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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Swimming and biking - break throughs

Let me just say that my weight fluctuates – a lot. I hit my race weight over the weekend – and then I did the Super Bowl thing. I have come to the conclusion; everyone says that they eat pretty good most of the time. What does this mean? I’ll tell you, I know the answer because I eat REALLY, REALLY good most of the time – it means that sometimes I eat like crap. I mean that sometimes I REALLY, REALLY eat like crap. So that being said, I went from my race day goal weight (I weighed in at 154.8 this weekend) to a Monday morning weight of 163.0. Yes, that is right an overnight weight gain of 8.2 pounds. That is about a 5 percent change in weight over night. Now I am not in the weight range of the biggest losers’ – I am pretty lean (meaning I have some body fat to lose) – 5+ % overnight. I do realize that it is mostly water weight (I am down 2 pounds today) but I am still amazed at how my body fluctuates. It did this last summer on long training days and it still does it today.

Anyway, my upper body is sore from the P90X from Sunday morning – a little tender. It was especially noticeable in the pool at lunch on Monday. I could really fell my arms and back from all of the pushups and chin-ups. Speaking of the pool – it is coming around. I did an easy warm up and then for some intensity I did 10 x 100 yards with 30 seconds rest. I know that is a lot of rest but … I was pushing semi-tough and my times were a few seconds lower than last week. I was about 5 seconds per 100 quicker than my last years 500 and 1000 averages. And then it happened. It has happened before and I am always awe struck. I decided to slow down my stroke and really stick the arm out there. Stick it out and hold it out there for a long pause. I was holding it out there long enough for my other arm to start entering the water. Total Immersion calls this ‘front quadrant’ swimming. I have such a difficult time with this whole counter-intuitive swimming thing. Slow down to go faster. For the last 3 100’s my times were 2 – 3 seconds faster and I was swimming easier. I know that I am not a speed demon in the water but I’ll take these little victories.

Strangely, my legs were tired on Tuesday morning. I did no running on Sunday or Monday. Why were they tired? I don’t know (accumulated fatigue – probably ready for a taper or maybe I am just being a wuss). I jumped on the trainer for more intervals and the legs came around. It was comfortably hard. I did not get off the trainer and need to lie down or anything – just a solid session. I am doing speed work tonight after work – not too much just 10 quarters.


  1. The swimming can be a really funny thing sometimes. Trying harder seems to make you go slower. Relaxing and taking it easy goes faster. Some days you have the water feel, and some days you don't.

    I sometimes do a drill where the recovering hand enters the water, and my thumbs touch before starting the next stroke. That's good to help the glide, but not so good for training yourself to keep arms at 11 and 1.

    The thing I'm working is to get my forearm as vertical as possible as soon as possible. And to get my head and chest deeper into the water.

  2. I have the same issues with weight, i cant figure it, and I eat right 6 days of the week, and on junk day i lose weight, no sense to me

  3. James, i totally "get" what you are saying about some of the Total Immersion tips. I've been really focusing on making myself long and using less strokes or energy to travel the same distance and i can feel it especially when i lose my form or focus, i can feel myself struggle a little versus when i can get that TI state of mind clicking, it becomes easier b/c of less effort output. I'm so intrigued by swimming now. I love it! Good luck with your tapering.

  4. James, you may not consider yourself a speed demon in the water, but you would certainly pass your fair share on the bike and run...

  5. My weight is similar, I gained 8 pounds over Thanksgiving. Sadly it's taking forever to fully shed my holiday weight. Ironman volume will help.