Sunday, December 18, 2011

Strength, Ironman, marathon, flip turns, family talk

I do not have any strength!!!! It is pathetic.
Ever since I stopped running, riding outside (aka riding on at least some hills, although these mole bumps are not really hills) or lift heavy weights (although I have not lifted those that much), I have no lower body strength. Plus riding really hard gears irritates my ITB so I cannot do that.

I did my long ride on Saturday and I was alternating between my usual cadence/gear and bigger gear/lower cadence and it was HARD. And Sunday and also last Sunday I did some high power intervals and could not hit my prescribed power. Too hard. Sure, part of it was going long the day before but I think that the main problem is my lack of strength.

Two weeks ago I made a deal with myself that I was going to ride my bike to work in hard(ish) gear only. It was a struggle at first, now it is much better.

I really need to stop half-assing my strength training and start to take that stuff seriously.

ITB feel good, so I might for a short Christmas run next weekend. Although it always feels good until I try running:(

I talked with my mom on skype on Saturday and we had the following two conversations:
Mom: Are you looking forward to coming home?
Me: Yes, of course I am.
Mom: I cannot believe that you said that.
Me: Everyone needs to lie sometimes not to hurt others’ feelings.
Mom: Hahahaha, now that’s more like you.
Clearly, I watch way too much of those stupid family comedy shows.

# 2: My mom works for the city and she has a card to get free access to the city pool and she said that I can use it (until they catch me and kick me out….).
Me: That’s great because I need to swim a lot.
Mom: Why?
Me: Because I am a lousy swimmer and I need to get better.
Mom: Why?
Me: (here I took 10 deep breaths before responding) Because you get better with training. And I think that I can be really good at this triathlon thing and therefore I need to train a lot to become good.
Mom: Can you be good in races in Slovakia? (Some name) told me that there are people who go to different races and actually earn money that way.
Me: Yes Mom, I think that I can be good in races in Slovakia. And yes, there are people called professional athletes and make living winning races.
Oh, it will really be interesting living and training there…

I have been trying to collect some info about Olympic distance tri training and the resources are very limited resources. A friend gave me his old issues of Triathlete and it seems that 90% of that stuff is about Ironman. Also most blogs are about Ironman. Online training plans, books and articles, everything is about Ironman. What is so special about Ironman? Sure, I might sounds like a hypocrite because I want to do one myself, but still? There are so many other interesting tri distances and races. What about ITU circuit or those American draft-legal tri series (who name I do not know)? Ironman is not even an Olympic sport and you do not have to be among the best in the world to go to Ironman World Championship. Ok, when you are a pro you need to be among the best but for age groupers, no. And I am not even going to start about my opinion of Kona….
It is the same with marathon. There are way more resources for marathon training than for 5k training. Why do people prefer doing marathons to 5k? I think that it is because people think longer=harder. I have heard many times someone saying “I am racing only a 5k this week”, or “I am racing only an Oly distance tri this weekend.” Only? As if it was something to be ashamed of not doing marathon or Ironman but something shorter instead.
Even people who are clearly better at shorter distance do marathons because marathons are “in” or something. Yes, I know, I am better at shorter distances and I did marathon and I want to do Ironman, I am guilty. But I want to do it once to try it and then go back to shorter distances:)

My swimming is going well though :) I did my longest pool workout ever on Friday. 4600yards! It was supposed to be 4500 but because I am an overachiever I did 100yards extra as a cool-down:) At the end I was doing sets of some descending decent pace 100s on a pretty long rest and as I was descending I was looking forward to the start of a new set because then I would be able to chill out and go somehow easy – 1:30 pace. I am so happy to be able to say that 1:30 is chill out pace!
Plus Friday was the first time I did flip turns on fast 100s. I try to do flip turns during warm ups and cool down and sometimes for fast 50s but I never do them in 100s because my flip turns are far from being perfect and sometimes I go too deep, sometimes to shallow, sometimes I had to hold my breath for too long and then I get to oxygen debt and I do not want that for 100s…But on Friday and I did it! Awesome. I did not do all 3 turns as flip turns, I did 1st and 3rd turn because my stroke never played out well for the 2nd and I knew that it will probably lead to disastrous turn so I just turned at a wall as usual.
Maybe those flip turns are the reason why I went faster than I thought I would be able to go. Who knows. So now that I know that I can do then ok even for 100s, I will start incorporating them to my intervals as well. And hopefully in couple months I will feel comfortable enough to do them all the time.

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