Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Feed and Train the Intensity

Swim Day

1 x 150 Warm-up
3 x 200 Pull- 3:15
4 x 400 Swim- 6:00
1 x 100 BCY kick set
1 x 100 Cool down
Total Yardage- 2550yds

2 x 1:00 Plank
1 x 1:30 Plank

Here we are, the last stretch of training before the race. No more recovery weeks lay between me and Oct. 24th. It needs to be hardcore from here on out. Those thoughts drove me at the pool today, and will keep me fueled every day from here on out. Feeding the Intensity. Making it strong.
Today's swim was great. After I finished writing it up I realized it was about 300 yards longer than I originally planned. "Meh," thought I, "this works." All it means is that as the suggested yardage (which I've ignored the whole time) goes up so does the real yardage. And with today's swim at over 2k, that means soon I'll be spending a whole lot more time in the water.
Which kind of brings me to my next point: Training the Intensity. Today during my 400 set I really tried pushing it hard. I wanted to hit the point where I knew that if I had to get out and ride right away there would be no way that would be any good at all. I need to know where my line is as far as, "I can get this tired in the water, but once I get here I have to dial it back or I'm screwed." This is important to me as I realized deeper and deeper that races like this aren't hard because it's a mile swim, or a 13 mile ride, or a three mile run. They are hard because those three things get stacked back-to-back-to-back. I know that's not an especially deep thought, nor should it be a shocking, "Holy crap! You mean I can't rest between events in a triathlon? WTF?" revelation, but it is an important thing to drill into my brain.
You see, when I was a swimmer I was always a strong finisher. No matter how tired I was I could dig deep that last lap, or last 50, or whatever, and find another gear to drive home hard. I had that trained that into my head and my body by every coach. "Last one, best one," is a phrase just about any athlete will punch you for saying unless you're training them. God, that last one...
But I can't do that here. I can't see the end of the swim coming and step it up, because if I do then I'm stealing energy I'll need during the other two legs of the race. I need to discipline the Intensity so it knows its boundaries. I need to keep the stroke strong and long and measured the whole race, front to back. This I am thinking to myself with every training stroke. And so I swim hard, pushing that line further and further back.


  1. But know going in to this race, that you are the exception to the rule. very triathlete I've ever spoken with struggles with the swim. SO know, getting out of the water, you are probably more refreshed and ready to go then most of the people there. So just think of the swim as the 200 mark of a 500 swim. Time to start your kick, and then for the run, that if your last 50, knock it out.

  2. Keep going Doug. Good motivational thoughts.