Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bringing back the endurance training

Endurance is funny nowadays. It's like it never left. I rode 30 or so miles in a high intensity spin class and had plenty of juice left at the end. I suppose the speed work I have been doing over the last couple of weeks is keeping my fitness intact pretty well. I remember a time when I would build up some endurance - take a week off from it and come back to find that any endurance I had built was gone. The only exception to that rule is hiking. It seems I can jump back on the trail and hike for hours any time I want. That is a luxury that I do not take for granted. Backpacking is a little different. I do have to prep and train to carry the heavy pack.

It's the small breakthroughs that make for the biggest returns. I changed one little thing on my swim catch while swimming at Bartlett Lake. I am now using more of my forearm to grab water and it is helping me get faster without expending any more energy. In training (or racing for that matter) I rarely go below 2:00 for 100 meters. Yeah, I am that slow. However, I swam 1000 or so last week and had 4 100s in the 1:50s and one at 1:44. My previous fastest 100 meters was 1:48 and it was an all out sprint and was not surrounded by 900 other meters. I still have work to do.

There is such a drastic difference between running for speed and running for endurance. It's an interesting math problem to try and conquer. My speed is back to where it was or maybe a bit faster. The problem is that I feel the speed workouts MUCH more for running than I do for the bike or swimming. By feel, I mean my feet and to some extent my shins and knees. I have been listening and backing off as appropriate. I still weigh in the 180s and I am sure that is one tiny thing I can continue to try and adjust. The fact is - I am cranking out 11.5 second 100 meter dashes. I am not going to win any foot races with REAL sprinters - but as a 17 year old I ran my fastest 100m around 13 seconds. I timed myself as a 22 year old and was able to pull a 12.3. Either way - at 38 I feel comfortable saying that I am a faster runner than I was when I was 17. Perhaps it's not necessary to do 100 meter dashes. Oh well, it felt good at the time. Maybe I should stick to 400 and 800 all out efforts.

Around the house we have been installing new tile. Of all the home improvement work we have done over the years, this is the first time we have laid floor tile. We did a tile back splash in a kitchen once, but that is a bit different. If you ever want a frustrating challenge ... try removing old mortar off a concrete sub floor from a previous tile job. Bleh! Chisels, hammers, scrapers, grinders, dust and havoc. In total, we will end up installing 36 tiles. No it's not a huge job, but it saves us some cash and now we know we can lay tile.

I am scheduled to race on June 3rd in Chino Valley, AZ. It is basically a 22 mile bike course with a short 300 yd swim and a 2 mile run on either side of it.


  1. Keep up the good work. You've actually motivated me to train a little bit and am actually down 30lbs since Valentine's Day. I'm doing a triathlon challenge for two months at the gym, so we'll see how it goes. Maybe after I'm done I'll register for a sprint or something.

  2. Jaaaayyyyy Raaaaadddd --

    I am glad I could help you get motivated. 10 pounds a month is aggressive and impressive. Just keep going. The difference for me this time around is that I lost the pounds and kept them off. I am not going back.

    Do this sprint tri --


    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I'm doing strength training as well so in my weight loss, my muscle loss is minimal. I actually weighed today at 214. I haven't been 214 in..well, a long time. I was at 245 on V-Day. I've looked at that race a few days ago and swimming upstream in the Cumberland is a little intimidating (not nearly as intimidating as your swim) but I do have a swimming background so with some more practice, it might not be that bad.