Thursday, March 10, 2011

Training Camps....when do they start and end


Having never really done a training camp I was not sure what to expect overall- other than many hours in the pool, on the bike and running. That expectation was clearly met and exceeded.  Going into the camp my coach had me back off a few days to ensure I was not tired.  But coming off a big week previously I cannot say I was fresh, but I was eager to train and feeling good.

Looking back I realize I did not fuel properly for the work done- eating a big breakfast is key to 5-6 hour training days.  Once the training begins it becomes very difficult to keep up with the calories.  With 60-90 minutes between sessions I was not able to eat much real food and thus was not able to stay properly fueled.  I started each day with 200k Oatmeal and a Venti Latte, next time I would look for 5-700k to get ahead of the day, much like when I am racing.   I would have filled my bottled with more liquid calories vs solid food.  I generally train with solids but as the day goes on nothing really tastes good or they all begin to taste the same, gooey, sweet, processed and I eat less.  On the 3rd day after the bike,run and swim I was so hungry and tired I just wanted to lay down-  I forced a good meal of carbs and protein at 4:00 and then managed a huge dinner at 6.  Waking up at 3am starving most nights was another indication I was not eating enough.

Poor planning on day 4 was my mistake and I did the an OW swim and 14 mile run on a few gels. Thankfully there was a mobile bike repair guy was set up on Torrey Pines who was offering bananas and water so I was saved on my run.  Post run and post camp I started eating and don't think I stopped until Wednesday night.  

The other unexpected component is the delayed fatigue.  Monday I felt tired and spent in a good way.  Tuesday I went for a great run was so so pleased to have absorbed the work and was ready to start building.  Wednesday all bets were off....tired and sluggish, still starving and my swim was slow.  When I tried to pick up the pace it was not there so I paid attention and backed off and made it a nice hour recover swim.  On the bike, the fatigue was apparent in my legs and I assumed after 20 min or so it was ease off.  Not happening...low HR, tired legs and climbing out of the neighborhood felt like I was climbing GWL.

At this point the little voice in my head is saying something is not right here...I am looking ahead at my schedule which includes 4 hour ride, bike intervals, 1/2 Marathon race on Sunday and I realized I had to reach out to my coach. I knew once I raised my hand that something was "off" my training would back off. Here is the conflicting part...I know, listening to my body, this is what needs to happen, but mentally I don't want it to happen. I want to be able to be building up, racing on Sunday and rolling into O'side.  Here is when having a coach is critical, for me.  I would be tempted to roll along  with training as planned and potentially sabotage all the hard work I did at camp and possibly enter my race fatigued. 

So...my weekend of long riding and racing is now a total recovery weekend.  Am I happy about that - NO, is it the right thing to do, Yes (I think) So I am posting this and saying it!

And once again...what has been most neglected- my run!  The idea was solid camp would lift bike and swim fitness- accomplished!  Then I would back it up this weekend with a 1/2 marathon. But not happening...I did run alot in camp but nothing of real quality- hard to get good quality runs after hammering rides and long swims (well at least for me) Hey, here is an idea- don't hammer the ride?  One of these times I will get it right.