Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 2012 Report and Goals for May

In April 2012 I logged a total of 140 miles in running (17 miles), swimming (9 miles), and cycling (107 miles), plus a few random hikes (7 miles). My overall total of 140 miles is the second-highest monthly total in the last year, and this is due to well-above average running miles and my highest monthly total of miles on the bike since this time last year. My April totals include two competitive swim meets and one 5K running race. At my swim meets I broke three personal short-course yards (SCY) records: (1) 100-Fly in 1:23.58, (2) 50-Back in 0:39.25--as part of a relay, and (3) 400-Free in 5:53.02. My 5K performance was stellar (for me), as I did it in 25 min at an 8:05 pace. This completely shattered my personal best pace of 8:54 in October 2011.
I'm doing the butterfly stroke during the 100-Fly event at one of my swim meets.

So that's pretty amazing, isn't it? I'm only talking about my personal improvements here, as I know there are plenty of people who go more miles, swim faster, and run faster. But overall, for me, I was pretty hot in the month of April.

I want to continue this into May...and add to it. Here are my goals:

1. Exceed 160 miles on the bike (a 50% increase). I need to train for a 2-day bike excursion in early June that will total 150 miles. It's part of the "Bike MS" program of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I plan to commute to work by bicycle whenever the weather cooperates.

2. Exceed 21 miles running (a 50% increase). I want to do an Olympic-length triathlon later in the summer, which means I've got to work up to a 10K distance. Therefore, sometime this month, my goal is to do a single run that exceeds 4.8 miles. This represents a 10% increase over the longest run I've ever done. On a separate day, I want to try to do intervals--running fast for a short burst and then running slow to recuperate before repeating the cycle. Doing intervals will increase my speed over time, but I'm more interested in increasing my distance at this point.

3. Swim an average amount: 10.25 miles. My competitive swim season is over, so I don't really need to have a stellar month of distance swimming. However, I do want to revamp my workouts and make them more thoughtful and strategic. Once school is out, I will do longer workouts (60 min) at least three times a week.  These will include:
  • 1x500 warm-up
  • 6x50s freestyle concentrating on posture
  • 2x50s breaststroke rest :15
  • 2x50s backstroke rest :15
  • 2x50s butterfly rest :15
  • 4x100 IMs rest :30
  • 2x200 free cool down
I will end each extended practice with some dives to increase the distance I travel in the air while horizontal.

4. I still plan to go on some hikes, specifically to look for birds, which is my other hobby.

5. Weight-lifting. I want to start this up again. In fact, my goal for May is to lift 3 days a week for >20 min (not including warm up). I always make weight-lifting goals and then renege on them. So with maybe with such a timid goal as this I will be able to keep it up. One problem with the above goal is that there is no reward it I attain it. With running and swimming and biking, I can measure my progress in terms of pace. I could certainly express weightlifting goals in terms of maximum pounds lifted, but I don't yet have a sense of satisfaction with that. Besides, I tend to hurt myself if I max out the weights. So, I'm going to step out on a limb and make the following measurable goal that will make me feel really good if I attain it. I will seek out bigger muscles. This strategy seemed to work for me in 2008-2009 when I saw a 1-inch increase in biceps circumference and chest size.

Today's measurements
Upper Arm = 11.5 inches. Goal at end of May: 11.75.
Lower Arm = 11.0 inches. Goal at end of May: 11.25.  (I'm measuring my left arm, prior to any workout, at the thickest point near the elbow)
Chest = 42.25 inches. Goal at end of May: 42.5 inches.

I will add leg raises to every weights workout, as this will strengthen the muscles I need to maintain proper swimming posture.


  1. Hi,
    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?