Friday, March 16, 2012
Lessons learned from IM training
(Post trainer ride - the sun finally came up. And yes I know the room is a mess. I had stuff for the Team Blaze kick off taking up every spare corner of my house.)
Yesterday morning at dark-o thirty as I was riding on my trainer I was reflecting on my training this last week and how generally it stank. Sure I got in all my workouts but I felt sluggish and I wasn't really sure why. So in the early morning quiet when every other smart person was still in bed I was changing things up a bit. Testing some theories and coming to some conclusions. It seems to me this may be the first of many posts about the things that I have learned so far from Ironman training.
1 - Not every double workout should be done as a brick.
At the moment I am doing double or triple workouts on 4 out of 7 days. Now as a lazy person who loves to sleep I always choose to hit the snooze button than to get up early and workout. As a result the only time left for me to do my workouts is in the afternoon, once school is over and before the kids evening activities begin. So on all these double workout days I end up doing all my training back to back. My coach only has me doing specific brick workouts on 1 or 2 days. So I have been doing run intervals then jumping on the bike and trying to do a hilly ride and wondering why my legs don't have any power in them....duh. My early morning ride and my afternoon hilly interval run yesterday afternoon confirmed my suspicions. ONLY do your workouts as a brick if that's what your training plan calls for.
2 - Sleep is King
For some weird reason I haven't been sleeping well this week. Lots of stuff going on keeping my head spinning I guess, but it made me realize how major sleep is in the training and recovery cycle. It is MAJOR.
3 - Learning to say no.
Do I want to go out to dinner tonight with my friends? Yes, I do.
Do I want to eat something rich and creamy prepared by a chef rather than something boring like salad or vegetables that I cooked myself? Why, yes...yes, I do.
Do I want to sit around and laugh and drink and stay out late ( for me that's around 9:30pm)? Yes, Yes I really, really do.
Do I think I can do all that and still get up and do 4 hours of training tomorrow after training for 4 hours today? Um...weeell. Ok. You got me. No.
I am learning that sometimes saying no is the smart thing to do because it makes your body happy....and a happy body makes for less suffering on long training days.
4 - Training can be a bit of a mental rollercoaster.
Some weeks you finish a training block and you feel strong and fast and awesome. And sometimes for no apparent reason the next week you can feel slow and weak - as if somehow you have gone backwards. I'm not sure why this happens or what exactly triggers it but the mental side of IM training can really be a rollercoaster ride. When I have a week like this last one where my training mojo went MIA I just think about completing all my workouts and then starting the next week with a better mental outlook. I like that Mondays are do-overs. A new week on my training calendar.....actually its the only thing I like about Mondays really.
Having said that, when I am having a less than stellar training week it helps to remind myself that this is not my career and no-one depends on my performance to survive. I do this for fun and for the challenge and really I am so very lucky to be in a position to be able to do it at all. So even the lousy training weeks turn out to be good when you keep it all in perspective.