Sunday, 11 May 2008

Living on the edge...

Well... after 24 weeks of hard training where I've been pretty close to the edge, I finally found it on Friday morning at 4am but hopefully took evasive action quickly enough to avoid a similar fate to the subject of today's picture.

Since the success of London I've been extra motivated and keen to get out on the bike at every opportunity, with swimming still around 600 lengths per week (15k) and running building back up that's meant some serious hours. I seem to have been able to control my fatigue quite well this year and although I've noticed it affecting me a few times (particularly during the Ballbuster duathlon and the Circuit of the Dales) I've managed to keep it in check and build my fitness consistently over the whole six months.

This week though had been epic, even before I got to Friday morning... as you know, last Sunday H and I rode an incredibly hilly 106 miles in the Dales which coupled with huge hours done with Jevon on Wednesday (see H's entry) meant that when my alarm went off at 4am on Friday so that I could sneak in a 100 mile ride before work I had banked 30 hours training in the previous six days! Needless to say I had nothing in the tank from pretty much the start, struggling up the road with a seriously sore throat (which had been bothering me for a week or so) I was questioning my sanity before even getting out of Headingley... six lethergic hours later I was back home, feeling sorry for myself and had canned the idea of a nice 13 mile run straight off the bike.

In seven crazy days with nearly 40 hours of training I'd managed to completely blow myself up and put myself in a pretty decent state of over training! Because the two biggest days of the week had been at a relatively low intensity I didn't think they'd had much effect but finishing Friday's ride almost 50 minutes slower than the same session last year demonstrated otherwise. To be honest I'd had the signs for a while... hadn't been sleeping well (which I'd put down to being over excited about training), had been struggling to get rid of a head cold, both my knees were giving me pain and my times in the pool were just a bit off the pace. All classic signs of over training...

As H has already said, we quickly restructured this weekend to become two days of total and complete rest, tomorrow will be easy and I'll only train on Tuesday if I feel completely recharged.
Hopefully then, the Pool Triangle on Wednesday evening will be a chance to test my condition when I'll have had a complete day of rest... as opposed to this week where I'd already swam over 5k, cycled 50 miles and run a hilly 13 in some serious heat wih only an hour between finishing the run and starting the 20k time trial (although at the time I was quite pleased to only be 90 seconds off pb 32:25 v 30:43).

Sitting here writing this I'm still somewhat knackered but hopefully caught it just in time to avoid any significant damage and by the time you hear from me again I'll be celebrating a solid performance at next Sunday's super hilly Etape Du Dales Sportive Ride (110 miles over some of the steepest climbs in the Dales).

For the moment though... sleep is king, so I'll leave you with this great quote from somewhere I can't remember...

"You could always avoid overtraining by undertraining... but then you wouldn't win anything"

See you in seven,


p.s. to echo what H has already said, well done to Ek for winning the european age group (25-29) champs today, not sure of splits as yet but it sounds like she won by a country mile :)


runtilyoudrop said...

Tom sounds like you are overloaded but would not think overtrained. Sounds like all is going well and I am sure a few days rest will see you back in the groove. Stick with gordo RE intensity and I am expecting great things of you come IMDE.

Brian said...

It seems that the art is to find the edge and then walk along it without falling off. Linnaeus was the first person to describe and classify all of the known plants and animals in detail. For us, Homo sapiens (although one might argue that the 'sapiens' makes it an oxymoron) he simply said 'Know thyself' taking his quote from the Oracle at Delphi. At least Linneaus can be said to have been a rather wise man! You are both doing stunningly well and I hope that your dreams come true. More importantly I know that whatever happens that you will know more about yourselves when it is all over. Hang in there and keep going!