube link when its done (probably in the morning).

Some things I’ve found about the Torhans 30oz system that I have:

  • the lids need a way to secure them to the bottle or straw in case they pop off the top (yea it happened today, check the video)
  • the straw needs a bite valve – until the fluid level is down 50% you risk wearing a spray of your hydration whenever you take a drink
  • the aero cowling on the straw needs a dab of glue to stay on the bottle
  • don’t fill it until you’re planning to immediately put it on the bike (or fill it after you install it) because there’s no way to stand it up
  • (but with all these “issues”…) having a straw in my face is way more efficient and probable way to for me to onboard hydration.  I’m using the Torhans for fuel and the speedfil for water.   I’ll probably put about 800 calories in the Torhans and have a bottle behind my saddle with another similar 800 calorie bottle to refill the Torhans with.

Did some speed work in the pool today.  Didn’t get to swimming until later in the day and the ocean was crazy, the pool was definitely a winner.  Had it to myself and it was easy to judge sprint lengths, etc.

Mid-day today was groomin’ time.  Went in and got plucked like a Christmas Goose.  I’m now all smooth, aero and hydro-dynamic. LOL.  No really… I felt smoother and “slicker” in the water tonight.  Maybe its psychosomatic, but I’ll take every edge I can get 😉  Today was also the day that I had planned and scheduled my toe nail trim.

I scheduled my toe nail trim?!  You bet!  Ever trim your nails a bit too close and have a tender toe for days?  Ok, imagine having that tender toe, trapped in a cycling shoe, or running shoe for hours.  Not fun?  You bet!  So, what do you do?  You trim your nails early so that on race day, if you were too aggressive, you’re not suffering.  Yea this is me leaving little to chance.  But hey!  Be prepared, eh? 🙂

Nutrition is one of those topics that is done to death, and I think there’s a very good reason for it:  Everyone is looking for the “one true way”.  I don’t believe there is one true way for everybody.   In fact, I think that beyond certain truisms, like “eating fewer calories than you expend will cause you to loose weight” or it’s converse, nutrition is a very very personal topic.  I believe that what works well for me, may fail terribly for you.  This may be true for genetic, cultural or societal reasons. I can’t say.  I also may just be full of shit, I’m ok with that too.  I’m not a nutritionist, but I have experimented a lot with my diet and nutrition and, through trial and error, I’ve found what works for me.


IMPanama Countdown: Day 15: Taper Begins Tomorrow

Yesterday was my last day of training intensity leading up to IM Panama.  Today is rest day, tomorrow’s run is about 60% the duration I have been doing on my Saturday long runs.  Sunday’s ride for the brick is also about 60% and reduced intensity.   After the intensity of the last few weeks I’m kinda looking forward to the taper and recharge, tho I know as it progresses I’m going to start getting antsy.

It’s all good tho, a lot of the taper will be happening in Panama as I’m getting used to the heat and humidity. Once I hit Panama I’ll probably be trying to swim daily. Because of the low impact of swimming, a long taper isn’t required and getting used to openwater swimming again and adding salt water to the mix will be important on race day. (The last thing I want to do is swallow a lot of salt water and shut down my stomach in the 1st phase of the race.)

The taper comes at a great time too: I seem to have developed a bit of a shin splint with my poor run on Wednesday.  A little rest will do it a lot of good.