Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Flipturns and more Flipturns

My last post was in reference to the fact that I have started using flipturns in my swim training. It is no secret that swimming has been my most successful event so far and my preferred training event. My running has been virtually nonexistent (that changes when I go back to Boston) and my cycling can be described as a work in progress. But I am pretty much there for my swims. I started using flipturns a bit last Tuesday.

Last Friday, I hit the pool again with a long workout of 4 x 300s using all flipturns. It is much much harder to do a full flipturn workout. By not coming up for air at the wall, you increase the stress of the set tremendously. You are constantly gasping to get more oxygen, thus your output decreases, causing you to lose form and go slower. As your body adjust you get more comfortable and normalize. As mentioned before it will not help in the race on that level, but by not touching the ground and not getting the extra breath, you better simulate the sensation of being in the middle of the lake.

Yesterday was another milestone. I had 5 sets of 500s with 200 warm down after each set. I continued to try flipturns. I was much better yesterday for the first 300 but started to tire and have difficulty heading for the last 200. I really wanted to quit and my upper body was throbbing, but I kept at it and completed 3 500s and 2 200s with flipturns. I was really beat down by the end but the confidence I have now is extraordinary. I am going to rest today because I am tired. Tomorrow I am scheduled to cycle, and swim again on Friday. Friday will be a short time trial of 1000 yds continuously. I will be using all flipturns on this set. It should be very difficult but I am up the challenge.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kaizen - Continuous Improvement

Tuesday was a shorter swim than I have had as of late. I focused on technique, breathing, and flipturns. My goal is for a smooth day out on the water. Although flipturns are useless in a race situation, I want to be able to train in a way that simulates the seemlessness of racing. Oftentimes, in training I will be doing a long set (say 400 - 800 yards) and I will take a breath and touch my feet down when I hit the wall. This works against the feel I am trying to achieve since I will not have that opportunity to touch bottom in the race. Therefore, my goal now is to swim using flipturns as much as possible, and to avoid touching my feet when I hit the wall. It will take some time and will be a huge, painful adjustment, but when I am through, hopefully my swim workouts will be much more effective.

Wednesday is my first bike/run brick. I have not run much this season, so I am a bit nervous. My goal is to cycle 15 miles and run for three or four. It's about the distance of a long sprint and will be a great challenge. I think I am up for it.

Monday, May 5, 2008


It usually happens on the golf course. But this year my first sunburn happened while hitting a new high on the bike. Today I rode 30 miles in 2 hours. A new personal distance best, and yes, I have my first sunburn of the year. It was one of those Ferris Bueller-type days where the whether is sunny and perfect and a great opportunity to blow off work. I got out there and rode to E. Puyallup and back (twice). No real breakthroughs as far as technique or speed, just distance. But I felt great. I am gradually getting more and more comfortable with the bike and my base is building nicely. Tomorrow I swim.

On a side note, I have been delaying my run workouts to get my bike distance dialed in. But now that I have hit my numbers as far as bike times is concerned it is time for me to start running. Plus, I will have plenty of opportunity to work on running when I am in Boston over the Memorial Day holiday since I will have no bike.

In work news, I was interviewed today via an deal that I thought I was disqualified for. It seems that I may not have been disqualified and my group were one of only a few competing for the contract. Not sure if I want the job or not, but it was fun talking to a reporter from a paper I read all the time. I am sure I will be misquoted but at least I will have a clipping to show to my Mom.