Monday morning, Arizona Training Camp Day #1, began with an early morning swim with the University of Arizona Masters swim team. They swim at the Hillenbrand Pool, which is an outdoor, 18 lane, 25-yard pool (it is sometimes converted into a 10-lane 50m pool). You just can't compete with that! It is by far the most amazing pool I have ever swum in. Which says a lot, since I have been swimming competitively for 18 years. I didn't really know what was the fast lane so I hopped in with someone who seemed the same speed as me. It turns out that the lanes are divided based on your 1500yd best time. This roughly corresponds to lactate threshold pace (or Zone 4) and each swimmer knows their pace per 100yds (A PB of 19' for 1500yds would be 1'16/100yds). There are a couple lanes for 1'10 pace swimmers, 1'15 pace swimmers, 1'20 pace swimmers, etc. I REALLY liked this idea and the coach in me decided that if I ever run my own Masters team I will do something similar. Anyway, I ended up in the 1'20 pace lane and decided to just stay there, rather than try to find a 1'10 or 1'15 pace lane. The main set was about 1800m long, broken up into 200s, 100s and 50s on pace+10'/ 100yds. A nice aerobic set. I felt really good and was getting a lot of rest so it made me think I should have been on a faster pace, but decided it might have been good that I was able to save some energy. The workout finished off with a nice pull paddles set. I felt refreshed afterwards and excited for the next two workouts ahead.
Mamma on the patio
After breakfast and some relaxing around the house it was time for a short, wake-up the legs type of bike ride on the road bike. I got my warm weather riding gear on (it was only 5 degrees at the time) and I headed out under the beautiful blue Tucson skies. I couldn't believe how wide the bike lanes are here! And the roads are pretty quiet. It wasn't an epic day of climbing or anything, I just stuck in Zone 2 and enjoyed the scenery. I did happen to meet a cyclist from the area and we rode together for about 30', which was nice. He told me about some good routes to ride and about a few TTs that go on in the area. A TT called shootout starts at University of Arizona on Tuesday and Saturday at 7am and includes a 20 mile climb. I have a very specific training plan to follow while I'm here, but I might try out the route used for the TT on one of my planned long rides. Time goes by much faster when you have company. However, since I am mostly alone in the triathlon racing that I do (non-draft legal), solo riding is an important part of my training. Speaking of good training, tomorrow I get to ride up Mount Lemmon!
About to go for my ride
View on my ride
With a swim and bike run done, can you guess what was next? Yup, a run! Although I was eager to run along the beautiful Tucson roads, my training today called for some speed work, which needed to be done on the treadmill. Today was one of my favourite(?) sets: 3x(6x(40"@max speed-20"off)-4' EZ@8mph). My legs were feeling a little sluggish and heavy and I was finding it hard to breathe (not sure I can blame altitude today, since I'm only at 1000m above sea level). On the third set I did use a trick to help me breathe that I tell the cyclists in my WattsUp class all the time: "breathe right into your belly". It really did work...I felt that I was able to breathe a little easier on the last set. Oh I also learned, it's not a good idea to put two pairs of insoles in the same shoe...it gives you blisters. I somehow managed to make that painful mistake today...not quite sure how!
View from the treadmill
I was very happy to be done training for the day and settle down for a nice dinner (fajitas with veal steaks, avocado, sour cream, tomatoes, roast red peppers). Then Mamma and I watched the recent Grey's episode, I skyped with Rikki and now I am about to settle into bed.