Couch to 5K
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Week 7 Spin 1 - Hard going!

It might be because I swam a bit, first, but I really didn't do much more than familiarise myself with the snorkel I've bought to eliminate proper breathing from the swimming equation.

Luckily for me, the route I chose was pretty flat, and had quite a lot of downhill sections. It had a few hills, of course, but they were tiny, and not steep or high. I just never got into a nice groove. I thought maybe I was just having a rough start, but the rough start turned into a rough middle, and finally a rasping end.

We all have bad runs. We all have bad spins if we spin, too. The idea I thought of as all this was happening is that maybe your "body" (which turns out to really be just a part of your mind) sometimes tests your mind, to see if it can be talked into taking things a bit easier. All sorts of parts complain and get prematurely tired just to give you that excuse to stop. So I decided that this is a good opportunity to just say NO to that. Hopefully next time the body remembers that The Answer is No from the mind. No, we're not going to find a comfy chair, we're going to push on.

Just one other thing. Although I doubt that it measures things with the right kind of accuracy, the instrumentation on the spinning cycle is probably at least consistent. So if it gives you one reading on one day, and then a different one on another, the relationship between the two is at least a good representation of the facts. So the other day I think I almost did 450 calories and today I did 390. Looks like the perception of the "tough run" is quite true then.

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At least you're still doing something 😊 it's better to have a bad run/ spin than to have not bothered trying to do anything at all!

Why do you want to eliminate proper breathing from your swims?


Got to keep trying, yes. :-) As far as the breathing goes, it's mostly just to simply things. I can swim reasonably well, but don't think I'll ever get comfortable with taking water aboard (easy solution is just to stop, roll over, relax, but sometimes it's hard to unlock from the mission).

There's one other thing about the snorkel. To some extent I'm trying it out for my brother, and a cousin of mine. Both are phobic about not getting enough air while swimming (which one cures by swimming without enough air, until the body adapts itself to get rid of the discomfort), so I thought this might be the answer for them. I'm not yet convinced it is, actually. Somehow breathing through that pipe creates quite a dry spot in the throat. Also I'm suprised how snotty I'm turning out to be (the mouthpiece looks like it comes from a frog or an alien when I take it out).

I actually do do some swimming across the shallow end, trying to breathe properly, as well. I've become an entirely left-side breather. As soon as I roll to the right I either lose my swimming rhythm or breath in water. So I only do rightward proper breathing now (in a place where I can't drown from doing so).

The snorkel's fantastic for breast stroke. You go into "fish mode" with the less frantic styles of swimming. It's also good for just floating there, doing nothing watching all the bits of stuff at the bottom, and giving the spine a stretch (I hope, anyway). For the more relaxed forms of snorkelling you still can't beat a proper face mask. I find my swimming goggles fog up all the time.


I haven't ever used a snorkel and I don't think I have swam since I was 9 so I will have to take your word for all of that! Whatever you do please don't hurt yourself in the process of using yourself as a guinea pig 😊


Thanks. I think as long as I do the right hand side breathing attempts in the shallow end I'll probably be all right. :-)

If you do one day start to cross train, swimming, the snorkel (maybe somehow adapted to humidify the air breathed in?) is not a bad way to get started. It means you can just keep your head down, and get on with paddling along.


Think I was getting that mind thing which was saying let's just take it easy, which was keeping me at a slow pace. But after Saturdays slow time with the hill I want to up the pace, to increase stamina, so had this in mind on today's level run and got a pb, only by 17 secs, but overall an improvement on pace, so yes, I believe you have be determined and be a bit hard and push on.. Well done mate! You will improve...


17 secs is a very good increase in PB, once you've gotten set in a running groove? I would think so, anyway. Anyone first setting off is going to make big leaps in progress, but after a time that goes more linear and gradual.

I think it's probably a good idea to put up some resistance when it things don't want to go smoothly, though, yes. If nothing else, it stretches your capacity to switch from empty tank to pure resolution. I was kaputt this afternoon, mind you. It cost more than the good run did.

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I've never been on a spin bike that had any instrumentation tbh. Resistance knob/brake and that's it...

What I have found i that if I do any running or other cardio exercise before spinning, my spin suffers terribly, but the converse is not true. If i spin then run then both are strong. So maybe spin then swim is the way forward?


Certainly when I start to set to with the swimming, that's what I'll need to do. And next time I do my "run" I'll make sure that the time before was not too active, too. Got a bit sunburned the other day, so I planned things so that I was in the water before noon, and then got out of there and into the shade as the Sun rose higher. That's still how I'd do it, but I'd definitely spend more time trying not to go mad floating around just under the surface, and less flogging the water. Eventually this won't much matter. It's just that at the moment my forearms are Italian, and my stomach is Icelandic. As soon as it all goes dark I can take quite a bit of sun without suffering too much.


I must say I had to read this twice before I understood

"It might be because I swam a bit...Luckily for me, the route I chose was pretty flat"

Then had a chuckle.

Normally a bad run is just that, a one off, and the next one is fine, but you seem to be having a string of bad luck. I hope things get easier for you and you are able to run properly again. Good luck mate.


Thanks. I'll try to put the "run" completely first next time, and see how much that helps. Just thinking it over, I might have swum more than I realised in the morning. Actual swimming distance was probably at least 500 m, which is a lot for me at this stage. There were huge rest breaks between most laps, though, and the laps were mostly 50:50 breast stroke:crawl (and done as slowly as possible, probing the prospects of submerging, going aquatic and isolated from the whole world, and then back and forth, back and forth, slowly, steadily, gradually accumulating a distance/ time, rather than some or other top speed. It is nice when the speed arrives, mind you. It was always like that. At times speed appears, and then just as suddenly, it goes away again. The feedback is nice and direct. You see the tiles start to "glide" more, and to pass by more quickly. :-) and then it's as if your shadow bumps into a wall.)


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