Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Long Sets

I was in the pool yesterday and had assigned myself a main set of 2 x 1000 at a manageable pace. (Meters! It really messes my times up when I swim in that meter pool, but that's neither here nor there.)

I wasn't feeling great since the baby brought a cold back from daycare and has not been sleeping and, as it turns out, passed the thing on to me. But I wasn't certain of that yesterday and I went to the pool. Anyway, I picked these long sets because they wouldn't require too much thought. Usually I prefer something a little cuter.

By the end of the first 1000, however, I realized that I really was letting the brain turn off too much and my arms were being pretty floppy. So I reset in my 15 seconds at the wall and felt great for the next 250. And then, just a little bit, I felt the fade start. And it hit me, I have felt this happen in the swim in a race too. I feel good and focused until just past that first turn buoy, then the long middle section stretches out in front of me and if I don't have someone's toes to try to hang onto, my mind can wander.

So I made it a goal to keep focus all the way through the set, to think actively about my arms and my breathing and my turns on each stroke and not start planning out the rest of the day while just counting 26, 27, 28, in the back of my head.

It is obvious that the mental part of racing has to be replicated in training too, but sometimes it seems to take more energy and focus than getting the body to actually do the work.

I don't have the time to let any training sessions go to waste, so I better work on this this season.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

That New Leaf Again

Yesterday evening, I didn't really want to go to the track to run 800s.  Usually I love to go to the track, but it was New Year's Eve, and starting to get cold.

This morning, with the temperature in the 30s, I wasn't sure I really wanted to go out and ride intervals on my bike for the first time in months. And by that I mean I cleaned my chain for what must have been the first time in 6 months, since we just got a chain cleaning tool for the new house since the old one is lost. (I have been riding my new Cross bike a lot, but not my tri bike, not at all.)

A few days ago I really didn't want to start tracking food again. The hassle!

But these things were all done. I'm scanning food labels with my phone and jotting snacks down on a piece of paper when my phone isn't handy. My hip flexors can feel those intervals from the return trip up the hill from past Vienna. I'm reminding myself that the things done in the darkness and chill of December and January pay off in the bright sunshine of a spring race day. This is all, of course, common knowledge, but sometimes I still have to remind myself.

The funny thing is that it isn't inertia that fights to keep me at home or some dislike of training. I have always loved training (except maybe 800s in the cold on the evening of New Year's Eve), but the difficulty of the scheduling of the workout more than anything. The logistics of the childcare and the timing and making sure we both get enough quiet moments in the day to stay sane. That's not a good reason to miss a workout, but sometimes it is.

Part of the new leaf is working through all that and making this more of a priority. Let's see what can be done in 2013.