Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stupid Human Tricks & Workouts

Honest, R rated reading ahead.  You've been warned.

A lot of folks have these last two weeks of the year off (or take them as vacation to travel/be with family). I think its great.  What I'd like to warn you about is being roped into dumb workouts that could end up slowing your progress as an athlete.

1) 100 x 100 on the 100 or any other long, boring set.

This is a swimming workout of 100 yards or 100 meters (depending on your group) where you swim 100 repeats of 100 yards/meters on an interval.  Skip this workout.  

There are many reasons: 1) If you haven't been doing (aka: going) 6,000 - 8,000 yards in a long session for several weeks, you risk injury or strain on your shoulders 2) Long slow distance equals long slow athlete 3) Monotony 4) Mental engagement in the session.  Monotony does not equal Ironman success.

Personally, If I am going to do 10,000 yards - I'd like some thought behind the session.  Trust me.  In college, my coach was all about big volume.  Volume is good to a point.  But then you need to BLAST out of that steady rhythm and funk.  Swimming is a great place to do it, if done wisely.  100 x 100 or 40 x 200 are good sets if used properly and there are intervals that CHALLENGE you mentally as well as physically.

You still want to do 100 x 100 because "you've always done it"?  Fine... try this: 

10x 100 Warm up - 100 swim, 100 back, 100 kick, 100 pull, 100 swim (repeat); no rest into the next set
10x 100 @ 30 sr 100 free, 100 IM (still part of the warm up); no rest into the next set
10x 100 @ 30 sr 100 free, 100 back; no rest into the next set
10x 100 @ 20 sr pull, breathing every 3/5 by 50; no rest into the next set
10x 100 @ 10 sr build each 100
5:00 rest / bathroom
10x 100 @ 40 sr; long and smooth - every 4th lap any stroke but free
10x 100 @ 30 sr; every 3rd lap head up 25
10x 100 @ 20 sr, build each 100
10x 100 @ 10 sr, strong
10x 100 @ 5 sr, all out

Or...

20x 100 Warm up @ 15 sec rest (swim, kick, IM, pull, swim)
40x 100 build 100s to fast 1<5 6<10 etc @20 sr
5:00 rest / bathroom
40x 100 - 2 hard, 1 easy @ 10 sr

There... that is a much better (and interesting) 10,000 yards.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY PREPARED.  YOU WILL GET HURT.

2) Going "balls out" during an endurance cycling workout.

I teach a 2 hr computrainer workout on Saturday's.  There are a few guys who are riding TOO HARD. I have spoken to them. I've lowered their wattage.  I've slapped heart rate monitors on them.  They still ride with their ego (euphemism) for their brain. 

Long sessions are just that... your long ENDURANCE session.  Now, if you haven't been used to holding a certain wattage for a 2 hr session, then you should build into that now shouldn't you?  

I swim approximately 3,000 - 5,000 yards before the long computrainer session.  Once looking at my heart rate on the warm up sets, I lower my wattage accordingly so my power AND my heart rate are in the "right zone".  

Make no mistake... I WILL be cracking down on the macho men/women this in January sessions.

3) Running HARD with the long run group.  

Similar to the Saturday computrainer macho men, I see this every long run to.  I do my long run on a different day now thanks to my coach.  (Yes, I have a coach too.  I believe coaches who coach themselves are just like a lawyer who advises him/herself - they have a fool for a client.)

There is a guy who tries to hang with me on my long run.  Now, before the usual people get all excited about what I just said, I'm not exactly setting land speed records.  I'm running my pace for "base building" type workouts.  This clown comes out around the same time EVERY long run and when he gets around me... he surges.  Go for it.  Then he slows down and says, "Come on.  Let's go fast."  (After he takes his iPod out of his ear.  YES... I think iPods are stupid when you are running outside.  If you use one outside... stupid is as stupid does.  That is a blog entry for another day.)  I refuse every time.  "I'm doing a base workout. Have a great run."  I encourage him to go on.  Alone.  

4) Eating because you did _________ workout.

I call this justification eating.  I did a (fill in the blank) workout, therefore, I can eat like a 16 year old.  Those days are gone you dusty old fart.  Trust me, I know.  My waistline resembles lazy eating and NOT workout out.  I don't see many Jenny Craig or WeightWatchers commercials with an ab like mine.  Well... its not that bad.  I have a "five pack".  Unfortunately, I'm three abs short. 

Get your shit together.  Some days it's a bitch and a bummer.  This is what it takes.  No food or drink tastes as good as fast feels.  

No excuses.  

Losers say, "I'll try my best." 
Winners go home and have sex with the Prom Queen / King.  

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