Welcome to the balancing act: the phase of training where things are starting to go well and the results of a string of hard work are beginning to show BUT the risk of over-training is real and starting to get vocal.
The last two weeks have been about the continued march upward in both training volume and intensity. Overall, things have gone according to plan. I’ve continued to steadily ratchet the hours and miles upward without any significant injury…..until.
On Thursday I noticed that my biannual “sniffle” had arrived. Super annoying, but nonetheless like clockwork. As the seasons begin to change (we get a few warm days and then a few cold ones or visa-versa) and my body starts to complain – usually my Achilles Ears-nose-throat. This was NOT wonderful news as it could get int the way of my training….but this go-around being an older and (with any luck) wiser athlete, I decided to listen.
I took Thursday easy, Friday off, did a hard session on Saturday and then took today off. Today was the hard one. A weekend-day off feels a little like you’re “giving in” and the doubts of whether it’s a good idea clang LOUDLY…..but after looking at my training log & data – it was the right move – as my overall training stress was well into the negative and had dipped below my self-imposed “stop-loss” level of -30 on Monday of last week.
DAMMIT! That’s what I get for being lazy and not looking at my data (and thus not writing a blog) last week. I was at nearly a -36, which is almost automatic injury/illness territory. Had I listened to my data I wouldn’t have to listen to my body…..
The good news is, it’s early enough that this reinforcement of a previous lesson-learned can be just that – a personal review in the wisdom of listening – that no matter how well things are going or how hard you might like to push, there is a limit…..and you shouldn’t cross it.
Where things stand:
Swim – I got 2 solid swims in last week and was happy with them, however I forgot my watch on both days and so don’t have accurate pacing information. I’m excited to back into the water (which is odd for me)…..so that’s a good thing.
Bike – It’s been a continued steady upward march in both miles and power…..but I have this underlying feeling like I’m not pushing hard enough. Of course, the data shows otherwise, but with the amount of time spent in the saddle on race day so much hinges on a good bike split.
Run – I had 2 very solid runs this week. One on the dread-mill and one on the roads. The treadmill was the treadmill, not much to speak of…..or see…..but the group run on Saturday was a good one. I was with a pack of 7 runners, all of whom can push me (“drop me” might be the more accurate phrase) – but I decided I was going to test my legs some and see what I could do. After 1 hour on the bike I ran +/- 10.5 with them and we kept a strong pace on a tough course. If my running can continue moving in the direction it is I will have a new found confidence coming off the bike.
Where from here?
First things first – shake the phlegm….literally. Then move on to another 3 hard build weeks – since this one will have to count as the “1 down” of the 3 up, 1 down cycle I’m using.
The swim needs to get to the one hour “race-pace + a little” level, the bike needs to continue to climb toward the 250 miles per week range (and I DESPERATELY HOPE this is the week I ride outdoors), and the long-run should probably push over the 15 mile mark (assuming the bike is on track – which continues to come first).