Recovery – The Ten Week Ironman

Easy Week?

Well this week just gone was supposed to be an easier week and when it comes to training it certainly was but that was lucky because there was nothing easy about the rest of it.  Work in particular threw me a few curveballs and stress was high from Monday to Friday.

The Training

Honestly there isn’t a great deal to tell on this front.  Late finishes at work and a couple of sub-optimal nights of sleep meant there were sessions missed and in the end it was only one run, one ride and two swims for the week.  All of them were quality and I don’t concern myself too greatly in a recovery week as long as I keep ticking over.

You don’t want to get stale but you do have to remember that this time is about creating a good environment for your body to super-compensate and build itself back up stronger.  Unfortunately the effects of physical stress and mental stress are fairly similar so it probably wasn’t the ideal environment for me but this is life as an amateur triathlete with a real life, job and family getting in the way and we simply have to deal with it and remember what the important things are (triathlon is NOT one of them.)

Everyone Can Train Like A Professional

Yep, even you.  Look at your life and there I don’t think a single one of you couldn’t find the 20-30 hours a week somewhere.  An hour in the morning, two at night and ten hours on the weekend would be doable for most.  Sure, you wouldn’t see much of your family and life would be dull but you could do it.  What you couldn’t do is recover from that training while holding down a full-time job and getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night.  Once you train in excess of your body’s ability to put itself back together you’re just going to deteriorate until you have to stop.  This week my ability to recover was very low and therefore so was the training.

It can really mess with your head but learning to back off is a discipline equally as important as that of pushing through.  In almost a decade in this sport my only real injury was a flare-up of an old knee problem from basketball that occurred due to a mis-step during a race.  I rarely stretch or foam roll, I don’t visit physios and the only massages I get are the free ones after I’ve finished an Ironman race and at over 90kg most of the time this isn’t the most gentle of sports.  The only thing that I can put it down to is that I really do listen to my body and let it take care of itself.

The Week Ahead

After Monday and Tuesday work should settle back down and I can get back into it properly for another week of breaking myself down.  With only seven weeks to go I really need to start getting myself prepared for the specific demands that the race will place on me.  Get myself used to going (relatively) slow and steady and fuelling myself at the same time.  Sometimes keeping the ego in check is the hardest part, not that I’m particularly egotistical.  😉

 

Trav (aka Stikman)

 

*Missed the series?  Head to back to week one

*Continue on to week four