Friday, December 16, 2011

One Hits the Water, the Other HITs the Treadmill

Webb: This wacky week saw the teammates splitting up their workouts again. Elle took on the lap pool for her first solo 3000m swim set. Webb finished his week of late nights at the office with a lung and heart bursting treadmill workout.

Webb's Workout: "Mike O'Chondria" evolves to "10-10-10"
A couple of year's ago Super Personal Trainer Mike D'Angelo gave us a run workout designed to increase our mitochrondria, which you may remember is the workhorse of the cell. (Mike O'Chondria. Get it? Cute, huh? Ok, whatever.) The workout is simple, short and efficient. After a good warm-up, do 5 sets of 30-seconds ALL-OUT effort followed by a 2-minutes jog recovery. The workout is best done on a track because you can truly give a maximum effort each interval. As Mike says, each interval try to beat your last distance. You can do it on a treadmill, it just won't be the same quality.

Elle: I've never done Mike O'Chondria on a track, only on a treadmill, and I personally think it works just fine.

Webb: A couple of weeks ago I heard about a High Intensity Training (HIT) workout similar to Mike O'Chondria, but scary. Of course, I had to try it. Again, it is simple and efficient. You put the treadmill grade at the maximum (or the maximum you can handle) and then crank the speed up to the maximum (or  the maximum you can handle). Do 10 sets of :30 followed by 1:00 of passive recovery (i.e., step off the treadmill and try to catch your breath). I tried this a day or two after hearing about it  and failed miserably - only completing 5 sets.
So I merged the two into my new "10-10-10" workout:

15 minute warm up
10 x 10mph at 10% grade
Each interval is 30-seconds with a 2-minute passive recovery (The longer recovery made all the difference.)

Webb: I noticed my HR after each work interval creeped up about 1 bpm - which becomes 10+ by the end of the workout. (If you don't have a HR monitor, ask a gym employee to count the beats as your heart tries to burst out of your chest.) What probably makes it a great workout is that by the end of the recovery interval your HR decreases by about 3 beats LESS each time. For example, if after the first set your recover to 120, after the second set you'll be at 123ish. Needless to say, as the workout goes on, it gets uglier and uglier. But hey, you'll feel good about yourself laying next to the treadmill in your own puddle of sweat at the end. And the EMTs will think you're awesome.


Elle: So I ventured to the pool to do the following endurance swim workout:

The pool @ SEFC
warm up: 2 x 200m (50m swim, 100m kick, 50m swim)
main: 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m @ moderate pace
          300m, 200m, 100m @ negative splits
          200m (fast)
          100m (fast)
          4 x 150m pull-buoy (this is what really sucked)
cool down: 100m
total: 3000m

Elle: So for swimmers, that may not seem like a lot, but for me, it might as well have been a 15-mile run, cuz, freaking-A, when I finished that, and stepped out of the pool and saw that I had been swimming for almost exactly an hour and a half..WHEW!!!! Swimming is definitely my weakest discipline, so it feels good to put in a big workout like that. I was glad when it was over, but felt motivated to improve for next time.


  1. Sounds like a big step forward, Elle.

  2. Big step forward? How about 900 big steps forward at 10% grade?!? :)