Thursday, September 22, 2005

Another brick

We're all watching the track of Hurricane Rita with even more concern than we had at the approach of Hurricane Katrina. A friend on an email list in the path of the storm said today: "All is quiet for right now. Sunny and hot. Really expect things to start to deteriorate after noon tomorrow." Our thoughts are with you, friends.

Today I did a run-swim brick at my health club - in that order, because it's just easier than getting dressed and getting on the treadmill all wet. I actually feel better running after cycling or swimming since I'm all warmed up - starting out cold with my old creaky joints feels harder for me.

First I hopped on the treadmill and cranked the elevation up to 5%. It didn't feel at all steep, but it sure slowed down my pace nevertheless. I stuck with it, alternating walking and running, until I reached the equivalent of about 650 feet vertical elevation after a couple of miles. I'm hoping doing this a few times, and also the hill outside our place, will help prepare me for the ~850 feet of elevation climbs that we will face at the Baltimore Marathon in 3 weeks. I need to start thinking about this as "only ~260 meters up". I know that doesn't sound like much to those of you who live in hills, but for us who train exclusively in the flatlands, it's a lot of work! I know my muscles won't enjoy those parts of the race, but I want it to at least not be a totally unfamiliar and scary experience for them!

Then into the pool. I tried to do what Yurtie prescribed for me, but messed it up a bit:
  • 500m warmup. (I used one-sided breathing for this at a reasonably comfortable pace, while trying out some of Bob Williams' swimming tips I posted yesterday, which I did find quite helpful. It's still hard for me to believe that I do 500m for a warmup. In the past that would have been a whole workout. Note my pace here averaged 47 sec/25m).
  • 100m kick with fins
  • 300m bilateral breathing freestyle practice
  • 100m breaststroke
  • 500m steady freestyle, bilateral breathing
  • Then I mis-read my instructions on these sprints, which conveniently eliminated two sets, but that's just as well because I was getting tired. As it turned out, the "slow" lengths averaged 50.6 sec/25m, the so-called "sprint" lengths only 10% faster at 45.1 sec/25m.
  • 100m: first 75m slow, 25m sprint (all of these sets SUCKED, btw).
  • 100m: first 75m slow, 25m sprint (I may possibly have cursed Yurtie's name in here a few times).
  • 100m: first 50m slow, 50m sprint (supposed to repeat, and I didn't read the instructions right).
  • 100m: first 25m slow, 75m sprint (supposed to repeat, and I didn't. Did I mention that these sets SUCKED?).
  • Then I was supposed to do 200m warmdown, but only did 100m because I was running late for getting home.

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