A favorite swim workout – 500 countdown + 10×100

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This is one of my favorite swim workouts. It’s a nice mix of endurance training and intervals. You could mix it up a bit more by adding 200’s or 50’s on the second set.


More Heart Rate thoughts: bike vs run

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After looking at my heart rate spiking during runs, which is still happening, I thought to compare a bike workout versus a run. 

The run from last night has a spike in the first five minutes.

The bike  from this morning gradually goes up in the first five minutes as I warmup. 

Conclusion: heart rate spikes on run is clearly a lack of warmup. 

Causes of heart rate spike early in a run

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I haven’t been running consistently this past year, and now I am building back into some semblance of a consistent pattern.  As I do this, I am noticing a strange and kind of crazy spike in my heart-rate in the first few minutes of my run. I first noticed it back in November or December that month’s attempt to run consistently, and I saw it again.

Basically, in the first five minutes of a run, my heart rate spikes to nearly my max heart rate. It gets into the upper 170’s when my max heart rate is probably about 182-186. The thing is, I don’t even really feel it racing that hard, especially considering that most of the time it is happening on a nice downhill slope.

Here’s what I’m talking about, in this case today it hit 186:


So what could it be?

I’m calling it a lack of warmup for a body that isn’t used to it, event though it is new to me. I’ve been running an average of 20 miles per week for 8-10 years prior to this past year when I lost that average because of work schedules.  With significantly less base fitness, I think it is plausible that my body simply can’t start without a good warmup.

Below is arguments and evidence I used.

My first thought is that it is a heart rate monitor problem, with electric static or bad lead connections, similar to this from runnersworld.com:

I suggest it is due to static electricity.  It is quite common.  As soon as you start sweating then it stops.  To help avoid those spikes I spray the insides of my synthetic running shirts with Static Guard.  You’ll notice this problem is worse in the winter than in the summer because of the lower dew point resulting in drier air.


if the static guard doesn’t correct the problem, i might suggest that it is that monitor is having a hard time registering your pulse becuase you may have slightly low blood pressure.


Note that when I start running after a few minute walking warmup, my cadence is about 160, so I can’t rule out that explanation.  These are from both indoor and outdoor runs, but always running shirts, always wet leads, all from a Garmin HRM.

Screenshot from 2015-03-10 00:24:42


I’d be more concerned if your heartbeat wasn’t faster at the beginning of your run then after you had warmed up.   It’s perfectly normal.   Think about it, you are going from no exercise to stressing your body.


. In the meantime a had a physical with a full blood test.. Come to find out I’m iron deficient.. The doctor prescribed me a Iron supplement and a week later I’m seeing major improvemnets. I’ve had issues with this in the past but it’s also affected in daily life (Energy ETC.) So that’s why it never occurred to me this could be the problem.


And then this from RunningSystems.com

A lot of people who run with heart rate monitors often see their heart rate spike at the beginning of a run, only to subside after a mile or two. This kind of spike only happens if you didn’t warm up long enough.

The mind game: “If You Think You Can…

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This poem by Walter D. Wintle changed my life sometime around 7th or 8th grade, when I saw it at school somewhere and then took it home and pasted on a wall in my bedroom. I looked at it everyday during my sports seasons and decided I thought I would be a champion in something some day.

Success is a mind game, and this poem says everything I could possibly say about it but so much better and more eloquently.


And the site that graphic came from, www.pravsworold.com, looks pretty cool, too.

I get to be a Kraken!

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This has to be the coolest swim team name ever. Even cooler because I didn’t know what a Kraken was until earlier this year when Noah brought home a myth v fact book about creatures like this.

From Triathlete.com – 3 Ways To Become A Better Cyclist

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Great article that I summarize with one word – Sufferfest at http://www.sufferfest.com


Lessons Learned – Torn Calf Muscle

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I am two weeks into healing a torn calf muscle. This my first real injury in probably ten years or more, and here are a few lessons I have learned.

1. BioFreeze and Do Terra Deep Blue are an awesome combination.

2. You can still do flutter kicks with a torn calf muscle. Maybe my tear wasn’t so bad (it never really bruised), but I could get a great workout of 30 minutes of kicks. My first week with a torn calf muscle was a swim focus with two swims per day, and it worked out really well. I had to remember to push off the wall with only one leg, but it was still great training. I turned a possible lost week of training to an awesome swim week that included a personal record swim distance set of 4,000 yards.

3. I am deeply grateful for my health and ability to run, and that my boys can and WANT to do it.

4.  I am learning patience as I have another week before I will try to run. We are in the midst of beautiful spring days, and I look at my running trails with a new-found longing to power up the hills.

Thankfully, this will be a relatively short recovery period with no permanent issues.

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