Past is Prologue – The Future Belongs to Gods!

Today’s post is a line in the sand, followed by the data from today’s swim.

My best distance run is 15 miles. I have had ambitions to do a marathon for years, ambitions I upgraded to an Iron Man. Sadly when I was working at this I got hit by cars three times in two years whilst cycling. End of Iron Man. I recovered a while ago but had children and real life took over. Now I am feeling ambitious again. My kids are old enough that I have renewed independence and so I have committed myself mentally to pushing into major endurance running. Quite simply, I would like to be an ultra runner. Lofty ideas I know, but you have to believe right?

So, that is my plan. As the summer arrives and the nights get long I am going to push for serious distance, and hopefully by the time autumn is in view I will be hitting ultra distances. I mean, really, how hard can it be?

I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek of course but there is a part of me that genuinely believes in my ability right now. After all, a marathon is just an arbitrary distance. It’s not any kind of universal limit on human endurance. So, with the obvious caveat that it’s going to be hard, how hard can it be? I guess I will soon learn!

Today’s Swim

Here is the day’s swim data. Pushed up to 1250 metres in drills of eight laps. The extra 50 is because I did a ten lap drill by mistake.

Summary

Interval Splits

Graphs

Week in Review, Plus First Running Readings from Vivoactive HR

After the bizarre readings I took the first time I clocked a swim with my Garmin Vivoactive HR watch I am relieved to have gotten accurate, good quality data when running with it for the first time. It will be interesting to see what happens when I swim again. Hopefully it is just a teething issue but let’s wait and see. My cycling is hovering around the 6 mile mark at 12 minute miles, and to be honest I could cycle 25 miles tomorrow easily so right now my focus is on my weaker sports. I have also maintained my 16/8 fasting routine whilst trying various new recipes, all of which are posted here and on my Instagram.

This week I have pushed my swimming up to 100 metre interval drills, hitting the 700 metre mark. My run below is the longest yet, having added roughly 33% in distance to the last one. The one caveat here is that I ran during storm Clara and thus had to stop a couple of times to avoid torrential rain soaking me wet through.

Garmin Connect Data

Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary

Data Breakdown

Detailed Data Breakdown
Detailed Data Breakdown

Split Times

Split Times
Split Times

Graphs for Heart Rate, Cadence, Heart Rate Zones and So Forth

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Pace and Heart Rate
Pace and Heart Rate

Strava Data

Strava Data
Strava Data

View on Strava and follow me here to get a follow back.

Vivoactive HR and Bizarre Swimming Data

This weekend I pushed up my View on Strava to a 700 metre workout, 7 x 100 metre intervals. I also upgraded my watch to a Garmin Vivoactive HR and according to the first data readings I took with it, this is what I did:

Bonkers watch reading

That’s right, according to my watch I swam for 12:59 minutes and covered a distance of zero. As if to drive the point home all other screens had no data, like the one below.

Bonkers watch reading
Bonkers watch reading

I have reached out to Garmin via Twitter, however this is worrying because the reason for my upgrade was spurious workout data, and now this supposedly better watch is apparently even worse. I hope that it is something that can be resolved because I have to believe that such a great company is better than this, but right now for me the jury is out.

Still, that aside, I am successfully pushing harder and extending myself. The watch clocks my resting heart rate at 48 bpm from a previous steady reading of 52 so it looks like my fitness is returning quickly.

Week in Review & Pushing Forward

Sports

Last week I couldn’t hike as the weather stank. I ran and swam, and when running I hit that feeling when you suddenly start enjoying it. It happened during my previous run that was spuriously recorded as 3.99 miles when it was actually closer to 1.5. This is not the first time my Garmin Vivoactive has done this and my tweeting Garmin about it was ignored. I have remedied the situation, however, by upgrading to a Garmin Vivoactive HR. It arrived in the mail today so hopefully that will be a step forward that solves this. It’s an obviously better watch with or without the heart rate monitor, but more data can only be a good thing so I look forward to seeing my readings on that front.

Swimming

I am pushing this hard as I enjoy swimming enormously. My latest progress is below, including times, interval splits and frankly more data than I am ever going to need, but here it is anyway.

Summary

Interval Splits and More

Pace, Strokes & Swolf

Cycling

Holding at just over 12mph average. That will change with the weather

Running

Positive growth but I am not going to post spurious GPS data. That would be pointless. Suffice to say my new watch should do better.

Torpedo Mode: Engaged

I’m back in the pool! I always feel as though I glide with ease through the water like a torpedo, even though I only started with a 500 metre swim. Back Doing all of the Swims

Back Doing all of the Swims

I hope that swimming will once again strengthen my back muscles. I will also be doing my incremental growth curve where I push up the distance swam and the number of laps per set. It is amazing how quickly you can push into high distance swimming this way, and how fit you can become in a short space of time.

Strava Data

Strava Data
Strava Data

For whatever it’s worth, this is what Strava made of my swimming based upon data from my Garmin Vivoactive watch.

First Class Swim, Record on a Whim

Today’s swim was actually 1500 metres rather than the 1250 I recorded. Sadly I somehow managed to record only five sets of ten laps where I actually swam six.

Data

I think I missed the third set somehow. The clue is in the interval breakdown:

You can see that set two is very long. I really don’t know what happened but I do know that I wish my Vivoactive watch would beep when I press start like my old Garmin Swim.

Feeling Good

What was good about this is that swimming longer sets feels more rhythmic. It is very easy to overdo short sets as they have the natural feel of sprints. This way I get into a more prolonged and regular cadence. I also benefited from eating properly after yesterday’s absurdity.

Next up: 1800 metres.

Pushing On

I am in the habit of starting small and building quickly. That’s what I have done in the past and I am doing it again now. Yesterday I swam and today I pushed myself further on the road.

Swimming

I started yesterday with what I thought was ten sets of 50 metre intervals. I either miscounted or I forgot to record one of my sets with my swim watch so I’m posting a 450 metre swim rather than 500. Whatever, it’s a start. I’ll soon be pushing up to swimming an hour nonstop as I did previously.

Running

Today I added half a mile to my previous 2 mile run on Monday. My time is abysmal here, over 10 minute miles, but hey, distance is distance and I’ve never been a particular fast runner.

My struggle is often what to do once I get to high distances when it comes to running and swimming. When cycling I would always commute so it was easy to be consistent. I guess we’ll see how I motivate myself with leisure exercise. Stats below.

Weather permitting this weekend will be two mountain hikes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Good Friday Push and Interval Swimming

Tomorrow is Good Friday and I have teamed up with a friend to push through the half marathon barrier for a run. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I won’t get sick. Anything else I can work through. I’ve been swimming and cycling regularly, although unlike my previous blogging I won’t be posting maps all the time unless I take on a new course. Anyone genuinely interested in maps of previous runs can view them via the Garmin Connect links posted with my data. The last couple of days are thus:

Data

Cycling

Distance 11.03 mi | Time 47:03 | Speed 14.1 mph | Elev Gain 896 ft

Source: Garmin Connect

Swimming

Distance 1,000 m | Time 40:06 | Pace 1:40 min/100m

Source: Garmin Connect

I have had a week off from swimming so I carried on yesterday from where I left off previously, namely interval swimming. Two sets of 8, 6, 4 and 2 laps, going as quickly as I can with three minutes rests between each interval in order to get my heart rate down to resting as quickly as possible. I could carry on doing 3000 metres three times weekly but this new routine not only breaks up the monotony, but also interval training is recommended for fat burning (calorie burn continues for hours after workouts), building endurance and it allegedly is very good for the heart as it ‘increases the flexibility and elasticity of arteries and veins better than continuous aerobic exercise‘.

I haven’t really done very much interval training in the past so I am keen to explore it, however I worry about it becoming a means to and end in itself. I actually enjoy long runs and bike rides so if I do go further on intervals I will restrict it to the swimming pool for now. I also need to learn a lot more about it before I continue to develop as I know very little other than my own invented interval swim workout.

Cycling and the Challenge of Interval Swimming

Today I varied things a little. I went for a 14 mile bike ride this morning and then switched up my endurance swimming for some lung busting intervals in the pool. As the weather gets warmer and the evenings get lighter it is getting harder for me to resist the pull of cycling over all other forms of exercise so I am trying to add variation to spice things up.

The ride was 14 miles, and I intended to push to 20 and include a 30 degree climb, however I decided to leave enough in the tank to swim tonight.

Cycling Map and Data

Swim Data

Interval swimming is very challenging. Tonight I did intervals of 8, 6, 4 and 2 laps, although I accidentally did 10 for the first set. I absolutely hammered away as hard as possible, averaging at 1 minute 41 seconds per 100 metres. I thought my heart would explode out of my chest. I worked as hard as I could physically stand. Now that I have hit Iron Man distances for endurance swimming I returned to intervals for the serious business of fat burning and speed.

Distance 1,050 m | Time 40:41 | Pace 1:41 min/100m

Source: Interval Swimming

Achievement Unlocked: Personal Best

Today’s trip to the pool was a big deal. Having achieved a swim of Iron Man distance I am now turning my attention to improving my times rather than logging ever longer workouts in the pool, and today I achieved two significant milestones. First of all I logged a personal best of 3000 metres in 59:33, and second of all this is my first 3000 metre swim to come in under an hour. I feel very pleased with myself indeed. I returned to swimming on February 3rd this year, meaning that I have gone from a swim of 600 metres divided into six drills of four laps to this in just over a month. I am also pleased to have pushed my average time per 100 metres to under two minutes at 1:59.

Data

3,000 m • 59:33 • 1:59 min/100 m • 30.2 100m/hour •

Source: Lap Swimming: Personal Best Achieved

This is a good day and a good feeling. I hope I can keep improving and driving those overall times and lap times down. Small victories are where it’s at. When pushing oneself to be better the margins are fine and the triumphs relatively small so it is important to acknowledge them when they are achieved.