Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mental revelations

I had a GREAT training day yesterday -- primarily because of the many things my brain finally "got."

Swimming yesterday was going along as usual, until I reached a section of 100s on "solid effort." Now last year, I had to force myself to swim more than one speed -- I never knew that you could! In my ignorant naivety, I really believed that you were wither a fast swimmer or not. (Same went with being a fast runner and a fast cyclist. It was only after I met my coach that I learned I could be fast too if I trained my butt off...)

Lat year, in order for me to go to "hard" in a swimming session, I had to basically thrash my arms as fast as they could go. (Which wasn't very fast at all, but hey, you have to start somewhere right?) And kick like a mofo.

Yesterday, I realized that "hard" and "solid effort" mean different things to me now! I have more control over my form when I am going hard or *solidly.* I can even control my speed a bit! I felt like a streamlined tadpole (best way I can think of to describe my fast wriggling sensations! LOL!) doing my few sets of 100. I really felt my hips working with my stroke and it was so flipping exciting. :) :)

I was bagged after my swim and had a nap before I did weights -- then I was REALLY bagged and had another nap -- a drooling nap -- before I went for a run. Now the run was going to be a challenge...

The main set was 6 sets of 2 minutes HARD and 1 minute easy. Even more so than swimming, running has always been one speed for me...But over the last year with Sara, I have been making progress and yesterday was AWESOME!!!!

I felt so tired and all my muscles were sore, but I knew from Sara's Ghetto Camp in June that I can still do a a great workout even when my body feels like utter crap. I was hesitant about the 2 minutes hard bit -- how would I do this? I've had trouble going 1 minute hard, now 2 whole minutes? Would 1 minute be enough to recover? Would I be able to actually run easy and not walk for that minute?

The run was AWESOME!!! I felt similar to when I ran the Calgary half-mary earlier this year -- I looked down at my legs in disbelief and thought, "What do you know? I'm RUNNING HARD!!" I was wheezing and gasping for sure, but the terror of pushing myself hard whilst running was gone. :) :)

I actually wasn't thinking about running too much when I did the hard segments....The only thing I focused on was pushing off and using my butt and hammys, and keeping a high cadence for the hard parts. Then, I thought of swimming 100s. I do a lot of swimming 100s on 2:00 -- so I would imagine I was swimming 100s and would have 2 ENTIRE minutes to swim them. It made the running so much......easier. Does that make sense?

This year at the GWN I used this trick a friend told me about right before the race -- he told me -- when running gets tough keep saying to yourself, "I'm not running, I'm not running." Think of lying on the beach, swimming, whatever. Well, I have a new mental trick now!!

I'm going to think of swimming when I am running hard now -- It works for me! :) :)


Cath said...

Get you, sounds like a few things have clicked all at once - how exciting is that!! Bet you slept well last night :)

Just off to the pool right now to do my 100's sets too, so I'll think of you while I'm in there :)


Keith said...

Interesting ideas! So much of this is mental, and for some reason it's even harder to change our minds than our bodies.

I'm really impressed with your 100 m on 2 min. I can swim that speed for quite some time, but once I start going much faster the wheels come off the wagon pretty quick, then I need more rest to catch my breath, and I end up swimming an overall slower pace.

I'll have to try telling my legs "I'm not running..." but I suspect they're going to be crying bullshit! :-)

Jenna said...


Julie - running well on tired legs - isn't that the ultimate goal. I wonder what it will feel like :)

Solid Effort in swim - I like to think of it as power swimming. A solid effort is using my muscles and catching and pulling with great strength, finishing my pull at my thinghs not my hips, rolling with intention, focus on form but executed with strength and power.

runningman said...

Good job Julie, a break through day!! I love those where somthing clicks!

Julie said...

Jenna -- thank you for that description -- rolling with intention -- AWESOME!!!!!!!

Charlie Browne said...

isn't everything we do in life about the "roll".......

Missy said...

I love lightbulb moments when you figure out what works for you. For me, on hard run days, I just visualize the finish line and the NUMBER I'm looking for (works for me)!

Amber Dawn said...

You rock sista! I am going to live through you this season, so keep up the hard work so you (we) can kick some serious arse!! :)