If I had to describe the last few weeks of training, I would say that it’s been ground breaking for me. The sheers hours of training have exceeded those I have done previously. Now that I am training to power via my CompuTrainer my ability to understand how to consistently push the intensity of my training is greater. The amount that I am challenging myself has grown exponentially. I am tapping into the experience of my coach to bring my training and fitness into new territories. And I am working hard to make sure that I am fitting in “real life” into the mix, meeting up with friends and family a priority – which is a new thing as normally when training gets tough I go into hibernation.
I would say that I have been pushing the envelope.
Pushing the Envelope
I have been googling to give original image credit to this, but to no avail. I pulled it from The Yoga Blog
“Pushing the envelope” is originally an aviation term, used to describe taking a plane to either new heights or new speed – to the edge of its design parameters, or envelope. Testing the limits. That is where I am with my training right now – I have upped the volume a lot, and have done so with consistency, the aim being to see if I could actually do the sessions as designed, and then of course to find out how I’d respond and recover after.
All in all I feel pretty good. In need of a less heavy week, definitely. My ankles are tired. Tired ankles are weird. Or maybe not so weird, as my ankle muscles are quite weak due to my nerve disease (which causes an atrophy in the lower leg muscles). I can tell my ankles need a few days of gentle recovery work. I don’t want to push from tired into overtrained territory again, like I did when I upped my run training a few years ago without focusing on functional strength alongside of running volume. So yeah, I did a nice bit of self massage on my ankles last night, and hope my physio can release my tight shins when I see him on Wednesday morning to get rid of that hanging fatigued feeling. Right now, after pushing the envelope I am all about actively managing my tired parts to make sure my recovery is on track.
I find it incredible that I have managed to fit all of the training into my schedule. My social schedule has been intense, with plans pretty much every weekend day and weekend night the past two weekends. To get things done I have had to make sure that I was training first thing in the morning. This meant pushing aside the temptation to lay in bed and skip training. It was not easy to do this (especially when DH was blissfully sleeping when I was crawling out of bed to get to the physio or to jump on the bike). I am actually amazed that I was able to get it all done – and feel incredibly pleased that I got the balancing act right.
But most of all, I think when I look back to January and the big questions I was facing about whether or not I could even have a triathlon season, I find myself amazed with the resilience of my body. I am coming back, moving from a point of being unable to train to able to train and push my limits in a very measured and deliberate fashion. This is exactly what I was hoping to do – and although I am not ache and pain free I feel good. Good while training, strong after training. And that is the best feeling in the world – so much different from where I was in 2007 when I signed up to do my first triathlon at a point in my life when climbing the stairs was becoming a physical challenge. It has really helped having a fluid dialogue with my coach, to have someone alongside as a second perspective on things, someone with a huge depth of personal experience (and those of some incredible athletes) to draw on to give me good solid advice and planning.
It brings to mind something Chris McCormack said in his recent interview on Rich Roll’s podcast – this isn’t an exact quote (I was listening while on the bike trainer) but he said something like “lose the focus on the results and instead commit to the process.” This. This is what it is all about.
Week of April 15th Training in Review
This was the 7th week of the #bestfoot challenge – a challenge I signed up to in order to measure and motivate myself toward consistency, especially with my physical therapy rehab. How did things go?
Swim: 2 hours (as planned, although as my fatigue crescendoed by Saturday I was fighting to swim – a slow pace felt like a hard effort!)
Bike: 4 hours 39 minutes (30 minutes less than planned on the bike trainer due to my pillow winning the battle of the wills on Sunday)
Run: 51 minutes (I am now running at 50% of body weight on the anti-gravity treadmill and still feeling good with this)
Bootcamp: 30 minutes
Yoga: 1 hour
Rehab: 20 minutes
Physio: 45 minutes
Total training time: 9 hours 20 minutes
(rehab sessions done: 4 out of 7 days)
Now to recover a bit, let tired muscles rest… This coming week I have the Swimathon on Friday night to look forward to – a 2.5km swim which I have not yet decided if I will swim it as a time trial, or a gentle steady paced swim. It’s kind of crazy how this event doesn’t even phase me in the slightest – such a huge change from even 3 years ago!