Friday, November 21, 2014

2014 Mid-November Chill In The Air

Half my lifting friends are off to Hamburg for the IUKL World Championships. The other half are at home, scheduling their training around Thanksgiving to pay off gravy bills. I'm working on lifting volume and trying to run through the snotsicles in this year's early freezing temperatures.

I lifted in my shed all of last winter, but the sheer, bitter cold in the bells this season felt completely foreign. I did not remember them being this hard to deal with, until I remembered that I previously carried some of the bells in and out of the house in the worst weather. I bought a second programmable space heater and an electric blanket. It may seem a bit much, but it was totally worth it. The room was a cozy 60F, and the bells were a comfortable, neutral temp.

No, that's not me in there
I'm working basic volume right now in Long Cycle and Jerk. There was a time a few months ago when I reached this milestone volume of 100 reps per session. At the time, that was significant for me, as my rank number is around 50 and I didn't tolerate many reps on heavier bells. As of this week, I'm over 100 reps per session, a quarter of that with my heavy bells and half of it above competition pace. This will be a busy winter.

Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 November Notes, early

My set at the Great Bells Of Fire meet left a new tear in my palm that crossed one of the seams, so I've trained Jerk, swings (taped my hand), squats, and running since then, part of a 6wk program to reintroduce 24kg and raise my volume with the lighter bells. My palm is healed completely now, and I did today's 16kg finishers as Long Cycle instead of Jerk.

There has been a two-fold benefit from this focus on Jerk. First, I've never tolerated just Jerk before. LC relieves the pressure on my hands and wrists. I logged a dozen straight 2x24kg Jerk today, when my best LC score was a mere 25, and I had not lifted 24kg in weeks prior.

Second, this work emphasizes the part of the cycle that scores the point, the part that can't be forced with grip and biceps and terrible technique. Over the next 6wks, I'll gradually move LC practice up from light to heavier bells. Already, the 24 bells look good.

The program ends the day before a Holiday 5K in December. I've run through the C(ouch)25K program up to session 8.1, but I've already completed 5K or 30min a couple times now. Over the next 5wks, I'll be stretching my 5K/25min to 7K/40min or beyond, and I'm excited about the prospect. Running at the break of dawn is cathartic, even if it's dark and cold.