Toes in water, a photo by ♪ MissMaryMakk ♪ on Flickr.
Wow. Today I did two workouts that were both wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone. First I did another treadmill interval workout courtesy of Junior. I’d been dreading this one but I wanted to give it a try. Whereas the “Mountain” workout is all about upping the incline (not the speed), the “Treading” workout is about the speed. Which scared me.
Why is it called Treading? Because it’s like treading water and you feel like you’re gonna drown? Or because it’s on a treadmill? I have no idea.
So the drill is that you’re supposed to warm up for five minutes. (love this part)
Then, 5 minutes ALL OUT, maximum heart rate, the fastest you can run. Now this is tricky because if you’ve never done it, how do you know what speed that is? I decided to start out at 6.1, which is just below a 10 minute mile (like 9.5). I know lots of people run entire races sub-10min/mile but that’s not me. Depending on the length of the race I’m anywhere from 12-15 minute mile. But I have always wanted to run at least a 10 minute mile so I thought I’d try it.
I made it four minutes and then I really though I was going to fall over and puke. So clearly that was too fast (heh).
What you’re supposed to do after the 5 minute sprint is to bring it WAY DOWN to walking, to slow your heart rate down for another 5 minutes. I got confused here since I didn’t complete the 5 minutes. So I cooled down and walked for 4 minutes.
The pattern is supposed to be 5 minute ALL OUT, 5 minute recovery. 4 minute ALL OUT, four minute recovery. 3 and 3, 2 and 2, 1 and 1. Repeat.
The four and three minute sprints were hecka hard. They really were. And they reminded me of when I first started to try running. i was probably running at this level and of course couldn’t keep up the pace. So I quit.
I fooled around with the speeds but as I kept going down in the time lapses, I was also getting more and more warmed up (boiling hot is more like it). By the time I got to the one minute interval, I was sprinting at 7.0 for that minute (8.3 minute mile pace, woo hoooooooooo!).
When I got done I went back up to the five minutes and was able to do it at 5.9. It actually felt easier.
Again, like yesterday, I was absolutely drenched in sweat and beet red at the end of this one.
THEN i decided to go in the pool (partly to cool down, because I was dying of heat!). The requirements for the Olympic level triathlon include being able to swim 200 yards with “10 seconds rest” (total?). The lifeguard said the pool is 25 yards long, so… 8 lengths. OK. I bought myself some silicon earplugs (I am so prone to swimmers ear) and some new goggles. I hopped in. The first 2 lengths went OK but then it started being a struggle. I rested a few seconds at the end of each length. I’d estimate I probably rested a total of one minute, and when I finished the 8 I was JELLY. I was panting. I was really really wiped out.
When I got home Mr. McBody asked me what stroke I was doing and I told him Crawl. Because it’s like the only one I remember. He said it would be a good idea to alternate breast stroke or others (side?) because then I can get a rest from the breathing. I knew my breathing pattern was super inefficient and just WRONG, and it was pooping me out. I can’t wait to get some good coaching on this.
I haven’t swam laps since I was pregnant with Juniorette. She’s 17 now, so…. a long time ago.
Both of these workouts were very, very humbling today but i was glad I pushed myself out of the comfort zone. It reminded me of when I first started running. There has to be some equivalent of couch to 5k for swimming right? (probably alternating strokes or some such) In any case, I am very glad I’m going to get some training in this area because I sure as heck need it.
July 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm
intervals! “treading”–what a weird name for THAT! bc that sounds like sprints! (that’s my usual workout–i wanna go fast, but then i gotta go slow…)
July 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Check out swimsmooth.com. Cool info there, specially on breathing 🙂
July 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Thanks so much!! I need this!
July 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Ah yes, high-intensity interval training (HIIT). I used to do a HIIT routine that had me running ALL OUT for a minute, then “recovery” for two minutes. I’d go from 4 mph up to 9 mph (I called that the Six Million Dollar Man speed because my legs were going so fast) and then back down (interspersing each fast minute, with two minutes walking at 3.5 mph). Going that fast was NOT good for me and I only did it a handful of times.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading and am so freaking impressed that you’re going to do a tri!! Oh, and I’d totally be doing the side stroke or breast stroke!
July 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Keep up the swimming! 200 yards will feel like nothing in no time. Also, I suggest doing your dryland (what we swimmers call any workout that’s not in the water) after swimming. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like an overcooked noodle if I hop in the pool after dryland. It’s awful! My “twitch” muscles just don’t want to budge.
Re: breathing patterns for freestyle (aka crawl)… the way I was coached was to breathe every three strokes during practice, unless we were doing breathwork (competition is another story). Nowadays, people are often told every other stroke, but I find that it makes me kinda dizzy. But if you’re doing a tri, you probably want to practice taking a few strokes at a time with your head down, then head up (also exhausting) so you can see the buoy and your competitors. The start of a tri is usually quite a traffic jam of bodies and limbs.
July 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Thank you for the fascinating and counterintuitive advice! (see, I know nothing). I thought it would feel awesome to jump in the cool pool after doing my treadmill workout, but in retrospect, yeah I was an overcooked noodle. Or something. I’ll try it in opposite order next time. (or maybe just focus on one at a time)
Also thanks for the breathing advice. The idea of swimming this tri with a “traffic jam” of bodies and trying to see a buoy (in salt water! yikes!!!!!) is making me want to cry right now, but… okay. I am doing this. AGHHHHHHH!
July 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm
LOVE YOU!!!!!! so proud – I so couldn’t do that on the treadmill (picture Lucy on a treadmill) – it would be dangerous and i wouldn’t have Ethel to help me 🙂 Swimming? YAY!!!!! Gosh I could say so much about this cuz I’m just starting myself too. 8 laps crawl just starting is really good! And yes, for me, I TOTALLY count alternating strokes! Plus, since I’m not taking a test, I use buoy and kickboard too – but I just keep on moving… truckin truckin truckin. So now I’m doing more than half with toys and the rest with crawl/breast. Next time – I’m going to bump the crawl/breast a smidge… little by little. stroke by stroke. So proud of you!
July 3, 2011 at 9:44 pm
I want to swim with toys!!!
July 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm
I would be out of my comfort zone too! I am not a fan of sprinting. Good job for doing it and taking a risk!!
July 4, 2011 at 2:48 am
Wow, sounds pretty tough. You got me inspired, time to tread some water… 🙂 Petra
July 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm
good luck! good luck! i am so scared of swimming! ive had lots of lessons but scared of water, i hate getting wet (though i tolerate it to take a shower, in the interest of cleanliness).