Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Swim Focus: Did it work?

Well, my swim focus has come to an end. After two months of consistent dedicated work I made it.
My normal swim volume is probably somewhere around 30,000 yards a month. For October and November I had a goal of 50,000 yards per month. Unfortunately due to a sickness in October and a little bit of life outside of triathlon getting in the way I was unable to hit that mark either month. I did make it to about 45,000 each month though. Here is what I learned from past 2 months.
1. The black line in my pool is actually blue. The funny thing is I never noticed this. I had it pointed out to me by Kelly Jahns who informed me in late Novembr. I guess it's time for some new goggles. :)
2. A swim focus will really dry out your skin. I'm pretty good about putting lotion on post swim but I can't reach my back, and I'd feel weird asking my swim buddies to lotion me up. So I walk around with an itchy back all the time.
3. I started to actually enjoy swimming. (don't worry, the feeling went away). I no longer dreaded going to the pool in the morning. The biggest reason for this was the people I swim with. They were all very encouraging and helpful.
4. I did get faster. I felt like I got significantly faster, though I'm still not signifcantly fast but certainly "faster" than I was.
My benchmark tests showed some rather significant gains.
1000 TT. October time- 15:32 December time- 14:42
500 TT. October time- 7:20 December time- 6:54
100 TT. October time- 1:14 December time- 1:12

The only goal I didn't hit was my 100 time which I missed by 1 second. Hopefully I can maintain some of this speed I've gained in last year and it will benefit at Ironman Coeur d' Alene in June.

Friday, December 9, 2011

De Soto Polypro Thermal jersey review

Living in the northwest I am constantly on the look out for things to keep warm while training in frigid temperatures. After a couple of years of doubling up on Underarmour cold weather shirts and fleece beanies I think I've finally found the best solution.

This is it!  The De Soto Polypro thermal jersey is awesome.  
1.  Its thicker without being cumbersome.  There is a fleece liner to keep you warm, however it still seems to breath remarkably well.
2.  It has a hood.  I know what you're thinking "big deal" hoods just bounce around and get in the way.  This hood is different though.  Its tight around your head and cut slightly in on the side so it doesn't inhibit your line of sight at all.  It reminds me of the suits you see speed skaters wearing. 
3.  It has thumb holes.  You can cover nearly half of your hand with these thumb holes and it keeps the sleeve from sliding up.
4.  It had a pocket at the top of the neck that you can put a chemical warmer in.  I haven't actually put a warmer in there but I have put my ipod in there and it worked great.  
Bottom line the Polypro jersey is great for biking, running cross country skiing and I'm sure it would work for any outdoor activity where you want to be warm but don't want to worry about of a lot of bulkiness getting in your way.