Monday, May 19, 2008

Brief log on my triathlon training

My race is on July 6. I have about seven weeks left to train. The Olympic triathlon is a 1.5km swim, then a 40km bike ride, and then a 10km run. I am shooting for under three hours. I have wanted to keep a better record of my training progress, but I might as well just start now with what I can remember. …

Last Monday I ran 8km in 38 minutes after work.

The next morning I ran 8km in 40 minutes with my roommate.

Wednesday I went to Lugang and did a night out.

The next day I swam** 1200m, comprised of: 200m breast stroke warm-up, then 200m cycles of various drills (e.g., breast stroke, front crawl, motorboat, butterfly, legless front crawl, and a little bear crawl).

Friday I was simply tired so I slept a couple hours then read a fair share.

Saturday morning I ran about 7–8km in 35 minutes. Then, after more reading and a micro-nap, I rode 9km uphill (slight grade), the same back, and then poked around mapping distances for running for another 7km.

Today, Sunday, I went to Mass and then took it easy at home until about 7pm, when I headed to the pool. There, I did 200m of warmup using breast stroke, butterfly, and motorboat. Then I did three sets of 500m front crawls, with one minute of rest between each set. My first three splits were 9'10", 9'45", 9'20", and then after a couple minutes of rest, I did another 500m in about 9'30". It felt great. Swimming is definitely my favorite event of the three, but I can feel my body reawakening to the fabled "joy of running"; it just takes time for my ankles, shins, and hips to adjust to the motions as I up my distances. The bike is, so far, the least pleasurable, since, one, I had trouble for a few days with a bad tube, and, two, I really don't like driving amidst the majority of [UNCOMPLIMENTARY MODIFIER] drivers here.

Tomorrow after work I would like to run a 2km warmup to a quiet spot I know, then do 10 x .6km alternates, which is to say, run .6km slow, then "haul ass" for .6km, then .6km slow, then haul tail, etc. After this 6km of alternates, I will run 2km back home.

The [UNCOMPLIMENTARY MODIFIER] news is that I've agreed to a 6:30am run with my roommate every Tuesday. This means I will probably swim 3km Wednesday and then do about 40 minutes on the trainer Thursday night. I might just take Friday off and then do a 40km ride Saturday, and a 5km run later in the day. God only knows.

[** The front crawl is what most people call freestyle, the ol' paddle and kick.

The breaststroke is like parting the curtains and doing a frog kick.

The bear crawl is something of my own devising, basically a reverse breaststroke, in which the hands are pulled toward the chest. It reminds me of judo, so I like it.

The motorboat is just a leg drill, in which you lie on your back and kick like a paddle boat; I sometimes push my hands down along my side for a little propulsion of 1.5 strokes, or do a more sinuous turbine motion with my shoulders and hands.

The butterfly is a sort of lunging swoop; the frog kick lifts you out enough to swing your arms forward. I find it to be the most grueling of all the strokes I do.

The legless front crawl, also of my own devising, perhaps, is sort of the reverse of the motorboat: with your heard out of the water and your legs more or less doing nothing, except occasional stabilizing kicks, you paddle the front crawl. It really works the shoulders and biceps.

One other stroke I devised for myself is the "staggered front crawl": an exaggerated lateral twist that requires a full, strong arm scoop and strong scissor kick, to rotate the other way in slow, deliberate cycles.]

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