Sunday, 11 November 2018

Tired legs

I've run both days this weekend, just as I have for many weekends before. Even the same routes! Both runs have felt very hard work, my legs have been heavy and lacking power whilst overall I've felt simply tired. I pushed on, walked as necessary and both days I've completed at pretty much the usual pace.

I wonder if I can blame swimming for my lethargy, at least in part, as this is the first week that I've swum for over an hour in the week since May. Some of that swimming was done with the ToyBuoy but it was still exercise and I have been trying to 'engage the core' and 'lift my legs' throughout so it will have had some impact on me. It is notable that my faster Sunday runs tend to be when I haven't done a run on Saturday; the back-to-back arrangement is tiring.


It's also been arduous at work and I've even had to do some tasks over the weekend, which is quite unusual for me, so I suspect my 'stress bucket' is overflowing.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Ooo, neck pain

After a hard day writing a lecture I just had to go swimming yesterday. I'd half planned to do it but didn't have a pull buoy and didn't bother taking the snorkel. That meant I had to swim unaided! I set myself a 1000m target with an intention to do bilateral breathing whenever possible after the usual 200m warm up.

I found that I could only manage a 3 stroke cycle every 5 breaths or so, meaning a few times per length. Certainly my stroke was scrappy and I could tell that I was letting my right arm fall as I breathed to the left. I also felt that the first stroke after such a breath was ineffective. I don't think my roll was well controlled, especially to the left, which always felt like a heave to breathe rather than smooth positioning. Anyway, after 26 minutes of struggling I'd completed the task. This wasn't an attempt at a time trail, more an exercise to see how much I could cope with bilateral breathing. Not very much it appears without a pullbuoy.

This morning I awoke with a stiff neck which has been troublesome all day despite some attempts to stretch. Now I'm trying to decide whether the pain has come from doing 80% of the swim with unilateral breathing and struggling to do 20% bilaterally and badly. Until I hurt my elbow I did nearly all swims with unilateral breathing but I'd built into that. Recently I've been focussing on bilateral breathing in various guises. So perhaps I simply twisted to the right too much. I hope the muscles relax overnight.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Some swim gains but at what cost?

Today's swim was basically the same as last Monday's although I went a little faster throughout. I could have had a better pace as I was blocked on the warm up and during the pullbuoy main set. There was probably little to be gained in the main set as I lapped a swimmer three times and made quite an effort to pull past so gained a few seconds there.

However even before starting the swim my elbow was stiff - Thursday's snorkel rekindled the elbow pain and it only settled a little over the weekend. I'll keep an eye on how it develops.

More positively I felt that bilateral rotation was better controlled today and I was keeping a leading arm forwards more consistently. Strangely the SPL was slightly greater for bilateral breathing with the ToyBuoy than for right side only breathing with a kick; not what I'd have expected.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Some swim gains

This evening's swim went better than usual, perhaps because I'd not run yesterday and wasn't physically fatigued. The warm-up 200m felt a little easier and faster and indeed was, at 4:42 minutes. Not fast, but clearly below 5 minutes.

I then set out to swim 1000m with the ToyBuoy to help me maintain bilateral breathing but with less support than with the BigBuoy. The pool had lots of fast youngsters and so I was under pressure to keep going so as not to be in the way. Naturally I lost count and had to stop to look at my watch, and even then it miscounted.

Overall I swam for over 30 minutes which is a distinct point that I've not gone beyond in months - hopefully my arm won't be too sore tomorrow. Second, my time for the 1000m was good at 22:23 minutes. Of course I can't include this in my 1000m achievements as it was assisted by the pull buoy, but good to see that I am now starting to manage my breathing.

During the swim I was aware that some strokes were tidier than others, with a good leading arm and not collapsing on breathing. Breathing to my left tends to be weaker, my lead arm is more likely to drop and I feel as though my head is lifting and twisting rather than being part of a controlled roll.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Simply wet

The weather forecast was spot on, 95% chance of rain and it was. Anyway I was out of the house so committed to my usual 13km cruise to Oxstones. When I first bought the Garmin HRM-Tri I was interested in the R/L contact balance especially as I was always lop-sided. Then I forgot about it and noted that I was drifting closer to 50:50. Today's run is interesting in that I averaged 50:50 but started off to one side and moved across to the other.

If I'd been on a cambered road and gone 'there and back' it would be easy to explain. On a trail run where I was running around puddles it's hard to explain other than by linking to fatigue (or that the device simply drifts as it changes temperature and is thus useless?).

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Hot 'n' humid

It's amazing that the average temperature on today's run was 21.5ÂșC, and I'd guess upper 90%s humidity. Initially it was raining so I was 'boil in the bag' with a jacket on but feared I'd have too much wind chill without it. Luckily on Houndkirk Road the wind was behind me and that meant I achieved a Strava achievement for the first time in ages.


It's become increasingly harder to receive one of these as I'm being more cautious in training and getting older every day. Also today should have been run at an easy pace although the heart rate data suggests I isn't take it quite easy enough.


I took a few photographs of autumnal leaves but they are all rubbish as there was so little light they are grainy and blurred.

Monday, 8 October 2018

1km point re-achieved

I'll admit that today's 1100m swim was in 2 sets and I was assisted by the pullbuoy but the point is that I still swam just over the 1km mark and was moving for just over 25 minutes. That feels like progress, so long as I can move my arm tomorrow morning!

Just as a reminder, the pullbuoy set was all bilateral breathing and I put effort in towards the end and brought the pace to 2:05min/100m. Mostly I took it pretty easy, focussing on form, especially keeping my right leading arm high whilst breathing.