Making progress -- 06/05/13

I'm continuing to feel like I am making progress with my attempt at a fitness program and I now think I will be able to handle the quarter mile swim at the start of the sprint triathlon that I want to try. (Of course, there is always the possibility that I may just want to curl up on the beach and take a nap between the swimming and the biking.)

Nancy and I went to the Y together yesterday around lunch time -- she used the treadmill and the elliptical trainer in the main fitness center while I went to the swimming pool. Following Greg's suggestions about my breathing pattern (Greg is my fitness/training coach) has made a big improvement. I was able to do four laps for my long swim (= 200 meters) without ending up totally exhausted and panting for breath.

Today I met with Greg again (before TRX class) and he had me start off with a 200 meter swim. We used a lane along the side of the pool so he could walk along, watching me swim. He noticed something else. My pattern of breathing was much improved but my head was tilted between breaths. You are supposed to be face down, blowing out air -- but although my face was underwater, it was not truly face down, but tilted so that my forehead was partly above water. He said that's like swimming up hill. So I then had to practice keeping the top of my head pointing forward (rather than my forehead). That is a bit more difficult for me when I turn my head to take a breath (without swallowing water) but when I got it right, I was swimming with less effort. This is going to require a lot of practice to get it right, but I feel good because I really am seeing progress.

In today's swim I did a total of 700 meters, with 200 meters being my longest distance. The swimming part of the triathlon is a quarter of a mile -- that's 402 and 1/3 meters. I have seven weeks to get ready. I can do that. After TRX class, I did a 3.3 mile bike race on one of those Expresso bikes (Internet connected). I was almost two minutes off my best time for that particular course, but since that was following all of that swimming plus the TRX session, I don't think that was bad at all.

Jill and I have signed up for a 5k race on Sunday. So far this year I have not run that far, but I have successfully run two miles on two or three occasions (and each time it was after a workout) so I am sure I can add another mile and a tenth and survive -- but just for the sake of confidence, I want to get in a three mile run tomorrow.

So far, I have not knocked off any significant amount of weight. I'm about five or six pounds lighter than I was at the start of the year. Most of my workouts have been more strength training than simple calory burning. (Okay, so some flab has turned to muscle... but not enough.) However, I think my core strength work is now right on target, so what I need to do is to start adding more bike rides (both at the Y and on the bike path) and also beginning to add some running miles to my workout mix, thinking not just of the 5k at the end of the triathlon, but of all of the races that Jill and I want to run this summer. That starts with the 5k this weekend, but there are at least two 4-mile runs and another 5k that we want to run during July and August.

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