This past Monday at 5 AM I awoke for work. I do this everyday, but this day something was wrong. I awoke sore, stiff, groggy and still very tired. I felt as if all the energy I usually have was totally depleted. My muscles were very sore and heavy. Worse of all, I fought to wake myself, I had to go to work. I was alarmed and frightened, I had a triathlon race the next weekend and my big ‘A’ race a few weeks after. I had not felt this bad without being sick since before summer, before I began to push my volume and intensity, before I had passed my first hurtle in becoming a triathlete. As I forced myself to prepare for work I was worried I had taken myself out before I even had a chance to start.
As the day pushed on I found the weariness to get worse. I slept an appropriate number of hours the night before, yet every muscle felt wrong and my body just wanted to curl up with a warm blanket and sleep. I cancelled my evening workout, hoping I would be able to continue the next day.
The next day I went to the gym eager to get a thirty minute pyramid completed. Unlike other weeks and sessions, getting about 90rps proved difficult and required allot of warm up. As I researched the symptoms I kept seeing indications of over-training and near over training. One thought echoed in my head: Did I ruin myself and my end of season race possibilities?
Since I began training and focusing on improving my fitness for triathlons, my body has drastically changed in other ways beyond simple body shape. When I first started really training to do triathlons I often found myself depleted after most workouts. Recovery took days not hours and energy was sparse. By the time I completed my first triathlon this had changed. I found I could complete large volumes of work pretty much back to back and often multiple sessions in the same day. Recovery took hours before I could push again. Of course I peppered in rest in my routine and I grew stronger in endurance, stamina and strength.
I knew September would be a hard month. I wanted to prepare myself for my big race in the middle of October, I wanted to be ready. I devised my plan and put it into motion. There were risks introduced, but I figured I could manage them and minimize them as long as I caught the warning signs.
The first week of September started slow with 7 hours of training and finishing with a 5k road race. The bulk of the volume involved running, biking and swimming. Heavy focus on volume and intensity.
The second week things got harder as I ramped up the volume to around 11 hours, once again primary focus on swim, bike and run sessions. It was this week that I introduced the afternoon 30 minute spin and swim crunch sessions. These sessions were high intensity and very short. I finished this week by running a 15k (9.3 mile) race.
The third week I noticed recovery began to get a bit slower and I needed more rest. The Monday after the 15 race I did a quick 30 minute spin session and by Tuesday felt as if I was ready to throw in a heard workout. I ended up doing a 11 mile bike and 5 mile run brick. At this point I was feeling invincible. As I knew I was removing long runs, I replaced the time I was running with biking, to get prepared for the weekends event. This week I pulled off my highest volume of thirteen hours. I finished this week with a 48 mile bike event and followed that with a 20 mile recovery bike ride.
But it was this week where everything fell apart. This week is where I started to feel the true limits and I realized I was not invincible… I had obvious limits and I had truly passed them.
I switched gears and started to focus the second half of this week on extended rest. Wednesday I did Aqua Fit boot camp and reduced my swimming to only a mile. Thursday I spun for an hour at a very low 85 rpms. I increased my stretching and foam rolling and began to sleep as much as possible. As planned I am taking Friday for rest with a quick swim on Saturday. I was originally planning 8-9 hours for this week, but reality dictates I need to do less. So I reluctantly am starting my two week taper a week early. I probably will end up with only 6-7 hours this week.
I pushed a little too hard and almost took myself out of my last two races. After switching things up on Thursday I am starting to feel more ready for this weekends race and I know I will be peaking as planned for my last race in October, the Amelia Man International distance triathlon, if I stick to my currently re-evaluated plan. I cannot get complacent but I need to make sure I am able to be the best I can on race day in the middle of October. Just have to stick to the plan, unless my body decides otherwise. Til next time.
- Final Sprint Triathlon Of The Season This Weekend (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Babes and Their Bikes (babesinthebay.com)
- Marching To Amelia 4 Weeks and Counting (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Week 2 In the Books – 4 More To Go (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- “ONLY” A Sprint Distance Triathlon – Soapbox Time (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2012-2013 Long Term Goals Revisited (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- I don’t always do Triathlons, but when I do… (mamasbeendrinkin.com)