I was super-fired-up coming off of my big race two weeks ago. So instead of taking some time to back it down and, well, not so much recover physically as just reset mentally and emotionally after six months of consistent, consecutive physical training, I decided to just jump right back in. I set new goals, set up a new training schedule, and basically rolled from one challenging thing straight into the next challenging thing without so much as a pause to catch my breath.
This was a problem for two reasons. First (and foremost), my wife Sally and I had an agreement before the season about how we were going to balance our training and family life, and in jumping straight back into a new challenge, I sort of broke that agreement. Which is to say that we'd planned for me to train hard and really focus on triathlon from the beginning of the year through the race on June 15th, and after that I was personally going to back it down for the summer, train more with my wife (instead of by myself but at a higher intensity), and basically try not to let triathlon take over our lives. We've got other stuff besides racing that we want to get done this summer, and I want to be a part of that stuff as much as I want to be a part of the triathlon lifestyle. So, bottom line, jumping straight back into a new challenge was not the plan. I owe it to my wife--and also to myself--to manage our family time the way that we agreed we'd manage it before the season started.
And then, too, jumping straight into a new thing left me exhausted last week and set me up for an injury this week. I've been battling a little ankle injury for the past few weeks on my right ankle, and as I tried to ramp up my running mileage this week, it finally flared up and got serious about forcing a change. But what was weird about that was that I actually didn't mind it when it happened. And given how much I usually like to work out, that's a sign of early season burnout, which can be a much more serious issue than a little ankle pain.
Over-training is common enough in adult age-grouper triathletes, but it's stupid, especially because none of us are on scholarship or anything like that anymore. We all want to do well, but betond the immediate emotional impacts, our results don't actually matter, despite how invested we get. And yeah, it's hard to let go and slow it down, especially coming off of a major effort, but sometimes that's what you've got to do, especially if you want to nurse your fire to compete for a prolonged period of time.
So. This week I slowed it down--not necessarily voluntarily--but as it played out, it felt like it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
As usual, I got into the pool twice this week. My Wednesday night club workout was actually the longer, more distance oriented work this week, and I laid it out like this:
- 5 x 100 warm-up @ 1:30
- 3 x 300 freestyle @ 4:15 (base 1:25/100)
- 3 x 200 pull @ 2:50 (also base 1:25/100)
- 3 x 100 freestyle @ 1:25
- 200 kick
- 150 warm down
I might've done it a little differently, but our pool has been something like 85-degrees all week, and it's hard to do any uptempo work when it's like that.
I got in Saturday before our Tri Club bike ride, too. That was more a fartlek-type workout.
- 200 SKIPS (Swim-Kick-IM-Pull-Swim)
- 12 x 100 freestyle @ 1:25, every 4th one hard
- 200 kick
- 300 pull
- 100 warm down
I would've done more on Saturday, but I flat ran out of time before practice started.
Swim total: 2 x swim workouts (2650 & 2800 yards); 54.5 pts.
So, a couple of things conspired against me this week. One was definitely my ankle, but the other was that I had to take my foldie in to the shop this week for a tune-up and because the rear wheel got knocked way out of true on the mean streets of Manhattan last week. And that totally sucked. It also cut way down on my base riding mileage.
Anyway, I managed to get on my bike both Saturday and Sunday, but neither day was a major effort. Saturday, I had a 10:30 dentist appointment, so my friend Ben and I rode about 15 miles--fairly hard--after I got out of the pool. But just as it was starting to get interesting, we had to turn it around, so that I could get my teeth cleaned. Sunday, my wife and I took our girls over to their grandmother's place, and then we went for a ride together, and that was terrific... but it's not like I was pushing the pace. We were more talking and just cruising around, and that's cool, but with the exception of a few slashing attack runs that I made up a couple of the hills in and around Southport, it was an easy effort. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Bike total: 2 x bike rides (14.85 & 21.48 miles); 36.3 pts.
I wanted to get three runs in this week, but it was hot as Hell early on. So I tried to move my schedule around and run either earlier or much later in the day than normal, with the result that I didn't feel good either time when I actually got out. Plus, I was rushed both times. I don't know if that contributed to the ankle thing, but by the time I finished my run on Thursday morning, it was pretty obvious that I was either gonna take a little time off soon, or I was gonna be forced to take a lot of time off later. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the active lifestyle.
So I ran twice this week, and I never got in a long run, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take all of next week off from running as well and then try to come back slowly and more intelligently. The up- (or down-) side of that is that I'm pretty sure that the whole marathon thing is done before it even started. And I'm okay with that. I'm just gonna run the Hartford Half--with my wife--and we're going to have fun with it.
Truth is, I probably should have had that as Plan A.
Run total: 2 x run (2.8-miles tempo; 4-miles with intervals); 27.2 pts.
Triathlon Training Total: 118 pts.
See? Easy week. And now I feel great! And I got to spend some time with my wife, so it was all good.