A Few Wise Guidelines Never Hurt

There is an old saying “Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.” Translation – don’t stick anything in your ear. Like a Q-Tip. Which I did yesterday morning after swimming. I spent most of the day with a plugged up ear. Last night I tried a few home remedies of a few drops of oil then flushing it with hydrogen peroxide. It did help – lodge the block further in. This morning I really could not hear much out of the ear.  I hoped that swimming without ear plugs would help flush it out. Not a chance. So on my way to work I stopped at a Minute Clinic and within a few minutes I had it rinsed out and my hearing returned. Lesson learned – only my elbow will go in my ear.

How often do we cut corners or not follow wise guidelines in training, or in life for that matter? I have modified swim workouts in the past to avoid the really challenging sets or not do different strokes. Now that I have had experience with different strokes as well as challenging sets, I see the benefits and I am adhering to the workouts. My swim this morning was 3,000 meters from a workout I found online on US Masters Swimming’s web site. There was more kicking that I am used to, but I did it. I felt it too this evening when I ran.

Running definitely is an area that I have really seen improvement in since I committed to following the plan my coach set out. It sure was tempting to scrap running/walking slow to stay in zone two back in the beginning. But I chose to stick with it. The results continue to improve. Today my run was for 60 minutes in my zone two with up to 5 minutes at the end in zone 3. I ran the entire workout and averaged 11:15 pace – on tired legs from kicking this morning in swim. Six months ago, in order to stay in zone two my pace was in the 13 minute range. Now my aerobic zones have expanded and I am running faster too.

There are many wise guidelines that if only were followed many problems would be avoided. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Tell the truth. Think of others ahead of yourself. Don’t cheat on your taxes. I am not advocating a legalistic lifestyle, far from it. However in training, if I commit to a sport and a training plan, I am learning the benefits of following through. In life, there are a few wise guidelines that when followed keep us out of trouble, relationships are stronger, and there is greater peace. Oh, and one more, only the elbow goes in the ear.

11 thoughts on “A Few Wise Guidelines Never Hurt

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  1. I’ve always wondered… Why do you have to run in zone two to become more efficient in zone 2? Why can’t I run in zone 3 or 4 and expect my all of my zone paces to improve?

    1. Zone two is where you burn the most fat. The more you do it, the more efficient you become. Zone four is anaerobic and best for speed work to push out your anaerobic threshold. Once a week is usually best in zone four. Zone three is still aerobic but you start burning more carbs than fat, not as efficient. Zone three is actually where I target long distance racing. 5k and 10k races are more zone four. Makes sense?

    2. When anaerobic your body stops burning fat and only carbs. Training here won’t help zone 2 and 3 at all, actually it will hurt it. I learned that the hard way, I taught my body to burn more carbs than fat. That is why I have been working so hard this year to reverse it.

      1. Right, I get that part (I’m there already as we both know). I train in zone 3 a lot, especially running, so if I get faster in zone 3 and zone 4, wouldn’t my zone 2 speed increase as well – my body gets more efficient either way.

        I know I’m doing a lousy job of phrasing all of this, I’ll think about it some and write a post about it. Thanks for taking the time coach.

      2. I understand what you are asking. Zone two is the best area to prove fat burn. Staying in zone three doesn’t teach your body to burn more fat at lower heart rates. I will look for more detail for you.

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