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Kick training

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

That's some cool photography! You'd think this blog was cultured, or something...

First, my apologies for going postless for the past 7 days.  No real good excuse – work has been busy, blah, blah, blah.  I actually read a whole book last weekend, cover to cover.  Not only have I not posted in 7 days, I took a good 5 day break from training too.  Not planned, and probably not a good idea, but such is the life of an everyman trying to get into a tri trianing routine… life sometimes gets in the way.  Oh well.

Anyway…

Tonight I hit the pool.  I had a few spare minutes before my swim (Note: really?  what does one do with “free minutes”?), so I did a little internet research about swim drills.  I guess the sites I was reading were really about as reliable as this one is, but I found quite a few suggestions for swim drills.  In short: there’s a metric shittonne of different swim drills one could do, and there’s no way in hell I can do it all.  So I picked one.

Today was all about flutter kicking.  I know I’m an upper body swimmer – goes back to my days of waterpolo where you had to be ready to get your legs under you at any moment, so you learned (or at least I did) to swim almost exclusively with your upper body.  So I know I need to get better with my swim kick.  Thus, I spent a full 60 minute swim training session focused on my kick.

The drill is simple, according to an article from beginnertriathlete.com:

The kick provides four different functions … all of them important. The first function is to provide propulsion. The second is to provide lift. The third is to create part of the stabilizing force for the arm pull, which begins with the body counter-rotation and ends with the hardest of the 6-beat kicks. The fourth is to maintain a more constant speed (obeying the law of inertia).

It goes on to say there are two different types of kicks: The 2 beat kick, and the 6 beat kick (apparently there is no such thing as a 4 beat kick… ’cause that would be too easy).  About the 2 beat kick, it says:

A two-beat kick really only provides two of the four functions: some lift and a contribution to a stabilizing force for the pull. There is not enough propulsion to speak of with a two-beat kick and the kicks do not occur often enough to sustain speed. By using the two-beat kick, you are giving up on using legs for propulsion

So, “Shit”, I thought… I’d better try this 6 beat kick thing.

The principle is simple: for every arm pull, you kick 3 times (thus for every set of 2 arm pulls, one with each arm, you kick 6 beats… TA DA!!!).  With your left arm pull, you kick Right, Left, Right.  Then with your right arm pull you kick Left, Right, Left.  The arm pull is timed with the first kick.  Everybody still with me, this is rocket science, I know.

Except it’s actually really tough.  I realized really quickly that I currently kick very haphazardly.  Instead of doing three strong kicks with each pull, I do a random number of tiny little flimsy kicks aimed more at keeping my lower half afloat than propelling myself through the water.  But I tried counting my kicks: 1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3… and that’s about as far as I got before I was sinking in the pool and drinking water and splashing more than swimming.  Seriously: really tough.  After a full 60 minute session involving a lot of flutter board work, and a lot counting, it was starting to go better.

Will it help?  Who knows.  But it’s something to work on if nothing else.  I’ll try to stick with it for the next few weeks and see how it goes.  2:1 odds say I don’t drown, any takers?

– DO’G

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My nemesis

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Today I intended to go for a run after work.  Instead, at four o’clock I headed over to The Judge with my lady for an early dinner and a pint.  The food was greasy.  The beer was hoppy.  It was wonderful!  Wonderful, but not so condusive to run training.

But the week overall has gone well, and the weekend is looking to be sunny and free of plans.  Might be able to fit in a few runs, maybe a swim, and perhaps even – gasp – A BIKE RIDE!!!

Holy Shit.  Kinda Stoked! (but maybe that’s the beer talking)

– DO’G

Good to go!

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Who doesn't love tigger?!

What a difference a day off yesterday made!  I feel so full of energy – ready to go!  Maybe it’s the unseasonably warm weather, or maybe it’s being cooped up in a cubicle, but I just want to run.  Get outside, feel the breeze and the sun and go!  Can’t wait for tonight’s training session!  In fact, can I go now (really?  seriously?  get up and leave this cubicle and get started?)

-DO’G

Day Off!!!

March 19, 2012 2 comments

If only I had a hammock...

Including yesterday’s run, I’ve now trained 6 times in the past 5 days.  Yessir, I’m taking today off.  Not the lazy kinda ‘I didn’t get around to it’ day off – a deliberately planned day off so the body can rest and recover.  A day off where I feel content about the work I’ve done.  A day off where I won’t feel guilty for parking my ass on my couch instead of training (or better yet, parking my ass in a chair in the back yard in this unseasonably un-March-like weather).

Tomorrow I’m back at it with a speed training run session followed by a full km endurance swim (yeah, not exactly what my online training plan says – I need to change that already).  Today, I get to relax!

With that in mind, it’s time to punch outta work!

Yabba Dabba Do!!!!

-DO’G

Tuckered out

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

This kid's got the right idea!

I haven’t posted in a few days.   For once, because I’ve been training.  Wednesday I did the escarpment stairs again (and yet again, nearly left my lunch at the top).  Thursday my running buddy and I ran 5k – started off a bit too fast, had a great first half but slowed down considerably down the home stretch.  Then, 2 hours later, I swam a solid 800m.  I was running on fumes and really felt a good solid cardio workout.  I was hoping to do 1km, but I got a late start and the lifeguards kicked me out at closing time.

Yesterday I did my lift session.  The legs were tired from the stairs, and the shoulders were tired from the swim, and I generally ached, but I got through it.  Short.  Sweet.  Really happy with it.

Today I went out for a short 3k run – but I ran it hard, at a much faster than average speed and almost without walking.  A very good quick 3k run.

5 training sessions over 4 consecutive days.  That alone, is a great accomplishment, and I’m really happy with it.  Really happy.  I think the biggest win though was today’s run – at the culmination of all this – that I still ran strong, fast, and with more endurance then I usually have.  It was really good.

But now I’m pooped!  My legs have no energy and I’m kinda ready to go to bed (Note: It’s way too early to go to bed – I’m not that old).  It’s Saint Patty’s day, so I’m having the requisite beer at home on my couch before passing out.

May the walls around us never fall in, and we friends gathered below never fall out!

– My favourite Irish proverb

– DO’G

Go Buckeyes!

March 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Go Buckeyes!!!

March Madness tips off today!  And yes, I have a rooting interest!  My dad went to Ohio State; I was born in Ohio; and often I wonder if I’m an American in denial.  Yes, I get excited about March Madness.  Go Buckeyes!

(what does this have to do with Triathlon?  Not much, really, except watching college sports seriously reminds me of how far I have to go to get my fitness where I’d like it to be… it’s actually kinda motivating)

-DO’G

The brighter side of life

March 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I think we all need one of these in our cupboards!

It was brought to my attention that my last post was a little self-defeating.  I hadn’t realized or intended it that way.  It got me thinking about my subconscious self-perception… if unacknowledged negativity can manifest itself into a simple blog post, it’s probably manifesting itself in my actual training sessions as well.

I got to thinking about how often I hold myself back, because it’s easier to tell myself I can’t do it – and not be surprised when I struggle – then tell myself I can do it and have to live up to that!

But I don’t want that to be me.  I don’t want to be about negativity.  Apparently I don’t always realized when I am holding myself back.

It’s interesting food for though – hard to fix what you’re not aware you’re doing, but making yourself aware is a great first step (I think – ok, in fairness, I’m no shrink so I could be really wrong here but this seems to make a lot of sense).

I may be overweight (fact – not self-deflating).  I may have poor fitness (also fact).  But I can change it.  It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to hurt, but I can change it.  I can.  And I am.  And I will no longer by my worst enemy!  Because that’s what I want for myself!!!

-DO’G

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