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Elise's Fitness Fun

  1. A Sense of Accomplishment

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 08:49 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    As I figured, after yesterday's bike ride, my legs were dead. This time I was o.k. with that fact. Went out for a 4 mile recovery run. Sunny with temps at 80 degrees.

    I chuckled to myself when a man passing me going the other way on the trail said, "Isn't it too hot to be running?" He was walking.

    I responded, "It probably is." He was, of course, right. I giggled, realizing that it is understandable why normal people think exercise nuts like myself are OCD.

    Anyway, went as slow as a snail, taking 41 minutes to run 4 miles. Still, I was o.k. with this, especially since I had no pains while running. I actually felt a sense of accomplishment in getting the task done with dead legs.

    Hit the pool and did a recovery swim. Talked a bunch during my warm-up and went really slow during the workout. My average HR was 119 for the whole workout.

    Here is the workout:

    600 warm-up: 400 Reverse I.M. - one-arm drill on fly; 2 x 100 build free on :30 rest.

    Main set: 4 x 300 easy free (swim perfect stroke) on :30 rest

    Easy 200 kick with fins to loosen up legs (This felt great!)

    Total: 2000 yards


    Thoughts: I am debating doing some kind of race in the next three weeks. I may do something insane like swim the 1000 at the St. Pat's Day meet in Atlanta, or I may do a 5k running race. I'm learning that it is better to compete in something more often than once every few months. Especially as I get older, I'm learning that your body has to be used to reving the engine to get the most out of a meet/race.

    Until my running legs come back, I am going to swim 3 times a week, but I think only one of those times can be hard. The other two times will have to focus on perfect stroke and drills. Same with the biking. I hope to put in 3 bike rides a week, with 2 of them being easy.

    I really would like to be going harder at everything, but as I have learned the hard way, when you are getting started on triathlon training and balancing three different sports, you really have to be careful not to overdo it on the intensity. Once you build a base, you can go to 2 intense/demanding workouts a week in each discipline.

    Hoping this week to add some "easy speed" to my running. Running at speeds of 9 or 10 minute miles is getting a little old. I may try doing an easy warm-up of a 2 miles and then see if I am comfortable running under 8:00 for one mile (I'd warm down at least a mile after doing this one.) If I'm going to do a 5k in 3 weeks, I would like to be able to run it maintaining an 8 minute pace. If I'm not there yet, then will try one in April.

    Updated March 9th, 2009 at 09:00 PM by elise526

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. Size vs. Determination

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 06:01 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Between 2 P.M. and 4 P.M. on Sunday afternooon is what I call "Siesta Time in the Rural South." After getting up early on Sunday morning to go to Sunday School, church, and then Sunday dinner with the family, by 2 P.M. many folks have hit the bed or couch for some nap time. Taking a nap Sunday afternoon is very much a part of the culture.

    Thought I would take advantage of Siesta Time and go for a bike ride. Took the no-aero-bars bike out for a steady state ride of 20 miles. What a beautiful day to ride! Sunny with temps in the upper 70s. Saw very little traffic and no dogs. Guess the dogs were taking a siesta with their owners.

    Info about ride:
    Rode solo
    Rolling hills
    Total time: 1:03 (19mph)
    Average HR: 160
    Out-and-back course

    Going out, I had to ride into a headwind, It took me about 34 minutes going out and only 29 only coming back. I do take a few minutes to spin at an easy speed when I start, so that probably accounts for some of the difference coming back.

    Came across the below article last night. I'm sure this is obvious to many, but still interesting to read. I was talking to somebody I know that was big into runnning and they said that the ideal running weight for men was double their inches and for women it was double their inches minus 20 pounds. So, to be at my ideal running weight, I should weigh 118 to 120? If I got that skinny, I would hope my husband would be considering committing me. I wonder how good my 50 fly would be at that weight? Not!

    I'm between 5'9" and 5'10," and the last three years, my weight has generally been between 140 and 150, although it has dropped as low as 134. I did my best triathlon at 140. Any lighter and I seem to lose my biking power. I've noticed that most of the elite female triathletes are around this weight if they are as tall as I.

    Anyway, when I read articles like the one below, it always makes me ask myself why I am bothering to run.



    Bigger Is Better, Except When It’s Not
    Filip Kwiatkowski for The New York Times





    By GINA KOLATA
    Published: September 27, 2007
    LOOKING back, Dr. Michael Joyner thinks he chose the wrong sport when he became a distance runner. He should have been a swimmer or a rower.
    Skip to next paragraph Tim de Waele/Corbis
    Levi Leipheimer, 5-foot-7, 136-pound cyclist. He was third in this year’s Tour de France and won this year’s United States pro race.

    Enlarge This Image
    Al Bello/Getty Images
    Michael Phelps, 6-foot-4, 195-pound swimmer. Seven gold medals and five world records at this year’s world championships.



    Dr. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic, was fast — he ran a marathon in 2 hours 25 minutes. But, at 6-foot-5, and 175 pounds at his lightest, he was simply too big to be great.
    It turns out that there are rules governed by physics to explain why the best distance runners look so different from the best swimmers or rowers and why being big is beneficial for some sports and not others.
    That does not mean that parents should push their children into a sport based on their body type, exercise physiologists say. Most people who run or swim or do other sports, even competitively, do it because they love the sport, not because they are aiming for the Olympic Games. Many also choose a sport because they discover they are good at it.
    For example, Dr. Niels H. Secher, an anesthesiologist, exercise researcher and rower at the University of Copenhagen, started rowing when he was 14. He always was big — he weighs 205 pounds — and he immediately loved to row and went with it. “If it works well, you think you are great and you follow up on your success,” he said.
    But understanding why body size matters in certain sports can open your eyes to other possibilities, exercise researchers say.
    “I’ve told people: ‘You’re tall. Why not try swimming?’” Dr. Joyner said. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well and anything worth keeping a score is worth posting a good score.”
    The rules of physics say that distance cycling and distance running are for small people. Rowing and swimming are for people who are big. The physics is so exact that when Dr. Secher tried to predict how fast competitive rowers could go, based only on their sizes and the weights of their boats, he was accurate to within 1 percent.
    At first glance, a big rower (and elite male rowers can weigh as much as 250 pounds) may seem to be at a disadvantage trying to row hard enough to push a boat through the water. But because water buoys the boat, weight becomes less of an issue compared with the enormous benefits of having strong muscles.
    Their bigger muscles allow bigger people to use more oxygen, giving them more power. It’s like having a bigger motor, Dr. Secher said. Bigger muscles, with their larger cross-section, also are stronger. And bigger muscles can store more glycogen, their fuel for short intense spurts.
    The same reasoning explains why elite swimmers are big. Great male swimmers often are 6 feet 4 inches tall, and muscular. And because of the advantage that large muscles give for sprints over short distances, the shorter the distance an athlete must swim, the greater the advantage it is to be big.
    Tall swimmers also have another advantage: because swimmers are horizontal in the water, their long bodies give them an automatic edge. “It’s the difference between long canoes and short canoes,” Dr. Joyner said.
    Distance running is different. Tall people naturally have longer strides, but stride length, it turns out, does not determine speed. Running requires that you lift your body off the ground with each step, propelling yourself forward. The more you weigh, the harder you have to work to lift your body and the slower you will be.
    The best runners are small and light, with slim legs. “If you have large legs, you have to move a big load,” Dr. Secher said. “The smaller you are, the better you are.”
    Of course, there are a few exceptions to the scaling rules. There was the Australian runner Derek Clayton, who weighed 160 pounds and set a world marathon mark in 1969.
    And there is Tom Fleming (my coach) who won the New York City Marathon in 1973 and 1975. He is 6-foot-1, and while he ran his fastest marathon, 2 hours 12 minutes, weighing 159 pounds, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 14 minutes weighing 179 pounds. “I tell people that’s the fat-man record of Boston,” he said.
    The tallest elite marathoner today, Robert Cheruiyot, is 6-foot-2. But he weighs only 143 pounds. Most elite male marathoners, Dr. Joyner notes, are between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-11 and weigh between 120 and 140 pounds. In distance running, he said, “you just don’t find many big people.”
    The situation is more complicated for triathletes, who must run and cycle and swim. The size that is best for running and cycling is not good for swimming. Yet in general, swimmers have an advantage, Dr. Secher said. It is easier for a great swimmer to learn cycling and running than for a good runner or cyclist to learn to be a good swimmer. Swimming, he says, is so dependent on technique that it is hard to become proficient as an adult.
    The decision for high school coaches, said Hayden Smith, a cross-country coach at Albion College, is whether to say anything when a young teenager seems set on the wrong sport. He said he kept mum when he was coaching in high school. But, he added, the best high school athlete he ever coached initially went out for football. The football coach refused to let him join the team — he would not give the boy the equipment.
    “He told the kid, ‘You’ll be a great runner,’” Mr. Smith recalled.
    The coach was right. The boy started running and ended up one of the top 10 in the nation.
    No one ever told Dr. Joyner not to run. Injuries, though, finally forced him to look for another sport. He chose swimming, knowing that his size would be to his advantage.
    Dr. Joyner got a coach, worked hard on his technique, and recently ranked 15th swimming a mile in a United States Masters swimming championship race (for people over age 25) . He started too late, he said, to know what he might have been as a swimmer.
    But that is O.K., Dr. Joyner said. He loved running. And there is more to performance than simply having the right sort of body for the sport. There is hard work and rigorous training, and, of course, there is motivation.
    “I always remember something the late Bill Bowerman said at a clinic I attended in the late 1970s,” he added, referring to the legendary distance running coach. “Sometimes what matters is not what dog is in the fight but how much fight is in the dog.”
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  3. Redemption Run

    by , March 7th, 2009 at 04:46 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Went out with my 10 year old to the wildlife park behind the mall. He rode his bike while I ran 3 miles. Much nicer than running on the road - dirt trails, boardwalk, no cars, no loose dogs, and flat!

    Ran the 3 miles in 26:42 (8:54/mile). Focused on lifting my knees higher and being light on my feet. Average heart rate at 162. No pains to report!

    We fed the ducks afterwards. A beautiful day with temps in the upper 70s!

    Thoughts: Although I would have liked to get in a little bit more running this week, I feel like I had a pretty good week. Next week, I would like to get the running back up to 15 miles per week and get a couple of more times in on the bike. Here are weekly totals:

    Swim: 3 workouts, 9500 yards
    Bike: 1 workout, 1 hour
    Run: 4 workouts, 10.75 miles
    Weights: 2 workouts

    Updated March 7th, 2009 at 06:01 PM by elise526

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  4. Healing Waters

    by , March 6th, 2009 at 06:54 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    After yesterday's running fiasco and many-reps-weight workout, I decided the best thing for my body was to hit the pool for an easy workout. Got to the pool after I dropped my son at school and was in the water by 8 AM. This is an hour before the arthritis class, so the water was probably around 86 or 87. For the first time, I did not mind the warm temps as all I wanted to do was loosen up the tired muscles and joints.

    Felt wonderful after this workout :

    400 Warm-up: Alt. 100 free/100 back

    4 x 50 fly drill on 1:00 - 25 rt. arm /25 lt.
    8 x 25 fly drill on :45 - underwater pull portion of fly -recovery is underwater

    4 x 50 back drill on 1:00 - 25 rt. arm/25 lt.
    4 x 50 back pull on 1:00 - paddles only

    2 x 50 breast kick on back on 1:15
    2 x 50 breast kick with pull buoy on 1:15
    2 x 50 breast pull with dolphin kick on 1:15
    2 x 50 breast with 3 second glide on 1:15

    4 x 50 free pull with buoy only on :50
    4 x 50 free drill on 1:00
    #1: 3 strokes/12 kicks on rt. side/3 strokes/12 kicks lt. side
    #2: 3 strokes/6 kicks
    #3 3 strokes/3 kicks
    #4 Regular stroke

    Total yards: 2000

    Notes:

    1. Fly drills - work timing on first set and feel of water/pull on second set.
    2. Back drills - Work rotation
    3. Breast drills - My kick is as wide as a barn , so first four 50s were designed to focus on narrowing up kick. Rest of 50s were timing and feel of the water drills.
    4. Free drills - I have a weak pull and a strong kick, so the goal here was to work the pull. The last four 50s were used to focus on rotation.

    Later in the afternoon, took the bike out that has a compact crank and 12/27 gearing. This bike does not have a computer or aero bars. I like to use this bike when I want a nice recovery ride. Having a computer or aero bars temps me to go hard.

    Rode right at an hour. Have no idea how fast I went or how far I rode. My average HR was 122 for the entire ride and I spun the whole way (kept in low gear and had high rpm).

    Interesting sights along the way as usual. I live in a rural area and am blessed in that I can walk out my front door and hop on the bike. This set-up, however, has its downfalls. Leash laws are disregarded and a couple of 1/2 mile stretches can be somewhat isolated which is not always a safe thing for a woman.

    Saw a total of six dogs wandering around but I gave my premptive warning which always seems to keep them in their yards. These dogs actually seemed oblivious to my being there. Saw a guy that looked like he was out of the movie Deliverance. Decided that I could out-sprint him if he messed with me. Fortunately, if my bike breaks down, the farthest I am away from my house at any point on the route is 3 miles. Of course, I carry my phone as I would rather my husband come pick me up rather than walk all the way home.

    Updated March 6th, 2009 at 09:09 PM by elise526

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. Bonkville

    by , March 5th, 2009 at 05:04 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Well, making the transition from power workouts to endurance workouts is harder than I thought it would be. Went out for a 4 mile run late in the morning that was supposed to be a nice easy run at a comfortable pace on a lovely sunny day. From the start, I could tell that my legs were dead, probably from yesterday's swim workout. I've been told that I kick way too much when I swim. Is this possible?

    Anyway, not too far into the run, I determined that this was not going to be an easy run. At 3 miles, I had to walk because both my knees were hurting and the right side of my lower back was bothering me. I walked for 5 minutes and battled thoughts of getting old and fat.

    I decided the pain must be my form and resumed my run, trying to pick my knees up a little higher when I ran. It worked! A reminder to me that running slow and easy can be bad for running form. No problems the rest of the way in, but still it took me a long time to finish this run - 41 minutes.

    Later in the day, hit the weight room for some light weight/high reps action:

    Lat pull-downs: 95 x 5 x 15 - 20 sec. rest btwn each set
    Military press: 30 x 5 x 15 -20 sec. rest btwn each set
    Standing tricep pull-downs: 30 x 5 x 15 - 20 sec. rest btwn each set
    Dumbbell alternating hammer curls: 10 x 5 x 15 - 20 sec. rest btwn each set

    Would love to superset, pairing lat pull-down with military press and triceps with hammer curls, but gym is too crowded to make this possible. Easier to monopolize one machine for 5 sets.


    Thoughts: I truly have a love/hate relationship with running. I really would like to get back to a decent level as there are many more opportunities around here to compete in 5ks or triathlons than USMS meets. I really enjoy the sprint triathlons the most for social reasons and because of the shape I get in training for them. I've done an aqua bike event, but somehow felt like I was whimping out in not doing the whole thing.

    To get my running back up to gear, I may have to put the pull buoy on more to save my legs or simply cut back on my swimming yardage. I don't like the pull buoy as it slows me way down. Yes, I'm one of those that slows down with the pull buoy on, and when you just put paddles on me, I really speed up.

    Anybody out there started back to running and kept their swimming up to 10,000 -12,000 yards a week? I would love to hear ideas on balancing this amount of yardage with 20 to 25 miles of running (my goal weekly running mileage).

    Updated March 6th, 2009 at 11:25 AM by elise526

    Categories
    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Another good session at the pool

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 08:31 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Late in the afternoon, did an easy 1.5 mile jog/walk with my 10 year old son. Walked 1/4 mile, jogged a mile in 9:46, and walked 1/4 mile. Jumped in the car and headed to the pool where I did the following workout:

    Warm-up: 200 (got there a little late)
    4 x 25 build on :30

    10 x 100 back on 1:40 (held 1:15-1:20; last one was 1:14)

    100 easy

    10 x 100 50 free/50 fly kick with board (no fins) on 1:40 (held 1:20 to 1:22)

    100 easy

    6 x 25 on :30 hard

    150 easy

    4 x 50: alternate 50 free pull, 50 fly pull on 1:30. Focused on perfect form.

    4 x 25: 12.5 underwater/12.5 fast fly (with fins) on :45

    200 easy cool-down

    Total yards: 3300
    Workout time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Average HR: 146 (minimum HR was 81 and max was 189)

    I have noticed my legs seem to be the first to go in a race, so on second set of 100s, put the 50 kick on end. Also, thought it would be some good core work. The set with the kicks was harder than I thought it would be. Didn't realize how much energy kicking uses!

    Updated March 6th, 2009 at 11:26 AM by elise526

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Endurance Swim

    by , March 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Hit the pool this afternoon determined to begin my quest to regain endurance in the pool. Haven't done this type of workout much in the last three years, so a bit of an adjustment.

    Warm-up: Reverse 400 I.M. (one-arm fly)
    4 x 25 build on :30

    1 x 500 Pull on 7:00
    right into
    2 x 400 swim on 5:45
    right into
    3 x 300 on 4:30
    swim first 250 free, kick last 50
    right into (actually took an extra 30 seconds here to explain next set)
    4 x 200 on 3:00
    First 150 is free, last 50 is back
    right into
    5 x 100 kick with fins on 1:30

    200 easy

    Total: 4200 yards
    Average HR 159
    Time of workout: 1 hour, 5 minutes
    Calories supposedly burned: 1000

    Water was a little warm, so I'm not surprised HR is a little up there. Still, according to heart rate testing I've had done, I supposedly stayed in my aerobic zone.

    Updated March 6th, 2009 at 11:27 AM by elise526

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Short 'n Sweet

    by , March 1st, 2009 at 08:03 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Usually take Sundays off, but decided to get a real short workout in to start the week off well. Headed to the weight room and did the following:

    2 mile run in just under 18 minutes: first mile at 9:31 pace, second mile at 8:13 pace.

    1/4 mile easy jog/walk

    Weights:

    Lat pull-downs: 5 sets of 90 x 15
    Military press: 5 sets of 30 x 15
    Bicep curls: 5 sets of 10 x 15

    Thoughts:

    Have enjoyed somewhat of a break from regular swim workouts since the Auburn meet. Felt a little burned out after the meet and not sure whether I should be focusing on sprint events. I'm hoping to swim SCY Nationals in 2010 since it will only be a two hour drive away. Not sure what events I want to focus on for that meet, but am hoping to decide by June and take a year to seriously train for them.

    In the meantime, for the next three months I am hoping to work on my endurance and take a break from power training. On my weights, I'm focusing on light weights and higher reps. I'm considering the possibility of doing sprint triathlons if I can get my running back. I'm a good bit off where I was six years ago as I was running 5ks at a 6:43/mile pace and 10ks at a 7:07/mile pace. Will see how things progess in the next month.

    I'm hoping to return to more swim workouts this week, primarily working endurance and doing more mid-distance work. May do the Dynamo meet at the end of March and the Athens meet in early June. I imagine I'll still do the shorter events for fun as I do not have a base to take on the mid-distance events yet. Anyway, the next three months will be a matter of making up my mind as to what swim events I want to do in 2010.

    Updated March 1st, 2009 at 08:24 PM by elise526

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    Uncategorized
  9. Mind over matter

    by , February 28th, 2009 at 07:42 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Well, after being inspired by fellow bloggers, I decided to start a blog. I'm also hoping that any masters swimmers out there that have dysautonomia will be encouraged by this blog.

    I'm 42 and have been dealing with a diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia (hyperadrenergic form) since 2006. For those that have never heard of the disorder, you can find more info about it at the Dysautonomia Information Network: http://www.dinet.org/pots_an_overview.htm.

    I have been on beta blockers and fludrocortisone, but due to side effects from these medications, with the permission of my cardiologist, I have opted to go off these medications. Instead, I have attempted to make dietary and lifestyle changes.

    Exercise intolerance is one of the symptoms of this disorder, so training and staying in shape can be rather challenging at times. I usually wear a heart rate monitor when exercising (even when I swim) which is helpful to me in keeping symptoms under control.

    Below is what I did this past week. In the future, I hope to blog my workouts on a daily basis.

    Saturday, February 21

    Picked up my bike from the repair shop. I had not ridden it in 7 months, so it was in need of a tune-up. Rode an easy 12 miles, averaging about 16 miles an hour. A great day to do a ride with little wind and temps in the mid-60s.

    Sunday, February 22

    Went out to the track with my son to help him prepare for a kid's duathlon in April. First run workout for him, so took it pretty easy:

    400 easy jog
    3 x (200 walk, 200 easy speed)
    400 easy jog
    400 easy speed
    400 walk

    Monday, February 23

    Biked 12 miles - same route. Since I had scouted the route on Saturday and seen no dogs, I felt o.k. to get down in my aero bars. Kept RPMs over 90. Kept it easy but went a little faster than last time, averaging 16.6 mph. There was a slight wind and temps were in the upper 40s. Wore my shoe covers for this ride.

    In the afternoon, I hit the pool and basically did an easy 1000 consisting of the following:

    200 Reverse I.M. - one arm on the fly
    300 easy kick with fins - 100 on side, 100 on back, and 100 on side
    200 alternated 25 right arm/25 left arm fly
    300 - 100 easy free, 100 back, 100 easy free

    Tuesday

    Off

    Wednesday

    Unexpected rain, so had to hit the treadmill. Ran an hour at 10 min. per mile. At each mile (ran six miles), I would up my speed another 1 mph for a total of 30 seconds and drop the pace back down. Followed the run with some light weights - lat pulldowns and bicep curls.

    Thursday

    A perfect day to ride with little wind and temps in the upper 60s. Picked up the pace a little on my 12 mile route and was able to average 18 mph for the ride. While focusing on my form and RPM, I was startled by some dogs that came out of nowhere. One ran right along side of me, but I was able to get away.

    Later in the day, helped my son with his running again. Alternated walking 1/2 mile with running 1/2 mile for two miles. Averaged around 4 minutes on the 1/2 miles.

    Hit the pool after that and did the following workout:

    500 warm-up

    5 x 100 back on 1:45 - descend each 100 - did 1:35, 1;27, 1:23, 1:20, 1:13.

    100 easy

    28 x 50 on :55 - 6 x 50 alternating 50 one arm fly, and 50 back; 6 x 50 dolphin kick (no fins); 6 x 50 alt. 50 one arm fly, 50 back; 6 x 50 dolphin kick; 4 x 50 back

    200 easy

    Total: 2700 yards

    Friday, February 27

    Had hoped to swim, but storms kept the pool closed. Hit the treadmill and did a 3 mile run, averaging 10 minute miles.

    Saturday, February 28

    Plans to swim were once again thwarted. Instead, got in a 4 mile run and averaged about 9:43 per mile. Heart rate average for the run was 150. Noticed that when I was mindful to do deep breathing on the run, my heart rate would drop down. Noticed this also on my recovery walk after the run. Forceful exhalation and deep inhalation seem to make my heart rate drop faster than it usually does.

    Updated March 4th, 2009 at 08:38 PM by elise526

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