Thursday 8th August 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Agoraphobic Nosebleed – ‘Agorapocalypse’ (on the run) & Erykah Badu – ‘Mama’s Gun’ (on the way back from pool)

7.14km 35:27 to the pool


4x25m warm-up (freestyle)

38x25m 22:19

4x25m warm-down (breaststroke)

A terrible night of broken sleep followed by an awful day at work! Thankfully both of those were overpowered by my workouts this evening.

Although both workouts could have gone better I was just happy to be out on the road on my own and then with my own thoughts in the pool (well, with my mind focused on lap counting and breathing in the pool).

My run was going really well until about 2km out from the pool when I really noticed that I was slowing down – I wasn’t giving it everything I had anyway due to having my pack on with swimming gear inside – however, it soon dawned on me that I was starting to get side cramps and quite badly too.

This led to me doing something that I hate to do: stopping mid-run to suck air and grimace in pain until it subsided. I usually just keep on at a slow pace, not much above a walk if this happens (which, thankfully, is rarely) but I just had to stop this time. Oh well, not the end of the world! I picked up my feet and lifted my head for the final 2km and tried to make up for the stoppage! I think that I’m going to like having a trisuit – no more running with pack to the pool!

My pool session was great when all is said and done. There was another guy I spotted doing laps wearing open water style goggles, I watched him for a short while and saw that he was slightly quicker than me so I decided that I would try to follow in his wake for as long as I could. I managed about 16 or 17 laps not far behind until I think he may have noticed and upped his pace – I lost him over laps 18, 19 and 20 and he finished as I was starting lap 21. I did notice that at lap 20 I was about 40s faster than my best recorded time for 20x25m so following a faster swimmer definitely worked positively for my pace!

I had planned to do 40x25m at a quick pace and, as mentioned above, I was helped along by the unknown stronger swimmer just in front for half of my laps. When I was left to my own devices I did my best to carry on at a slightly above comfortable pace for the final half of my workout. All was going well as I hit lap 38 and then disaster struck!

As I led off for lap 39 both my calves cramped up along with most of the toes on my left foot – it was excruciating and I was having great difficulty treading water back to the end of the pool. I spent about 10 minutes stretching under water until the pain had subsided sufficiently for me to do 4x25m of warm down – needless to say I had mixed feelings getting out of the pool. On the one hand I’d gone much faster than I thought I could, not only that, it was pretty much straight after a run. On the other hand I had to cut short the fast paced 1km workout due to unforeseen cramping – it got me to thinking how I would cope with that in a race situation?! It seems to me I’d have to pull out as I wouldn’t be able to complete the swim – that thought scares the living daylights out of me!

So, with these thoughts tumbling around my head I went to sit in the steam room for 20 minutes to do some stretching, deep breathing and mind clearing. It did the trick! After about 10 minutes in there all I could think about was hitting the showers and then getting home to get some food – I was feeling famished!

Thankfully the pool is about a five or ten minute walk from my house and as soon as I got in I downed a pint of one of my homemade recovery smoothies and started cooking up some ground beef, pasta, broccoli and mushrooms for dinner. I’m happily typing this with a full stomach, a clear head and the knowledge that I have two more workouts to go before I get two days of recovery!

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