Monday, January 22, 2007

My Strength is My Weakness

I have long thought that swimming was my weakest discipline in triathlon. Biking has long been a hobby of mine, and even after years away from the sport it was easy to hop back in the saddle and hammer out 40-50 miles. While far from an Armstrong or a Basso, I do alright on long rides and know many of the areas in need of improvement.

Running is much the same. I won't be winning any marathons, and I have lots of room for improvement. Even so, I have thousands of miles behind me and have gained a lot of knowledge over the past several years of marathoning. And I can run 15-20 miles on the spur of the moment and suffer few ill effects the following day.

Anyone with minimal exposure to this site knows that swimming is an entirely different story. Even the smallest gain takes a lot of effort. I know just enough to realize how much improvement is needed. I have long accepted that swimming is the weakest link in my iron chain.

Until this past week. One session in the weight room proved that my strength is my weakness. Coach Mike gave me a fairly straightforward strength session including his beginner (you know, the wee baby stuff) core workout. The freeweight portions were easy enough. Four years of football provided sufficient background to accomplish that. The core workout, that was another story.

His plan was for me to complete two sets of his Core Set I. I completed only one. Well, one if we are fairly liberal with the term "complete." It was a killer. Mind you, he also has Core II through Core VI. Like I said, this was like the kindergarten workout, like playing kickball.

I completed that one set, and knew I was wiped out. The next morning, I had proof when I went to get out of bed. My stomach revolted, filed a grievance with the union, and left the building for a smoke break. Today, four days since that workout, and my stomach is still feeling the effects of that workout.

That leads me to the conclusion that my strength is, in fact, my weakness. So, sore tummy or not, I'll be putting a solid emphasis on the workouts provided by Mike. And those core workouts, they're my new nemesis. And like any good nemesis, they must be thrown down. They must be shown that I'm tougher than they. It's likely to hurt. But it's also sure to help.

So, if you can't find me in the pool, check out the weight room. I just might be hanging out with my new friend, the Fitball.


momo said...

i truly believe the work i've done in the weight room translates to the run and the bike and especially the swim. it will get easier, but then you'll probably be moving on to core 2, 3 and 4. great job, pol!

Deb said...

Good for you workin that core! It's my favorite workout and I believe it's the most important to your overall health and training. Go to it!

Wendy said...

Good for you! It'll pay dividends, Pol.

SkiRough said...

I actually do a lot of the very same core workouts at my gym as part of my lifting routine. I am fairly certain I have a pretty ripped core, however it's hidden under a nice thick layer of belly fat, so I can't be entirely sure. :)

Veeg said...

On the up-side, that strong core will TOTALLY help your swimming.

Two birds. One stone. :)