Friday, July 4, 2014

Recovery...don't deny your body

Triathletes LOVE to post, blog, talk about monster training weeks, (me included), how many hours, miles or meters logged.  For some it maybe boasting, some it maybe pride, some it maybe to psych out their competition, some it’s just fun…. For every “110 mile bike + 5 mile run” posts how many “awesome 3 mile recovery run” or “day off” posts do you see? 

Not many….  Yet, these workouts are most likely the ones elevate athletes.   As a Masters athlete I generally accept and understand the need for recovery except for when I am greedy and eager to train, train, train and as a Coach I do as well.    I have a new Coach (since February) and while I am training with more intensity and higher volume I also have more days off than ever.  3 Mondays of each month are DAYS OFF not light swim, ez run, and days off as in no swim, bike, run, yoga, and strength.
This took some getting used to.  In the beginning I would email coach, how about an easy swim?  NO.  Thought on ez spin?  NO.  I soon stopped asking and really started to tune into my body, was my body eager to train or was it my brain?  Usually my brain.  I started to notice I was less afraid more excited about my Sunday workouts knowing that Monday was off.   Ironman training is often about finishing the workout knowing you could keep going, roll one into another, but resting before it is necessary is also key.

As an athlete I get caught up in what my competition or training partners (sometimes one in the same) are doing… and then I let go and remind myself I am different (my strengths, weaknesses and daily stressors are unique to me alone) and my coach is coaching me for what I can handle.   As a Coach this is crystal clear, as an athlete the waters are muddied somewhat at times.

So after the fat 24 hour week I was so proud of, I backed that week up with 9, yes 9 hours.  5 weeks out from an Ironman I wanted to roll more volume.  My coach (as do I) like to schedule 7-10 days at a time and this is why.  Coming off a monster week and then a day off I was tired.  I knew it.  I was not sleeping well and was starving- 2 key indicators of fatigue. So I waved the white flag and let coach know – here is how the coach/athlete relationship flourishes.  The Coach can only know so much by looking at training logs, HR etc, he/she needs the athlete feedback. I surrendered and he responded with some deep recovery.  Sure I could have written “feeling a bit tired but ready to go” and the week would have gone as written, but I have done that and paid the price.   As an athlete only you really know how you are feeling (listen to your body) .  Lose the mindset of it I tell coach I am tired, she will change my schedule and that is a bad thing.  Embrace it as in “I am so glad I have a coach who monitors my training and wellbeing and adjusts to how I am feeling” Think of it as the stronger athlete takes recovery!

This is why I love coaching, training and racing and having my own coach- It makes me a better athlete and a better Coach. 

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