I know, I know, it's been forever since I last posted. I have a new-found appreciation for the folks that continue to provide good content for their blogs on a regular basis. That is a task for which I was found sorely lacking - turns out I barely like reading other peoples' training blogs (much less like writing one). Anywhooo...
I put together a pretty strong 12 week training block where I tried to focus more on maintaining top end output. I spent a lot more time doing powerlifting and compound movements in the weight room and then piggy backing a swim, bike, or run. I also spent a lot more time doing squats and deadlifts this time through (the yoke bar was a godsend for my shoulder - see below), and when my joints complained, I kept the reps in the 8-12 range. While I think it will be good for the Swissman (of course, time will tell), my left knee and calf gave me problems on and off the throughout the bloc so I think I need to work in more rest days.
|Early Spring Track Work|
|Trainer work in Pensacola|
Here are two of the funnier highlights.
Getting back into the dirty part of the gym was an adjustment. You would think that having spent my teenage and the better part of my adult years there, I would recall how, uhm... testosterone laden it could be, but I was pleased to realize that it hasn't changed all that much since I started (which incidentally, was in the mid-70's). This sounds like me 35 years ago and makes me smile...
I had a spill on my bike a few years ago, and it beat me up enough that basically my right shoulder is now held together with chicken wire and duck tape. I had to make peace with the fact that there would be some strength movements that I could no longer do (though I could swim well enough - weird). One of the things I could not do was squats with the Olympic bar - it took some convincing, but at my request, the work gym purchased a "yoke" or safety bar.
So, I get a call at my desk when it comes in and I am like a kid at Christmas. I run downstairs to take a look and a lot of the young men are working out (it's around lunchtime), and more than one looks at the bar with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity. I see one of them who seems curious and provide a little background of what it's good for. Of course, it would be wrong not to demonstrate, so I did my best Vanna White and demonstrated how to use it, too.
Me - "the resistance profile is a bit different since the weight sits differently, but you can still load up - what do you think?
Me - "'Old School' - I see."
It still makes me smile.
"You're probably gonna die."
Swissman is nothing if not a test of the ability to ride a bike well. I have a buddy at work who is an avid cyclist and thinks like someone that does. When he learned about my trip, he barely made mention about the ascension part of the climbs. He immediately focused on the downhills.
Me - "I'll do alright."
Him - "But the hairpin turns and all that... "
Me - "Yeah, I know, but I'll ride the brakes if I have to."
Him - "they better be new brakes - I still think you're probably gonna die."
I sure hope he's wrong about that.
Tapering and Swissman
My best races have been the ones where by the end of the training block I am just happy as shit to go into taper. Kinda like now. I started this last training block at 173 lbs. I tried to stay above 165 lbs. to maintain strength, and only dropped to 163 lbs. this morning. My bodyfat has stayed in about the 9-10% range, and I definitely gained functional strength, so no complaints. As I am sure many triathletes experience, toward the end, I felt like I couldn't eat enough to maintain weight. Additionally, I have woken up dehydrated for two or three weeks, so I know that I have gotten about as much out of the training block as I can expect.
The next time I hit a taper just right will be the first time, but I am excited about and feel fairly prepared heading to Switzerland and doing this event. As most of you know, the Swissman Extreme Triathlon isn't like what you might think of as a "traditional" triathlon, it seems to be more of an adventure race. It is almost certainly the only race I will do where I plan to stop and take pictures. We are heading out to Switzerland on the red-eye this afternoon and should be wheels up by 1800 local. I will post if I can, but will, for sure post a race report after (assuming, of course, that my buddy is wrong). Seeya.