Friday, January 22, 2016

Strength Endurance

Photo by Sergio
I swam alone this morning, which was probably good b/c I was able to put in some work at my own level without feeling like I was just getting my ass kicked at every turn. I figured I'd use my time to get in some long strength endurance work. When I'm fit I tend to have a pretty high level of strength endurance. Right now it's lacking a bit but that's to be expected. I got 4K done which is my longest swim in a really long time! Main set was 7x400's pull. I gave this one to a few of my athletes a few weeks ago and none of them had anything nice to say about it afterward so I thought maybe I needed a good personal reminder of just how hard that set can be. I did them off 6:20 and my goal was to see if I could get them all under 6:00. I didn't really think I'd be able to when I started, but thought I'd give it a go and if I blew up, I blew up...

5:58, 5:57, 5:58, 5:56, 5:58, 6:00, 6:00.

So I almost made it. The effort on the last two was higher than the effort on the first five, but overall I was pleased with this set. I didn't fall off as bad as I anticipated I might. I've done this set as 8x400's off 6:10 holding 5:50-5:55 though (and feeling strong at the end), so I have a bit of work to do before I get back to that point. As I was cooling down today I was thinking about my motivation and why it actually matters to me that I get my swim back. I came to the conclusion that it's not about racing faster- it's simply about being able to enjoy good solid super tough swim sessions again. I genuinely enjoy pushing my limits in the pool, but I enjoy it more when the limit is way the hell out there and hard to hit. So for me it's more about enjoying the training because I feel strong/invincible vs about racing fast. I'd say the same for bike and run as well.

Speaking of the bike- and strength endurance- I rode again yesterday. Same route as I did Tuesday but this time I kept it mostly big chain ring and pushed a bit harder. HR stayed fairly low but muscularly I got some work done. I think my problem on the bike the last two years was that I was doing too much of my riding too easy (and too high cadence). I had some thoughts yesterday about being motivated to really get good and strong on the bike again... strong like I was from 2011-2013. But then I had another look at my logs from those years and I don't know if I can do that again? It was A LOT of time invested in riding. And not much of that time could be considered "easy". I'm not really that natural of an athlete so it requires a lot of work for me to get strong/fit. I feel torn b/c I'd like to get back to that awesome feeling on the bike but wanting to be there and wanting to do the work to get there are two different things. I know the kind of work it takes and I'm just not sure I'm willing to do that again right now. Plus, I still have 6 more marathons to run this year. Lol.

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