Problem: I need to increase my pool yardage but I’m limited by the lap swim hours at the pool.
Solution: Doubles! As a college swimmer, I used to spend about 6hrs a day logging yardage in the pool. It’s exhausting and not too enjoyable to go back to the pool for a second time in the day. But, the benefits of increased DAILY yardage can be almost as beneficial as increasing yardage in a single workout. Not TOO much recovery can occur in the 8-10 hours you’re at work. So, when you go back to the pool in the PM, you should still be pretty tired from the AM. Additionally, in case weather or timing get in your way, doing a PM swim workout one night followed by an AM workout the following day can be beneficial too. Just remember, it’s all about forcing your body to log the yards when it’s still tired.
My Plan: To add one day of double swim workouts a week. My goal is max out at about 5000-6000y in the next month and a half. Since I just don’t have the pool availability to swim this long during the week, I plan on splitting my yardage in two separate workouts and adding 1-2 weekend test sets at my max yardage when I DO have the pool availability.
Problem: I don’t have the time to increase my run mileage during the week unless I get up SUPER EARLY or stay out SUPER LATE since I need to wait for the sun to start setting before beginning a run.
Solution: Doubles! (Yes, doubles is the solution YET AGAIN). I asked my resident running expert and Ironman, Frank Green, for some insight here. And basically, he seems to agree that the same solution to my swimming problem above is applicable to my running problem as well. Yes, a single long run is optimal. But, with extreme summer heat and the fact that I can’t wake up at 4am if I want to be functional at work, splitting my mileage between two workouts can still be very effective. Essentially, the goal is to add as much running mileage as possible to wear down the body in the month before taper. Splitting the workouts and running on tired legs is beneficial to training any which way you do it.
My Plan: Much like my swim plan, I’m going to add one day of double run workouts a week to increase my overall weekly run mileage and to practice running on tired legs. I’m going to do an easy “get in whatever miles you can” sort of warm-up run in the AM followed by a harder, more focused, PM run.
Problem: It storms during the summer…a LOT! So sometimes my afternoon workout plans are ruined and I feel guilty about the missed workout.
Solution: Realize that a missed few miles here and there are not going to prevent you from doing well. Mother Nature and work get in the way sometimes. Accept it and move on. Just be aware of the key workouts you absolutely NEED to do each week and reschedule them if you need.
My Plan: To stop being so hard on myself over missed workouts. Last week I was sick, still in recovery after IM 70.3 FL, and could barely complete any workout. I felt like I had taken a major step backwards because I hadn’t been able to recover properly or complete my key weekend workouts. But, recovering from illness was most important. So, I’m trying to forget about the disaster of last week and stay focused on the week ahead. It was only ONE week…I didn’t lose anything. I’m healthy now and ready to get back to business.