Tucson Camp Day 3

We started today with a quick breakfast at 6:30am and a drive to the Oro Valley pool.  Opening temps were in the 30′s today and I literally ran into the heated pool.  The first time in my life I hurried up to start swimming.  There was fog rising from the heated pool but not enough for me to hide!

Today’s set by Justin Daerr:

  • 10′ easy
  • 6×50(10″) as 2x(3×50 descend easy/steady/mod hard)
  • 400 paddles buoy cruise (10″)
  • 300 paddles buoy cruise (10″)
  • 200 paddles buoy cruise (10″)
  • 2×100 paddles fast (5″)
  • 50 easy
  • 4 x (5×25 as 1 and 2 heads up free, 3 easy, 4 fast, 5 easy) (10″)
  • 50 easy
  • 4×75 (10″) paddles only steady
  • 4×75 (10″) swim steady
  • 50 easy
  • 8×50 (10″) as 25 stroke/25 free IM order on stroke (free/free as first 25 free fast)
  • 50 easy
  • Cool down

We were in the pool approximately an hour and twenty minutes.  I really enjoyed the strength work today.  Justin had me focus on keeping my head still on the heads up free and turning my arms over.  It was very helpful to my cadence.  The paddles only work really emphasized finding my catch.

My lane mate Kevin, in addition to rocking the world’s greatest handlebar mustache (one day this week I will post a picture), has a great sense of humor.  His cool down today consisted of walking 50 yards.  I was laughing so hard that I had to stop swimming in the middle of the pool.  Afterwards he explained to me that it was really part of the main set and he walked it as 50 build.  He also keeps his lap time, run time etc. by tracking the sun.  He is a nice balance to my OCD data collection.

The hardest part of the swim was getting out of the heated pool!

After changing we met outside where Justin (aided by pros Chris McDonald and Jackie Arendt) demonstrated dynamic running warm up drills.  We tried all the drills as a group. My tendency is to not do dynamic warm up drills and as I found out today, I do many/most/all of them poorly.  These are two good reasons to start taking a few minutes before my runs once or twice a week to incorporate them.

After we finished the drills, I did notice in my running main set that things were moving well.  I ran with Alan Couzens and we did a nice set of thirty seconds fast alternating with 30 seconds easy.  Justin is going to run us through the drills again quickly before our long run on Friday.

Quick aside, I drove to the pool today because we had a mechanical on one of the vans.  Jackie Arendt sat in the front seat with me.  As we were talking I realized that she was the pro that spoke to me during the Ironman Louisville marathon (original blog post here).  I thanked her again for her added motivation on race day.

After lunch we had a bit of a break before our ride.  During this time I did the usual: drink water, eat a bit more, nap, have a cup of coffee and get ready to ride.  Today we did the double Gates Pass ride including the McCain loop.  I love this ride because of the view at the top of the pass and the Saguaro National Forest on the McCain loop.  There is very little traffic and it is a great time to enjoy the quiet, peaceful and very regal tall cacti.

I worked hard on the way up the pass and I am really enjoying learning how to climb on my new bike.  I feel like I can generate a bit more power, at a lower heart rate and stand comfortably as needed.  I am still not a very strong climber but there has been some improvement over the winter thanks to Gordo’s Rocky training and strength work.

Quick shower after the ride and we were back eating again.  Dinner was soon followed by our evening presentation made by Dr. Jeff Shilt on Minimalist Running.  I will not try to distill Jeff’s talk into a few sentences.  He was riveting and helpful to myself and the athletes I assist.

My personal takeaway is that some time in minimalist shoes (0-3mm heel drop) would help strengthen the intrinsic muscles in my feet.  His brother, John Shilt (also an elite triathlete like Jeff) started the journey a year ago.  They recommended that I start with 30 minutes of walking once per week in the shoes or incorporate the shoes in my dynamic warm-ups.  They both recommended the slowest most deliberate process possible.

Please note that I am not nor will I be taking up barefoot running.  I am not trying to forefoot run either.  I think this will be a training modality that could be helpful for the future strength and health of my feet.

Tomorrow I am going for an early morning run up the A.  At 9:30am I get to ride one of my favorites, Mt. Lemmon!

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