This has been a huge training week, in terms of volume and in terms of successes. Let's get to it:

Key Swim:

This came on Sunday. I went right in and did the masters workout set for set. The main set was a 10x200m on the 3:15, and this was challenging for me. I nailed the whole thing without going anaerobic, which is a nice sign. The full workout was a 5000m swim, which is the longest practice I've done in this training program.

Key Run:

Tuesday morning, nailed a 1 hour, 40 minute, 9 mile run on the treadmill. Felt great with the orthotics, painless. The run was long and boring on the treadmill, but this is my longest run in 6 months. When the going got tough, I reminded myself how much I've missed the running while I've been injured with the Achilles. I will try to move some of the running outside soon, and we will see how the Achilles responds.

Key Bike:

This was Saturday morning. I got my bike Orthotics on Thursday afternoon. Biked home from
the podiatists with them on (about 15 miles), then I biked easy Friday morning (about 20 miles). No pain either day, so I was very excited for the Saturday long ride. I went out and killed a 4 hour, 15 minute 75 miles ride. No pain, no calf tightness, beautiful weather. This is one of my best rides ever, it just felt so refreshing to be back and riding pain free.

A few other notes about this ride:

1) My Garmin forerunner was out of batteries, so I had no heart rate tracking in this workout. I think this worked to my advantage. I worried less about keeping my heart rate down, and I just
let my intensity go by 'feel'. I paced myself by keeping it in the small chainring for the first 2 hours, then riding whatever gear I wanted after that.

2) I rode this long ride with no solid food. All I used was water, sports drink, and two different energy gel recipes. The first was (corn syrup + salt + Kool-aid powder) the second was (honey + salt). I still hit about 500 cal/hour. This went over very well. First, my energy levels were strong throughout. I never felt any of the mental fogginess that I get when bonking, as sometimes happens when blood sugar dips during a long ride. Second, I had no bloating. On long rides with powerbars, granola, or dried fruit, I sometimes come home and see some stomach distension in the mirror. Or, in all honesty, I start farting real bad. That's a sign that my stomach is not digesting well. With just the liquids, I didn't have either of these GI issues. This is a potentially huge food break-through. We'll see if it this strategy continues to help on future rides.

With a 9 mile run and a 75 mile ride completed pain-free, I declare the Achilles officially healed.

Here are some pictures of me after the long ride. The first shows how the long bike miles have turned my legs into solid, wattage-producing, freakish machines:

The second shows the look of happiness on my face after getting off the bike on Saturday:

Tip of the Week:

This comes directly from renowned strength coach, Charles Staley:

"The majority Is ALWAYS wrong, therefore DO THE OPPOSITE...watch what others do, and align your own behaviors in 180-degree opposition to that, and watch what happens. It's very powerful. Trust me."

He says it works in life, and it works in training. In regards to training, he says,

"Most people "work out" (primarily or exclusively) to improve their appearance. When you train for performance, aesthetics will always improve. The opposite is not usually true, however. Most people seek pain in their workouts. Seek PERFORMANCE in yours. It's better to use your performance as a gauge of what you've accomplished than how much you hurt the next day, however. Numbers don't lie—if your numbers are going up, so is your progress. The reverse is not true however—I trashed my back a few days ago doing something really stupid, and trust me, the fact that I can't tie my shoes right now isn't a sign of progress."


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