Sunday, 2 March 2008

A day of rest...

It's the first in a while but today H and I decided to kick back and partake in our first full day of rest in quite some time. This week was scheduled to be the hardest so far and with all the key sessions in the bag by the end of play on Saturday and howling gale force winds outside our lovely warm house this morning it wasn't the hardest decision in the world to give our battered bodies some well earned r & r.

We don't schedule that many full rest days in to our regular training, preferring to take either easy days or 'leg rest' days to facilitate active recovery. The 'norm' amongst endurance athletes is to allocate one day a week as a rest day but as our bodies have become accustomed to larger training volumes over the last few years this hasn't appeared so important and with full-time jobs keeping us busy it's hard to fit enough training in mon-fri in the same way that full-time athletes are able to . We have also found that if rest days are strictly written into training schedules they are often taken when not needed and then there can be a reluctance to take them when they are really needed on an allocated training day.

The key however, and this is vital, is to understand how your body is dealing with your current training volume and so be able to recognise when a full day of rest would be beneficial.. and then be honest enough with yourself to take a day off... guilt free.

This week had been massive up until today..

Mon am - 5k technique swim
pm - 30 min v.easy turbo / 30 min v.easy run / 30 min stretch
Tue am - 10 x 150 swim off 2:30 averaging 2:14 then weights
pm - 40 min treadmill tempo - 10 mins @ 14, 15, 16 & 17 kph
Wed am - 103 mile very hilly (13,000 ft. climbing) windy ride followed by 2 mile run
Thu am - 8 x 100 hard swim (2 x 400 wu / 400 cd) then weights
pm - 20 'easy' miles at 7.20 per mile av hr 135
Fri am - 5k swim straight through
Sat am - 10 x 2 min hard run intervals
pm - 50 mile ride with BG including 4 x 4 mile efforts

On top of this high training volume, H's mum and my mum and step-dad came up to visit us this weekend... and what with mother's day cooking and eating (Friday night!)... alongside wedding dress fitting and venue inspecting... coupled with 'late' night chatting and early morning training we had crammed more than enough in to the first six days of this week. By the time we'd crawled out of bed this morning and had enjoyed a lovely relaxing breakfast with mum and Ray we were in full pj's and slippers mode and looking forward to our next session being 200 technique based lengths of the pool tomorrow morning :)

At the moment my training is flying, I'm pretty much at my desired racing weight (66.1 kgs this morning), feeling strong, still super motivated and well ahead of last year in all three disciplines. Being on top of your game in March is easy though... building on that week after week right through to July is another matter and Ironman is all about surviving the training. I am taking a few chances this year... upping my run and swim volume whist maintaining (at least) my bike volume and getting lighter than ever before is quite a challenge, but at the moment I'm absorbing it all pretty well.

Today's picture? Having got back from my Saturday morning run intervals a little behind schedule I grabbed breakfast 'to go' and headed down to Hyde Park to help out with our weekly 5k race, the Hyde Park Time Trial ( It was a stunning morning and with the sun shining and 45 minutes to go before the start I took the opportunity to dine 'al fresco' ;)

Have a great week,


p.s. well done to Sam for a great pb of 1.32 at today's Reading Half Marathon and to Liz for leading home the ladies in the same race in a frighteningly fast 69 minutes!!

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