At lunch I swam a 1×1500 in 24:01. Time was slow, but I realized that I finally “found” the “feel” of a “good stroke.” Before all the open waters swims in May, I pulled through my freestyle mostly with arms and pecs, always wondering why I didn’t feel my shoulder roll and using my lats more…like I read about all the time. Back into the pool after five or so open water swims, I felt a change in my stroke…more efficient and almost getting to that point of rolling my shoulders and using my lats more. Well, today I felt what that feels like, and I LOVE IT. It is a noticably different stroke for me, much more efficient and just as fast. I can actually feel my shoulders roll “over the barrel” and the pull in my lats. Today I easily averaged 10 strokes per arm per 25 yds. Today was a good swim, obviously. And I ran to the gym from work (one mile each way) as a recovery run. I found that this is a workout that I really like for an easy day.

After work, I biked a 20k in 40:25 as a recovery ride. This was my first ride back with a bike computer, and I realized I am back down to an average cadence of 80, from 84 in April and May before the bike computer broke. So, clearly, the cadence meter helps me on that front. But now I guess I’ve built up a good slightly-anaerobic base in the last six weeks by not using the bike computer to gauge cadence. This is all quite interesting to me because I felt like I was losing endurance in the past few weeks but gaining power…..and I suppose that is exactly what was happening. Hopefully I can get my average cadence back up to 84-86 and see that this was a blessing in disguise to get my power up and still have endurance. Lesson learned: bike computer data is definitely useful.

And finally, I thought of a strategy for the bike during races. You have to power into and out of the turn of an out-and-back course. Last year, I rolled casually into the turn because I didn’t have any bike handling skills whatsoever, and then casually rolled out. I figure I can gain at least 15 seconds on a more intense turnaround that I ride into hard, slam on the brakes, and then burst out of onto the backstretch. Now I have to remember to do it in a race.

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