Almost took myself out of the race before It Started!

imagesThis 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.



  1. Way to listen to your body. As hard as it is.

    1. Yeah,I had to, it was screaming at me. LOL

  2. When it comes to listening to our bodies, us guys tend to be deaf 99% of the time.

  3. […] and on Monday I was unsure if I could come back from the state of exhaustion I had pushed myself  (detailed here).  As this was not my major race I did little to specifically prepare for this race, but I did cut […]

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  6. […] Almost took myself out of the race before It Started! ( […]

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