Sunday, 26 July 2009

Recovery... or lack of?

Sitting here (watching the final stage of the Tour de France on TV) two weeks have passed since crossing the finish line in Switzerland and I feel unfit, tired and overweight. I've never done immediate post event recovery particularly well, particularly in the absence of a suitably challenging goal, and the last couple of weeks have been no different. Every time I get close to an A race I have visions of crossing the finish line and spending a couple of weeks eating super healthy food, drinking loads of water, sleeping more than ever and being active (but not training) every single day. Within seconds of crossing the finish line however I embark on a 24/7 mission to emulate Ricky Hatton and/or Jan Ullrich and weld myself to the couch whilst keeping Domino's on 'speed dial'. All this while guffing around so much that 9pm bedtime becomes midnight throwing 56 weekly sleep hours firmly out the window, leaving me fit for pretty much nothing and feeling like Homer Simpson's slight less healthy twin brother!


I'm sure plenty of you out there will think that two Ironman triathlons in seven weeks is the likely cause of my feelings of lethargy and fatigue but regular readers of these ramblings will know my belief that 'over training' is normally caused by 'under recovering'... the latter being my forte (out of training at least). Whatever the cause, this morning I reached breaking point and having eaten my weight in junk food yesterday, I fell into bed just before midnight and with a 5AM alarm call poking me in the ear shortly afterwards (long story) I found myself stood by the side of Otley reservoir at 7.30 this morning unable to face our monthly club aquathlon (900m OW swim and 2 mile run)... so 'bottle it' I did and spent the session cheering everyone on and taking transition splits.


With Ironman Lanzarote 2010 (paid and entered - thoughts on my approach to follow in future blogs) still a long way off (base training starts in October, full training in January and race is in May) I'm in desperate need to jump back on the rails and get myself to September (2009's designated rest month) in the kind of shape I really should be a) to feel good and b) so that if by some miracle I manage to deliver the end of season rest month that I dream of (see above) then I could actually start training for an Ironman without the need to lose two stone first... which would be a first!

Inspired... Twiggo and Cav, tomorrow is a new day and with six weeks of my season left the plan looks something like this...

week 1
Full training - around 20 hours, nothing to hard but plenty of swim, bike and run and a little bit of strength and stretching. Sleep, eat and live like the athlete I aspire to be.

Week 2
As above plus a little more intensity. Return to racing with the VOTWO 3.8km sea swim in Poole.

Week 3
As above plus even more intensity. Final LBT aquathlon on Saturday. Return to triathlon with the Allerthorpe Olympic distance race.

Week 4
As above plus even more intensity. LBT club 10 mile TT champs, final Pool Triangle of 2009 and most intense racing of all - National Club Relays.

Week 5
Final big training week, probably no racing although might do parkrun on the Saturday.

Week 6
Controlled six day taper leading into the Vitruvian.

...eating super healthy food, drinking loads of water, sleeping more than ever and being active (but not training) every single day.

So there we are... how hard can it be? ;)

See you in seven,


p.s. Today's photo was taken by H on her phone whilst hanging out with me and our great friend Tony on a lazy afternoon in Leeds. Thanks to everyone who has logged on to Helen's new Facebook site and become a fan, with Ironman behind her she's looking to drive her photographic career forwards and with some exciting projects already in the pipeline we're both super excited about the future.


Khara Mills said...

Tom, you didn't 'bottle it', that's just not you; accept that it was SO much better for you not to do the aquathlon and that it's more than OK to make that decision.

Never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but your post this week has really reminded me of myself recently. Too much over indulgence and not enough training to make up for it has left me feeling pretty unfit and heavy. That all ended on Sunday following a nice ride after my recent holiday. I think the rest has done me good, but it should have been backed up by a better approach to everything else (sleep, food, body maintenance etc.) I've realised that IM life starts here, before this season ends, in preparation for GOOD rest before October training. Long way to get round to saying thanks for helping me clarify that, it certainly makes sense and I feel VERY good about it all.

Please don't bloody forget while you're moving on to next year, NINE F'ING TWENTY EIGHT :-)

See you in the pool...

Tom said...

Hi Khara,

Thanks for your positive comments :)

An Ironman life eh? I'm sure you'll be amazing but don't blame me when you're 50 miles from home on a bitter Yorkshire day in January, your hands and feet are frozen and you realise you're facing an arctic headwind all the way home! But remember... when you cross the Ironman finish line it will all have been worth it ;)