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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swim drafting is tough stuff.

I got to the gym early on Wednesday. I wanted to do a short hard run. I thought about intervals and then I remembered a graded treadmill test that I used to do – I thought it would be fun to compare these results to the last time that I did the test – August 2007.

On this test I would start at 6.0 MPH and increase the speed 0.2 MPH every minute. With my heart rate monitor I would record laps (Lap HR, Lap AVE HR, LAP MAX HR) and chart the HR at each minute. You continue until you cannot hold the pace.

This is a challenging test! While on the treadmill I noticed that guy next to me was wearing a ½ iron New Orleans shirt. I am always quick to make conversation. While I could still maintain a conversation I invited Ren out to the OWS later in the day.

I noticed that at 6MPH my heart rate was higher than it normally would be at that excretion – It is usually way low at that speed. I had looked at my last results from two years prior and new where I needed to finish – 10.4 MPH (total time of 23:00 minutes). As the speed increased I was getting worried about failing. Surely I am in better ‘shape’ than two years ago – I certainly know that I feel that I am in better shape and all of my other measurable criteria would indicate that I am in better shape.

However, not on this morning. I stopped the test at 10.0 MPH and 21:00 minutes. I was a little bit dejected. I did, however, continue on and do about 25 more minutes at a lesser pace. However, there is one inconsistency with this test (other than the fact that the treadmills are 2 years older) and that is that I did not record the slope of the treadmill. I may have had the treadmill at the default slope of zero and now I always use a slop of 1. I will attempt this test again in the near future.


At lunch I was practicing my swim stroke. Just nice and easy swimming. Jim was there and we talked about the weather, literally. The 10 day forecast showed that the Friday before the race in Louisville the high could be 78 degrees – how nice would that be? Now it shows the high on Saturday at 84 – still pretty nice. The swim consisted of 6 sets of 500 yards – I felt good the entire swim – no problems – none!

I picked my bike up from Drew at Hattiesburg Bicycle. He replaced a couple of cables and gave the bike the complete once over. The bike looked and felt great. I made it out to the lake just as everyone was gathering. We had a big crowd. There were most of the regulars (Lance, Raland, Jen) plus about 4 new guys – including Ren from this morning. I bet we had 10 people! Sam even showed up. Mike headed out and I waited for Sam to get started. I was going to try to jump on his feet. Sam blew by so fast – I attempted to catch up – he was about 20 feet ahead of me. I tried to catch him for about 50 strokes and just short of blowing up I had to let him go. I would swim the 600 or so yards solo. This swim also felt good. Later during the swim Sam practiced some drafting drills with Mike and me. Sam told me to try and keep tapping his feet. I was going full speed and his feet were just out of reach. And then I got them and he would speed up a little just out of reach again. This went on for a few minutes and then I was just done. I slowed a bit to recover and then swam at my own pace. I finished up the swim with about 1800 yards of valuable swim experience.

4 comments:

  1. "I noticed that at 6MPH my heart rate was higher than it normally would be at that excretion"...dear GAWD, I hope you didn't shit your heart out;)

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  2. Hoping the weather will cooperate and you will encounter a cool afternoon at Ironman. You are ready. Good Luck and safe travels.

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  3. Your swim looked great on Wednesday! It really was a fun swim and great to see so many folks there.

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