I don’t know if my body is finally adapting to the workload or I’ve got a big exhaustion hiccup waiting to wallop me around the next corner. But this last week was the perfect training week (knock on wood)! Last week I managed 21 hours of real honest training (i.e. no yoga or strength training). Some of my goals have been more time/miles on the bike, and doing one 13 mile run (along with 3 other runs) each week. I was able to do that. This week I managed 24 hours of triathlon practice, which included 15,000 meters of swimming, 240 miles on the bike and 30 miles of running. It seemed this week was one continuous task after another. I also had a non-training productive week too: I mowed the front and back lawns, did other yard work, cleaned the inside of my car, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, and cooked 4 of the dinners last week. Historically, my third week of a 4-week training block is when I start to shut down. I don’t feel too bad yet (knock on wood) though. What is really helping me is I have a finite number of training weeks until my 2009 season is over—8, including this week. Included in those 8 weeks are 2 rest weeks and one taper week. Knowing I have to hold it together for a few more weeks is encouraging as opposed to having an indefinitely long string of hard workout weeks.
Another thing I’m doing differently is really focusing on recovery. Every night I’m icing my legs and wearing compression socks. I’m trying to sleep better too. Sure, my body’s tired, but at least I have the energy to start the workout (which I generally finish) rather than lounging on the couch totally exhausted.
I’ve read that endurance athletes walk a razor’s edge in training volume in that they’ll push the body as far is it possibly can go before it breaks down or gets injured. Sometimes you slip off the razor—it’s a trial and error thing. But, once you’ve walked that razor’s edge, got off and recovered, you’re capable of things, for a brief period of time, you’ve previously considered impossible. I can attest to that reality. It’s amazing.
In other news, my oldest daughter is trying out for one of the city’s year-round swim programs. I’m really pumped for her. It’ll be challenge for her mother and I to meet the rigorous swim practice regiment and meet the financial requirements, but I think she really has some potential. Unfortunately, I’ll have to back off and let her find that potential herself. I’m too much; I know it. My intensity is just too much when it comes to certain things.