Sunday, April 13, 2014

Self Analysis: Training, Recovery, Rest & Nutrition

With everything going on, the one thing that is being prioritized at the top of the list, is my training. I absolutely need it right now. It's my stress release. Even when the workouts are hard, it's my calm in the middle of the storm.

I can't help but compare myself year to year. I've always done it. Doesn't everyone? We want to be stronger or faster each year. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't think I am. Otherwise, why would we even do this insanity?

One of the of the many things that I like about my Coach is that she tells me which days are the "work" days and which days will be recovery.

In this particular cycle, my schedule follows the typical (for a masters athlete): build for 3 weeks, step back week. Within each week, I have 3 "work" days and 4 recovery days. I swear. Those recovery days often feel harder than the work days. In addition to that, she will list out workouts that if necessary, I can skip. This is fantastic. She removes the guesswork. Granted, I haven't had to miss any workouts, except for one optional swim a few weeks back.

During the glorious step back week, I get a full day off, with the option to skip workouts or take more time off if needed, especially if I'm feeling tired.

As we've been building volume, fueling has become more and more of an issue. I think I mentioned here that I lost 5lbs in one week and then 2 the following week. Keeping my calorie intake high is really tough. High....for a 46 year old. It came to my attention this weekend that I probably eat  more than most women in my ag. It's really hard to manage. This weekend, I did really well. During our Sunday Whole Foods visit, we loaded up on very easy and quick foods for me to heat up very quickly.

In addition to daily nutrition, Coach and I have been working on my training fueling. I never realized that my fueling strategy was completely wrong. I knew that I struggled with the half marathon distance. I knew that I struggle with the run during an oly race.

But, I've tried EVERYTHING to get it to work. Apparently, I didn't try everything. Over the past 3 weeks, we have been working with different strategies to see how they affect me. She tells me what to do. I do it. She checks my numbers at the end of the workout and comes back to me with tweaking.

It seems that I was doing the exact opposite of what I should have been doing.

In a way, it's very frustrating. I feel like I'm cramming for a 70.3, learning everything that I can. I feel really bad for putting my coach in this situation. Had I known, what was going to happen, I wouldn't have signed up. I'm sure she's used to people signing up for an Ironman and then signing up with her! Although, I have a lot to learn. At least, I'm not new to the 70.3.

Still, I have a long time until my race: 6 months. AND, I'm excited about it. I really am. As frustrating as some of my fueling issues have been, I'm working through them one at a time. When workouts are difficult (like today's run), I just keep going.

There are ugly workouts. There are fantastic workouts. In some weird-yet-to-be-understood-way, they will all fit together when it comes to my races.

I'm now about 5 weeks from my first race.