Richard Nelson

Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

“State of the union”

In training on 2007 April 27 Friday at 13:30:00

This is what I wrote Coach Steve in my report to him on April 22:

With 20 weeks to go, I felt like giving you a kind of “State of the Union” about where I think I am in my training …


After a weekend like this, naturally I’m looking forward to being outside again, and I’m looking forward to doing some serious miles on the roads—such as next weekend’s 3 h 45 min, and the 5 h 30 min between the two rides the following weekend. I think I’ve been pretty good at executing the interval work-outs on the trainer, and not so good at the “long rides”—thus I am very happy to be outside, where such are “easy” (i.e., easily doable).

Today’s two hours showed I need some bum time. It was nothing even close to a struggle, but I could tell I wasn’t used to being on my bike without a break for so long.

I know this is the crucial discipline, and that getting to do 180 km easy is the key. Bring it on!

My current vision, looking forward, is that most mid-week bikes I’ll still do on the trainer—one-leg drills, for instance, are scary on the road—but I’ll usually do the weekend rides on the road, mostly in the Oak Ridges Moraine north and east of Toronto, which is much the same as the IM Wisconsin course.


Yesterday’s run may have been an aberration, but there’s no doubt I need some quick catching up to do. I have zero—I repeat, zero—issues with my knee. I’m definitely an advertisment for arthroscopic surgery. However, it’s also clear that my legs remain my limiting factor. They’re just not used to the running.

I’m expecting you to give me two or three runs a week in May, with the distance increasing pretty steadily.


As you may have guessed by now, I pretty much ignore the swim work-outs you set for me (unlike running and especially cycling). I work three times a week under a coach, a very good coach I think, and I’m making progress, albeit slow. As “unimportant” as folks usually consider the swimming leg, for me it remains the weakest link. A year ago I couldn’t swim—today I can do continuous 75s. With only three swims a week possible, that means I have only fifty or so work-outs to get myself to be able to do 2000 or 3000 yd a work-out in continuous 500s and 1000s. It’s doable, I think, but it means staying focused and not missing work-outs.

The problem is that I remain a very inefficient swimmer: my aerobic fitness can’t overcome my inefficiency, and I get winded. Still I swam just shy of a mile on Monday (if I’d known how close I was to that milestone, I would’ve got in and swum the 60 yards!), and I can see it coming.

Overall fitness

I actually think I may be fitter than I’ve been in my whole life, even seven years ago when I was doing a couple of marathons a year. One thing I am is tired, and my muscles are tired. Being so tired only really hurt my swimming, so I worked on technique. I am concerned, though, that I may need a bit of rest as I drag my 53-year-old body up to the start line on September 9.