Swimex Residential Blog

October presented me with a few bumps in the road for my triathlon training. It was an adjustment going from working out 25 hours a week to no real training. While I went back to “regular” life, I also had to recover from the nagging muscle issues that go along with 12 months of hard training.

Work for me is always extra busy in the fall, plus I began taking 13.5 graduate school credits to get my Tier 2 School Administrator credential. In my spare time I watched my children’s soccer games. I am proud stevestumpto say my son Michael ran a personal best in cross country and made All League (6th overall at Small Schools finals).

My off-season project was to clear a large stump from my back yard. It takes more work than you think to dig up a stump this size and move it with only hand tools. By the end of October, California got rain, the stump had a 6″ deep moat of water around it, and I finally got word from Ironman. My goal is once again to finish two Ironmans in one year. I am signed up for Ironman Texas (May 16, 2015) and Ironman Boulder (August 2, 2015).Nov 2014 002

In November I removed the stump and completed almost all of my graduate work. It always amazes me how much weight one can gain when you go from burning 18,000 calories a week working out when you’re ironman training to none when you don’t work out. It also doesn’t help when you have a little too much turkey and pumpkin pie. At the end of November, it was definitely time to get back into my workout routine and build back up from very little fitness to being ready for Ironman Texas in 24 weeks.

I started my training with 7600 yards of swimming, 60 miles of running and 120 miles on the bike. I set my SwimEx at speed 60 to start getting back into the swing of things and building swim endurance doing sets of 100 yards. As I gain my endurance I will increase the complexity of sets and increase the speed. My long swim is 1600 yards, my run is 7 miles, and I bike 35 miles. These will all increase each month moving forward.

Cold Weather Running GearI don’t know about the weather where you live, but here the temperature is dropping. Today I accomplished my long run in the snow. The picture to the left shows the type of gear I wear for running in cold and snowy weather. It is basically shorts and a shirt underneath a waterproof shell. I didn’t need my warmer gloves, wool socks or balaclava. After the run it was great to come inside and swim. I was tempted to heat the pool up a few extra degrees. I decided against it as it is easier to swim faster if the water is not too warm. I got in a great swim.

Now that December is here, finding time to work out is challenging. There’s not only the cold weather but time spent traveling and visiting my family. I’ll spend this month trying to figure out how to get in workouts around family events as well as avoid the array of desserts that always accompany holiday festivities.

Part of living a healthy lifestyle for me is encouraging others to do the same. If you have stumbled across my posts for the first time, I hope you will consider doing a walk, a 5k program or learn to swim freestyle as I did when I turned 40.

Stephen Bratton

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