So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Aquatic Alchemy

How do you know when you're fatigued & would benefit from an easier easy day, or a day off? If you have an easy day scheduled and the effort seems hard, or you have cross-training scheduled and the effort seems understand where I'm going here, I hope. Case in point: I hadn't raced in three months; so I jumped into a local, low-key 5,000-meter road race last weekend to show good-will (the race organizer serves as public safety coordinator on the island where we produce a couple of events) & to test my fitness. At the worst I could call it a hard workout without too much shame. While I ran 15-20 seconds slower than my typical 5K result this time of year (blame that nasty little headwind on the outbound) the rest of the performance was pretty much to my satisfaction.
Sunday morning's eight-miler was a trudge. No worries; a couple of years back, one of the guys I used to run with always said: 'the day after a hard race, run easy; the day after a good race, run easy.' Naturally, it was more difficult to run easy after a good race; you were stoked over your fitness, blah, blah, blah... But I think every one of us were a little beat from recent efforts, so it wasn't a bad morning...if you look past the ten pounds of used kitty litter in an eight-pound bag feeling in your legs.
The one place I always find out how badly beat down (beat up?) I am in the physical sense is the pool. You can fake the track or the road by altering the course to make your effort easier. The pool, however, is another story. Well, I stand corrected. You can fake the pool if you're swimming a solo workout by lengthening the intervals, or in my case, use the entire interval. If you're not training alone and you have a bad day you either pray for them to be hurting worse than you, or hope like hell your lane-mates won't water polo (for those of you who haven't seen water polo, it's a legalized form of the dunk tag you used to play as a kid in the neighborhood pool, with a volleyball added to make it look like a sport) your sorry @$$ when they catch you on the fourth of six 150s or 200s.
A bad day in the pool can be told by how the water feels. For me, the water becomes the consistency of peanut butter; you're getting a good catch on the strokes, but man, that pull is a complete and utter bee-yotch. Maybe I would have benefited from taking Friday - my normal rest day - off, rather than putting my Speedo Aquabeat MP3 player through its paces. I decided, since we had a non-training day (and a 59-minute hit) to make up for missing Tuesday morning's swim; (refer back to my comments in You Love The Thunder...Not!) disregarding my own hit the pool for an hour. I decided to do 60 x 40yds freestyle on the 60. For those of you doing the math, that's 2400 yards of swimming. I averaged between 44 and 47 seconds for each repeat. For those of you who coach swimmers or swim well, you know that's not impressive. When you extrapolate that workout out to a 50yd pool, it was probably 40 x 50yds on the 1:15, averaging between 55 and 59 seconds for each.
Ah, but it was fun. Now we can get back to the schedule the way it should be. I'll get a rest day somewhere. Probably while I'm flying to Dubai.

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