Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's All About The Breathing

This morning I went to Toga to go buy a replacement bike tube for Caroline and to have my bike get a tune-up and check on the brakes. I've also noticed the last couple times while riding that the MPH sensor might have been on the fritz (just temporarily both times, but it seemed like I should just ask while I was there). I was expecting that it would be about a $50 expense for the tune-up, since that's what the sign says at the shop. I only had to wait about 20 minutes for them to check out the bike. When they brought it back upstairs, the girl rang me up and my total was only $12 (for the two tubes I purchased). I asked about the cost of the tune-up and she told me that since I had bought my bike there, all basic tune-ups for the life of the bike are free! What a nice start to the day!

I then spent the afternoon hanging out at home since it was pouring rain (no surprise there!). Luckily, when I headed out to swim practice, there was a break in the rain. Sarah was coaching today. She said that we would be doing some longer sets today. This was the workout:

400 Warm-Up
300 Drill (one arm / thumb drag)
200 Kick
100 Build
2 x 500 (broken into 100's - 0:05 Rest) 1:00 RI
Flip turns
100 Cool-Down

Total: 2100 meters = 1.30 miles
Time: 1:00:49
Calories: 628
Max HR: 185
Average HR: 151

The drill portion I did 200 using just one arm and the other 100 I did doing the thumb drag drill (where you drag your thumb up the side of your body in order to get your elbows up). The 2 x 500s were broken into 100s, but there was only 0:05 rest between each 100, so it was mostly like swimming a 500. The first 500 we were supposed to keep at an even pace for each 100. The second 500 was supposed to increase in speed for each 100. I'm not sure that I really did that as I just get so tired by the end. One of the other girls in my lane said she doesn't think that it's fair that we're working so hard on the last 100 and going slower than the first 100. I tend to agree.

After the first 500, Sarah asked all of us who could do a flip turn. She said that those of us who raised our hands should try to do them on the second 500. I told her my ear problem and how I feel like my whole head gets clogged with water and she said that it was all about the breathing and she'd help me after the second 500. So, once we were done with the swimming, she broke us up into groups and had us practice flipping. I asked her and she said that as long as I blow out of my nose the entire time I'm flipping, I shouldn't have any ear problems. I did it a few times and she was right! I must have been holding my breath a couple of weeks ago when I was doing it and that was the problem.

For the last 100 cool-down, I practiced flip turning while swimming and breathing out and I didn't have any trouble at all. I guess now that I know the trick, I'll have to try to incorporate this into practice more often. Sarah said that if we work on this over the winter (off season), we'll definitely see results next year in our swimming. Even though there are no flip turns in races and a lot of triathletes say that they don't see the point, the extra second of rest that we're giving ourselves at the wall when we turn without flipping does add up and does give us that extra rest that we wouldn't have in a race. I can see both sides of the argument, but I would like to try it more often going forward and see how it goes.

Also, I know that I was mostly worried about not pushing myself hard enough while swimming and that was the reason for the HR monitor. Obviously, I wasn't too worried about that at Terrier practice as the workouts are usually pretty hard. It was more on my own that I'm concerned. I really wanted to wear the monitor today so that I could have a good comparison for when I'm swimming by myself to see how I'm doing then. I'm hoping to swim with Laura on Wednesday morning, so we'll see how that goes.

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