February Update: Four Weeks Into My Training Plan

I saw an underwater video of my swimming, and boy do I have my work cut out for me!

I’m almost finished with week four of my 20 week training plan. So far so good. A few observations I have:

  • I’ve been swimming and running at a new gym this season. The gym is only a block away from my job, so I’ve been able to do much of my training during my lunch breaks or before work. This is such a good setup!
  • My swimming still needs a lot of improvement
    • My guess is that I’m averaging around 2:10/100 yds. Each workout is a little different and can include warm-ups, drills, kickboard sets, and cool-downs, so it’s hard to say for sure. I’ll need to do a swim test soon.
    • I’m trying to use a “6-beat” kick pattern now after seeing how HORRIBLE my “2-beat” swim kick is (in an underwater video).
  • My cycling has improved significantly to average 18-19 mph on my indoor trainer rides (up from 15-16 mph this time last year). We’ll see how much of this translates to my outdoor speed. TrainerRoad is still my favorite indoor cycling software.
  • My running has improved significantly
    • This past weekend, while down in Concord, NC with my family at Great Wolf Lodge, I ran for 7.6 miles averaging 7:27 mins/mile on a treadmill. I was just trying to get my heart rate in zone 2! Even though I had my Garmin 920XT on AND my Garmin footpod, I still have a hard time believing that I ran that fast. However, my legs were killing me for the next 2 days. Either my heart rate monitor is buggy, or I’m improving how fast I can run at Z2.

I purchased the following items to help with my training:

  • Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier (Book) – Swimming is THE biggest area that I need to improve on this season. I have already learned a lot of valuable information in this book, that has helped me improve my swimming.
  • Garmin 920XT (Man I love this watch) – an upgrade from my beloved 910XT (I’ll still use the 910XT as my bike computer)
  • Finis Zoomer Z2 Gold Fins – (These fins help make sure I’m using the right leg muscles)
  • Lightdow Action Cam with waterproof accessories (to videotape my swim). This cam is a much more affordable option to the GoPro camera.
  • TYR Nest Pro Googles, on this list, the Nest Pro googles are the only thing I purchased locally (at a swim shop). I really appreciated the in-person feedback and the option to try on a variety of googles. I went with the owner’s recommendation, the TYR Nest Pro googles. I originally purchased some Speedo Vanquishers online, but they hurt my eye sockets too much and leaked in too much water the first time I used them (bye Felicia…well I still have them actually, but anyhow).
  • Baleaf padded Cycling “underwear” shorts (arriving today) to go with the pair that I already have. Up until today, I did my indoor bike trainer workouts in my man cave wearing the triathlon race shorts that I owned. In order to keep from wearing out my race shorts, I opted to get some affordable cycling shorts that I can wear for my indoor cycling workouts. I already own one pair of Baleaf’s and they work great. They’re also very affordable ($9).
  • SoundsPEATS Wireless Headphones –  I only use these for my treadmill or track workouts, but it’s great not having to worry about cords while I’m running. Plus they are SUPER affordable ($20).