Sunday, July 27, 2014

4 + 2 + 1 + 2(1) = 100

At my age I have learned one thing about myself with regards to ultra training, as much as I would like to pound the miles everyday I cannot.  If I schedule a 60 minute workout, that actually means a 10 minute warm up, a 45 minute workout and a 5 minute cool down.  In reality if I want a 60 minute workout that means 75 minutes.  Of course, the 20 and 30 year-old ultra athletes should be doing this already just know that once you are into your 40's it takes a little longer to get the engine up to speed.
Numbers are my thing.  I majored in Economics and spent over 20 years on the trading floor.  I can go out for a run and come home with pi figured to the 20th place.  

But how in the world does 4 + 2 + 1 + 2(1) = 100?

I have planned out my weeks of training and they have a similar theme.  In a seven day week, I have 4 days of running, 2 days of swimming, 1 day on the bike and every two weeks I have a massage.  
As you know, I schedule my run training around time on feet (TOF) and tired legs.  My ultra race experience has shown that I get mentally stronger on the back 50 miles but the wear and tear of the course will take a toll on my legs.  My four days of running consist of a quad busting hill workout on Tuesday, a tempo run on Thursday, a long run Saturday morning and a flush run Saturday night and finally a long run on Sunday.  
Two days in the pool translate to Monday after a weekend of pounding the trails, giving my legs "active recovery."  It always includes time in the whirlpool, it's a nice feeling having the jets work the kinks out of my legs.  Friday is meant to relax and loosen up my legs for the weekend's runs.  Make no mistake about time in the pool is not "splashing around relaxing," I bring my program from last year's Ironman training.  It provides me with drills, speed, endurance and overall aerobic activity.  
Lastly, Wednesday is cycling day.  Due to sunlight hours shortening, I keep my bicycle on the trainer in the basement so I can devote as much time as possible on it.  I was watching the Tour de France this year and the commentators made the point that even on "off/rest days" the cyclists still spend 2 -3 hours on their bicycles just flushing their legs so the following day when they are back racing their legs will respond.  The reason I bring that fact up is although a total rest day is always welcome sometimes my body will feel sluggish or my legs won't respond how I thought they would.  "Active recovery" is welcome and sometimes that extra effort to get out and do something pays dividends on your following training days.  Other times, my body says "nope, not today," and I do not fight it.  There is a fine line between my body saying, "no" and my mind saying, "just sleep."  Some days it is hard to know the difference but I never begrudge my body for taking a day off.  I can usually tell when it is a good decision by looking back on my training log and if time, miles and training sessions have been adding up, I know it is a good decision.  I do not try to reschedule or make up missed sessions.  I enjoy the break, I enjoy the time away from training with family, friends, a drink or a dessert and I know I will be back at it the following day.  I will also check my nutrition and hydration.  There are many times I feel sluggish, slow or my legs are uncooperative and if I think about my eating habits the night before or how much water I drank those are two good clues of what could be missing.
I have saved the best for last...the massage!  It took a little while but visiting the same masseuse at the same salon we built a camaraderie.  She knows how much pressure, where my troubling issues are and best of all...she comes to the house!  Every two weeks, it is time to get pummeled but afterwards I feel so much better.  I highly recommend a regular massage, it is money well spent.
So this week shapes up as follows:
Sunday - long run
Monday - 60 minutes in the pool
Tuesday - hill workout
Wednesday - 60 minutes on the bike
Thursday - tempo run
Friday - 60 minutes in the pool
Saturday - double runs

No comments:

Post a Comment