Weekly Review – July 5 – 12



I wasn’t guarding this morning, so I had the chance to get my swim in nice and early. It was a wondrous affair. The pool was at a great temperature—despite the complaints of some of the regulars.

Since this is the start of an endurance-focused week, I found a longer session on the Competitor website.

The main set consisted of:

2 x {3 x 200 descending (each rep getting faster) on 20 seconds rest}

3 x 100 breathe fives, on 20 seconds rest

It was a nice set to get comfortable with breath control, and helpful for focusing on focus, if that makes sense.

Before lunch, I went out for a run. In deference to the misery of yesterday’s run, today felt great. I took the first couple of miles pretty easy (still at 8:00 a mile, mind).

Then I dropped into some very unstructured fartlek running. The efforts came during the choruses of whatever song was playing, or on the uphills. (During the warm-up, I was listening to an (somewhat unrepresentative) episode of Back to Work.

The run felt great, despite the heat. It reinstated my confidence, after it was knocked a bit last night.

Now, I need to put some time into my dissertation…


This afternoon was a thirty mile bike. I wanted to see if Nick was really telling the truth about the two bike paths I’ve ridden on.

He says the Alum Creek trail is much quieter. The traffic on the Olentangy trail makes it difficult to sustain intensity. And I was looking for somewhere to bury myself for a while.

The thing is, I’ve only ever ridden the Alum Creek trail with Nick on the weekends. Whereas I ride the Olentangy trail by myself all the time. So, today, I headed first to the Alum Creek trail.

It was very quiet. I think I saw maybe seven or eight other cyclists. It’s not as easy to get to from my house. It involves a trip through downtown, including a nice uphill cobbled section (Paris-Roubaix, eat your heart out!). But it’s just so much quieter than the Olentangy trail. Plus, the extra mileage it takes to get there is just easy extra mileage, which is always a boon. So I guess I can’t really complain.



This morning I ran a route I hadn’t run in a while. It heads into Downtown, rather than along the river. With this week being an endurance-focused week, I wanted a longer run, and I don’t like the way I’ve extended the riverside run.

It was a great run. I felt good the whole way. And, miracle of miracles, I didn’t have to poop! I’ve decided to stop drinking as much water while I’m guarding in the mornings. It seems to be working so far.


This evening’s swim set was ‘eclectic’.

We did some band work, which is getting easier. We did some drills. We did some IM.

And then, because I couldn’t handle the session being 1720 metres, I swam an extra few laps to bring me up to 2000 metres for the session.



In honour of Endurance Week, this week’s Wednesday Mile was a mile and a half—2640 metres.

Completed in a little over 47 minutes, with no potty break! Drinking less water seems to be working out in that regard. I just have to remember to make up for it later in the day.

Even though it felt pretty easy, the long swim today reminded me that you never really know the distance of something until you do it. The Ironman swim is 2.4 miles. Another full mile on top of what I swam today.

I have done the distance in a single session before, broken up with drills and sets, and it obviously didn’t kill me. But doing 1.5 miles straight through today showed me the difference between those two modes.

Having a breather every few laps, even if you’re working hard in between, somehow makes the swim feel a lot easier. Swimming all the way through is a mental challenge as much as anything. So, even though it’s kind of frowned on for triathletes to do long, steady-state swims, I’m going to keep doing them—at least for the rest of this season.


I was really tired after work today. I know that shouldn’t be an excuse. But, in the interests of ‘radical honesty’ But I stand for basically six hours straight at work, and my legs were tired when I got home.

But, on the plus side, my boss called this evening to ask if I ‘want tomorrow off’. After a little deliberation, I said yes, thinking it would give me the chance to make some progress on my dissertation, and get some cheeky extra mid-week training in.



And so…

I had to take advantage of the morning off. I decided to catch up on the missed bike ride yesterday. I headed out for forty miles on the bike.

I decided to take find the source of the Alum Creek Trail. That was a mistake. It was in the process of being connected to the highway, and so I had to walk through mud.

And the trail up until the point at which we usually pick it up was pretty bad.

Also, there were sections of the trail that had flooded or were being worked on.

When I got home, I decided I don’t like that trail for solo rides. It’s too twisty, which makes it great for group rides—it’s harder to drop people. When you’re going for sustained intensity over a period of several miles, however, the turns are more curse than blessing.

That said, it was a good ride, and I felt strong right through to the end.

Like I said yesterday, this was an unexpected day off, which I fully intended to make the most of. And so, after lunch with the wife, I headed out for an easy seven mile run. Tim Don refers to this as a ‘soft brick‘.

The run felt good. It was the first time I’ve run off the bike with a ‘medium’ amount of time in between.

I’ve started days on the bike and run in the evenings. And I’ve done (probably too few) brick workouts.

After I got back from the run, I looked at my ‘plan’ and saw that the ride was supposed to be tomorrow, and it was supposed to be fifty miles. Still need to make a canonical version of the training plan and post it somewhere conspicuous.


Masters’ this evening was a revelation.

By the end of a hard set, I was still able to swim eleven 40s, essentially on 40 seconds.

By way of an implicit ‘thank you’, I said to Nick, “I’ve hit all of them on basically 40 seconds. I wouldn’t have been able to do that six months ago.

I’ll take that as progress.



This morning I did a 6 mile acceleration run. And I meant to do it this time. I started out a little fast, which meant that I had to run the last mile in about 7 minutes to keep with the fifteen-second time decreases. (And one of the miles was entirely uphill, for which I was just happy to run the same split as the previous mile.)



Today’s brick session went really well. I found a great bike loop that follows a lot of the bike paths, and otherwise tracks along Columbus’ myriad cycle-ways.

The only downside of the bike was that I forgot to put on my heart rate monitor.

The run did not go so well.

My Garmin has been acting up lately, and today was no exception. I had a workout programmed in to it, and I was excited to try 8 by 1 mile at race pace.

Turns out, the watch was malfunctioning. And 8 by a mile at race pace just wasn’t on the cards (or in my legs, I guess). And the track and the field were full of people, and I got distracted. So I only managed four miles, before heading home, defeated.

Dead iPod

This was a bad ‘bad day’.


This morning was my last long run before MingoMan. I read online that the longest you should run before an Olympic distance race is about 14 miles. And based on my marathon training experience, I figured the best time to do the last long run was about three or four weeks out.

Problem with that is I’m going to be away the weekend that is four weeks out. So I did the long run this weekend.

I started out running along the river, on the route I’ve been running on my morning runs. Then I took myself along the route of the Columbus Marathon.

Columbus Marathon Route

I ran the entire section of the course north of Buttles.

It was a great run, and I managed to negative-split a long run for the first time I can remember. It felt good. I felt strong, and it gave me a lot of confidence for the marathon, and for MingoMan.


What are your thoughts on long, steady-state swims for triathletes?


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