I'm so thankful that I slept in on Monday and recovered my body and mind. Monday is either a complete off day or a 2500-3000 recovery swim but it is always decided on Sunday whether or not I will exercise on Monday morning.
My choice to recover has allowed for 4 great training sessions where I was able to stick to my workouts as prescribed.
Tues AM track -main set: 6 x 800's w/ 400 jog/walk
Tues PM Bike - main set: 3 x 15 min Z3 w/ 2 min EZ
Wed AM hip strength, then swim - main set 6 x 200's, 400 drill, 3 x 100's
Thurs AM Brick - Main set on bike: 8 min Z3, 2 min EZ, 10 min Z3, 2 min EZ, 14 min Z3, 2 min EZ, 10 min Z3, 5 min EZ, 8 min Z4. Main set on run: mile 1 easy, mile 2 and 3 moderate, mile 4 hard. Cool down w/ Campy
Yep - it's a lot but body is fueled, mind is relaxed and life is balanced. No less than 7 hours of sleep a night and the main focus is always on the main set - not the time or miles. I make sure every workout counts.
Here lately, I find that athletes are developing an unhealthy relationship w/ exercise. Some would call it training for an event but I don't see it like that. For when you train, you work hard. There's a purpose and the reason why you train is to get something out of the workout. Sometimes it's not about pushing hard but rather adjusting the set so that you are able to be consistent w/ training. Sometimes it is taking a day of intentional rest rather than taking a chance that your "pain" will go away while you are training or that you will "rest it" after the workout. Understanding that yes, you can burn calories by training for an event, it is only when you prioritize your nutrition around workouts that you will do a body good by eating to train.....not training to eat.
I came across this article
Fire in the belly
by Dick Patrick
and could not wait to share. I wanted to disect a few parts of the article first, just to provide you w/ a few take home points.
"Meb Keflezighi had fitness worries entering Sunday’s marathon at the London Olympics. Following his Olympic Trials victory in January, Keflezighi had injuries and illness that disrupted his buildup."
Yes - Olympians get injuries just like the normal folks. Although all of us as athletes are teetering on the edge, always pushing our limits, athletes at the highest level often recognize that taking a chance can run a season. For many, it isn't worth it and they take all precautions to prevent injuries before they occur. When they are injured, smart athletes have people watching over them to make sure they avoid "testing it out" too soon. It takes a team to build an athlete, it takes one small mistake of ignoring an issue until it gets too severe, for an athlete. to get hurt Trust your team - they care about you.
“That was an epic effort,” Keflezighi said. “I don’t get a medal, but I know how special it is to get a medal. This was also special. You put your heart and soul into it, and fourth place in the world isn’t too bad.”
It's not about the finishing time or the place but rather what you put into the race. The real success story is not found on paper but rather within the body of the athlete competiting in the race
Keflezighi predicted to his wife, Yordanos, a couple of weeks ago that he might get fourth as they discussed tactics. Keflezighi was shy of training with a high week of 117 and just four over 100 miles. He and Bob Larsen, whose 19-year relationship has evolved from athlete-coach to friend-mentor, needed to be careful so Keflezighi could get to the start line healthy, if undertrained.
“I’m healthy but not fit enough,” said Keflezighi, who had hip flexor and glute muscle problems in the spring and into the summer. “I had some setbacks and had to work with them. I did the best I could with the cards I was dealt.
Better to get to the starting line healthy and a little undertrained than injured or overtrained. Focus on your current level of fitness and create a race day plan based on what you can do with your body. Recognize that there will always be more races. Setbacks don't mean failures. Setbacks make you stronger because you address what isn't working w/ a desire, passion and goal to make it work.
“For me the goal for the year was accomplished, making the Olympic team. I also wanted to see what I could do here. I told coach if I could have another two weeks or five weeks, I know I could run 2:06 or 2:07 in ideal weather.”
There will always be more races. So what - you registered and paid for a race? Unless that is your last race ever consider missing the race if you are not properly prepared or injured. Perhaps address why you aren't peaking appropriately and use this as a learning lesson. Again - there will always be more races - that is, if your body can recover an heal. Weather, terrain, environment, competition - it's not just about the finish time or how many x-hour weeks or miles you trained. Race day is all about showing off your potential.
“I was struggling; even the second [chase] group got ahead of me,” he said. “I kept praying for God to get me connected to the second group and after that to see if I could be top 10 or 15. I kept working, changing strategies, focuses and goals.”
LOVE THIS - accept the day and deviate from the plan. It's not about preventing issues but knowing how to deal with them when they arise. A great performance can be diminished by a poor attitude or too high of expectations and the inability to adjust the plan.
Unlike Athens, when Keflezighi was accompanied only by Larsen, in London he had an entourage of nearly 50 people, including all 10 siblings and 15 other relatives.
“Everybody wanted to be part of it,” Keflezighi said. “It helped me be relaxed and do what I do best, which is run. It was a great experience.”
Don't forget that you are an inspiration to others - the spectators. Your worst day may be someone's best day. Always enjoy the journey and don't put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Success in sport comes w/ experience just as it does w/ a good attitude, a good race day plan and balanced training. Oh - and good nutrition, of course. :)
Keflezighi, who was 12th in the 10,000 at the 2000 Sydney Games, says it will be his last Olympics. He’d like to do a fall marathon and maybe a couple of major marathons in 2013. Then it may come time for retirement.
For most of us, we are racing for a lifetime - not for one finish line. Retiring from a sport like running or triathlons likely means not racing.....ever again. If anything, many people reading this blog are just getting started - in their 40's and 50's! In order to not give yourself a stopping point, be sure to focus on both short and long term goals. Always keep your eye on the bigger picture and if anything, your sport is simply an extension of your love for an active lifestyle. If you get injured, hurt or sick, this likely affects your quality of life and activities of daily living. Remember the bigger picture - always. Sports should be challenging, confidence boosting and fun.
“It takes so much commitment, so much hard work,” Keflezighi said of training. “You get injured, it takes twice as log to recover. I don’t want to abuse my body other than the 26.2 miles of the race.”
Couldn't have said it better myself. To train properly you place intentional stress on the body in order to adapt. It can be a fun kind of abuse but be sure it enhances your life. Committ, work hard and enjoy the journey......