Monday, March 11, 2013

Weeks 3 and and downs

Week 3 was a great week of training.  I continued to build on my first two weeks of training by getting my highest training volume of 2013.  My total training time was 17.5 hours with 36 run miles, 141 bike miles, and 9,200 yards of swimming.  I felt much stronger by the end of the week when I completed my longest run yet of 70 minutes.  On Monday of last week things took a turn for the worse.  I had been experiencing some pain in my lower back and by last Monday it had me walking hunched over.  I couldn't walk pain free let alone think about running.  It had bothered me pushing off the wall swimming on Sunday afternoon so I made the decision to get it taken care of without trying to push through it.  I decided I would get a high volume week on the bike but shut down running, swimming, core work, lifting, plyometrics, and jump rope until things calmed down.  This was a great move.  After two visits to Kaminski Pain and Performance Care for ART sessions and laser treatment I was feeling near 100% by the weekend and ran 6 miles on Friday and 10 on Sunday both pain free.  Although my total training time took a step back at 15 hrs. 45 minutes I did manage to put in 10 hours or 200 miles on the bike.  Dr. Kaminski informed me that my hip flexors and quad muscles were so tight it was causing me to run with a forward lean and this was creating a lot of stress on my lower back and I had a good deal of inflamation around one of the discs in my back.  This is near 100% as I begin week 5.  When I was in on Thursday I decided it was time to do a Body Composition Analysis.  He has a high tech machine where they strap some electrode pads on you and it gives a full body composition analysis.  Last year I had this done 3 times.  The first time was when I began training and I was 18.4% body fat weighing 171 lbs..  I tested about 7 weeks later on Feb. 28 of 2012 and although I had lost 9 lbs. my body fat % was still 16.7%.  This was when I went nuts counting calories and eating 100% healthier than I ever have over the next month.  4 weeks later I tested my lowest ever weighing 151 lbs. with a body fat% of 9.3%.  I have been frustrated by my lack of weight loss through the first three weeks of training.  I knew I was still hovering around 170 lbs. although I felt like I was getting thinner.  I couldn't figure out why I was still weighing so much so I knew it would be good to get tested.  I weighed in at 172 lbs. and my body fat % was 16.4.  This was a good boost of confidence for a few reasons.  The % was actually slightly lower than last February when I weighed 11 lbs. less.  The difference this year is that I had 4 lbs. more fluid in my body which is a sign that I'm better hydrated and I also had 6 lbs. more muscle in my body.  My actual pounds of fat was at 28 compared to 27 when I tested in February of 2012.  This was exciting for a few reasons.  Although I'm weighing more it is not bad weight.  I do believe I have been ridding myself of bad weight while adding muscle early in the training this year.  It also gives me a lot of hope that I can get my body fat % back under 10% by race season.  I tested a slighly lower % of body fat on three weeks of training this year compared to last year in February when I was 10 weeks into training.  It also reminded me of how hard I worked on eating healthy when I saw last year's numbers and realized over the course of 4 weeks I went from carrying 27 lbs. of fat down to 14.1 lbs. of fat when I tested at 9.3%.  This has renewed my focus on eating healthy.  Right now most of my workouts are at a base building intensity which doesn't require me to have a lot of carbohydrates.  At the lower intensity the body uses mainly fat for energy.  Because I don't need a lot of carbohydrates and have a lot of fat to burn I need to be careful not to consume a lot of carbohydrates except for the couple days a week when I do add intensity into the workouts.  I'm a little worried about carrying 6 extra lbs. of muscle but it is so early in the year it probably doesn't hurt to have that now because I know I will cut back the focus on weights as I get closer to race time.  There is a lot of statistics on the report they give after doing a body composition analysis so if you are interested give them a call at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care and schedule your BCA.  Now that I'm a month into training I'm beginning to start getting into higher volumes of training.  I was very careful not to increase too fast too quickly.  In my experience the most common injuries come either when beginning a new training cycle coming off a break or when increasing too quickly.  I've been very cautious through the first month.  Now I'm at a level where the volumes start to look bigger.  We begin spring break on Friday so I'll have 1 extra day without work this week so I'll get a bigger than normal Friday in.  Next week I'm planning to roll the dice a bit and substantially increase my training for my spring break week in what will be a bit of a training camp.  I'll tear myself down pretty good and then take an easier week the following week.  I'm hoping the weather will turn so I don't have to sit on the trainer for all my bike rides.  I don't mind riding 60-90 minutes on the trainer but much more than that gets cumbersome unless the hawkeyes are in a great game in which I can squeeze out 2 hours.  I have my race schedule almost finalized.  I have a busy month in June with 4 races, 2 in July, 3 in August, 1 in September, and 1 in October.  I'm swimming much less right now than I did early in training last year.  My swimming did not progress like I would have hoped with much more time in the water a year ago and i've decided with a full-time job, two children, and a wife at home it is not worth spending all the time in the pool this early.  My plan is to stick to 10,000 yards/week in March, 12,000 in April, and 14,000 in May.  My longest swim day will be about 4,000 yards in March, 4,500 in April, and 5,000 in May.  I'm hoping that will get me close to swimming where I was last year although I'd always like to be faster if I can continue fixing my techinque.  Speaking of that I attended Stacey Zapolski's swim clinic at Augustana College yesterday and it was well worth my investment.  We had a small group and were spoiled to get so much individual stroke feedback.  I have 2 really important things to work on before the next clinic.  Stacey even video-taped us swimming and we broke down the tape which was valuable to see the things she was telling us about our stroke.  If you are interested in attending the next clinic send me an e-mail and I'll get you the details about when it is.  I'm beginning to feel the excitement for training and racing I had lost in the ladder part of 2012.  It's a lot of fun.  I have recently created a non-profit foundation called iHope in my school district.  The mission of iHope is to provide technological resources to low-income students that display positive work habits and outstanding character traits.  I will discuss this more in detail in my next post but if you would like to contribue to iHope and help make a difference to a child in our community click here. Work hard towards your goals and make them happen.  DREAM BIG!


Anonymous said...

Great post! I like openwater swimming. I like xterra wetsuits.
I want 60% discount code of Vendetta wetsuit(fullsleeve).
My email is I look forward to hearing a good news from you. Thanks.

Jeff Paul said...

Thanks! The discount code is
SA-JEFFP Unfortunately the Vendetta is the only suit that XTERRA does not discount even for sponsored athletes. For that reason many of the sponsored athletes swim in the Vector Pro which is an outstanding suit. Good luck this year!