Sure, I want to improve with my training and I want to reach my full potential. However, I am not one to take chances when it comes training for an event and risking an injury. I realize that as an athlete, it is hard to know your limits especially when you train yourself to be physically and mentally strong. However, there needs to be an understanding of how much to train and how hard to push it so that "getting through" THAT workout doesn't turn into your last workout.
I think there is a big difference between "slacking" with your training and having a quality training session. If your training schedule is designed properly to encourage recovery after your intense training sessions, you should not find yourself second guessing staying in bed or getting up to go train. Because the body is not perfect and you are human, there will be times when you need to listen to your body in an effort to maximize recovery and mentally re-focus.
Here's how I see it. If you always find yourself struggling to get through your Thurs and Fri workouts and you don't take Mon off after your hard weekend of training, maybe a morning of sleeping in will jump start your week. I believe in waking up without an alarm at least 1 day a week (of course, waking up in time to go to work as opposed to waking up 2 hrs earlier to do an "easy" swim) and if that means missing a workout, well I would suggest listening to your body to help with muscle growth and tissue repair. I can't express enough how important it is to get a restful night of sleep on most days of the week.
You don't have to feel 100% every day of the week but you should be able to give 100% to every workout. Giving 100% doesn't mean going 100% all out but rather making the most of your training sessions. Sure, there will be workouts that you wished you would have skipped but overall if you focus on quality workouts the majority of your training will make you a healthier, fitter and faster athlete.
If you feel as if you can't give 100% to your workouts, then just exercise. Having a training schedule does not mean all or nothing.
I had a great training week last week. I posted my Tues and Wed workout on my blog but Thurs was a toughy!
Karel writes my workouts on Mon and we address my upcoming schedule, time constraints and weekly goals.
The set for Thurs on the bike:
5min @ 165 W + 10min @ 145ish + 5min @ 165W + 10min @ 145ish (All as a one interval with no rest between – total of 30min interval). One of my goals for my IMWI training is a higher cadence during my fast intervals so my legs were pushing fast and hard (although not mashing) for the 5 min sections. After the set I recovered for 10 min and repeated the set again.
I had a second part of the set which was 3x5min at 165W with 3 min recovery between. but during the 2nd round of my main set I was 99.5% sure that I would not be doing the second set. Karel is always ok with me modifying the workout so long as I give the main set my best effort. I ended up getting a flat during the last 10 min of the 2nd round so I just rode home easy and called it a day after I changed my flat.
BTW-my first time changing a tubular in "real life". I timed myself from start to finish when I got off the bike until I got back on the bike. 4 min and 43 seconds. I'm very happy about that and tubulars are SO much easier to change than clinchers!
On Thurs night I was laying in bed and I was looking forward to the weekend. Thinking back to the workouts on Mon - Thurs, I realized that I had a consistent quality week of training. What more could I ask for! Although I am like most people who have a goal of "not being injured" I am very aware of preventing the injury. Therefore, my 2nd goal of IMWI training is recovery which includes stretching, icing, compression, core work (planks), glute/hip strengthening and sleep. So far so good.
So in bed on Thurs I decided that I would take off Fri. I was tired and I really wanted to sleep and swim outside (something I never do). I told Karel that I just wanted to exercise and he said that was a good idea. Of course, I found myself wondering if I was "slacking" but it took me 2 seconds to think about my Mon-Thurs workouts and then another 2 sec. to think about my upcoming weekend workout and without a doubt, I certainly wasn't slacking.
I slept in until 6:30 and took Campy on a long walk. I went to the Y close to my apartment which has an outdoor pool. I swam for 40 min and enjoyed every stroke. I felt so refreshed and revitalized and I was ready for the weekend.
72 mile ride + 4 mile run
*rode with the guys and another lady joined in! I responded to a lot of attacks on the first loop and felt super strong. My legs were totally toasted on the 2nd loop but I didn't get dropped. I did about 90 min alone before the ride, 1 hr FAST (28 mph) with the guys and then rode home. 3 hrs and 52 min.
*the run went well. It was nearing 11am and it was so hot out. I filled my fuel belt with water and had a sip of water every 1/2 mile (and extra for cooling on my body). I didn't push it on the run so I finished the 4.2 mile run in around 32 min. My cold shower (which included a bottle of water in the shower) never felt so good.
9.5 mile run + 15 mile bike
*As my first "long" run of IMWI training I just wanted to run. It was great to run without pain, soreness or worry and to just enjoy the outdoors. My run felt a little slow but I had to remind myself that I am building my way up (following a slow progression with my "long" run mileage) in an effort to run strong off the bike at Ironman Wisconsin. I finished in 1 hr and 18 minutes (8:12) and I was ok with that. I walked in our place and told Karel how great it felt to just run! What a relief.
Karel had a super tough race in Augusta GA on Sat and he said it was all "punchy" hills. The race was a little over 90 miles and he finished 6th with a tough field (GA state championships)!! Curtis and Karel had no one to feed them so they paid a Cat 3 woman to hand them bottles during their 3 1/2 - 4 hr race.
Karel was totally exhausted on Sun so when I got home from my run I was excited to go for an easy 15 mile (45 min) spin with Karel.
I drafted behind Karel for the whole ride and we did 2 x 7 mile loops by our apartment. Nice and safe. We had a quick stop for me to save a turtle trying to cross the road. Poor guy...he was moving super slow.
As for the rest of the weekend (not training) I stayed busy. I tried to rest as much as I could but I just love staying on my feet. Thus, my last reason to listen to my body and to keep a balanced schedule.
In addition to Karel, who has really helped me understand training and how to make the most of a quality, low volume training plan, this little guy keeps me balanced. He reminds me that no training session is worth serious injury. Campy and I are on a quest to make the most out of life and to enjoy every day here on Earth. So far, I think we are doing a good job together.