Sunday, October 10, 2010

When NOT to Train?

Once again I sit here not believing it is already Sunday night?  The weekends just seem to fly right by anymore?  Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week!

Well, this was Week 16 of the Matt Fitgerald Level 10 Half Ironman training program which means that it was a scheduled lower volume recovery week.  This was also the week that I picked up my new TT Bike so it was the perfect time to be on a recovery week.

As for training here are my numbers:

Swim: 4 Trainings  - 5h 40m - 10,750 Yds
Bike:  3 Trainings  - 3h 29m -  65.39 Mi
Run:   2 Trainings  - 2h 58m -  21.23 Mi
 Totals:  9 Trainings - 12h 07m 

Long Ride - 22.50 Mi
Long Run - 13.11 Mi

You are probably thinking the volume was way down for me this week and you'd be right. I am embarrassed by the bike volume.  It is actually 6.5hrs less than last week.  The plan called for right around 14hrs so I missed the volume goals by a little less then 2hrs.

The reason?  I needed an extra rest day.  I wish it was something more elaborate or compelling but the bottom line is that I was exhausted.  On Saturday Annie got up at 5am to go meet her running club and she reset the alarm for 6am so I could eat a quick bagel and jump on the bike.  The alarm went off and I rolled out of bed but my legs did not want to work.  I mean they were just dead?  And they actually hurt a little too.   I decided to check my work numbers from Friday and drink some coffee and start a half hour later.  This didn't work either because by this point my legs actually were sore.

By the time 8am came I decided that the scheduled brick for the day was not going to happen.  I spent the rest of the day sitting on my ass watching Kona on the live feed.  Best decision I have made in a long time!

The reason it was a good decision is because I woke up this morning and felt like a million bucks.  I drove to the center of town for my weekly long run and had a great training run.  The plan wanted me to run for 1h 10m in HR Zone 2.  I felt so good I ended up running for 1h 42m and did 13.1 miles - that is a 7:47/mi pace.

The take away for all this is that when your body is REALLY hurting that you need to listen.  I am not talking about the days you just do not want to go for a s/b/r - I am referring to the days that your body cannot handle a s/b/r.  These are distinctly different occurrences. Write that down.

The other take away is that I cannot wait to taper!  If my legs responded this way to just one day off imagine how they will respond to an entire week of taper?

  • This afternoon Annie and I went to Lake 288 with our friends Suzie, Todd, and Eric for an Open Water Swim.  This is a SCUBA practice lake that they allow us triathletes to practice swimming.  I have not been in my wetsuit since early May and wanted to get at least one OWS in before Ironstar next month.  I forgot just how much help a wetsuit really is -- feels like cheating.  Annie tried on Suzie's wetsuit and did a few hundred yards.  This was her first time in a wetsuit and she was amazed at how it lifted up her legs!  It is very cool to have a wife that will just go and jump in a lake with you.  The lake water temperature was 82 degrees and the air temperature was 85 degress - just a perfect day for an OWS!
  • I had such an awesome time watching the Kona broadcast on my computer yesterday.  Most people would probably think it is pretty darn boring to watch but you endurance peeps can appreciate how incredible it is to watch.  Can't wait to see the NBC coverage in a couple of months.  Congrats to all the finishers!
  • We saw "The Social Network" last night.  It was a pretty good flick.  IMO, the story itself was just okay. Interesting but not compelling.  But the directing and screenplay were excellent and so was most of the acting. It is worth seeing in the movie theater.
  • The upcoming Week 17 is the largest volume week in my training program.  It calls for 22 hours of training this week. Tomorrow (Monday) is my scheduled rest day and then Tuesday begins the carnage.  I am actually really looking forward to getting started and seeing how my body responds!
I hope everyone has a great week!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. I'm so glad you listened to your body. I find when my legs have that dead feeling that won't go away and I push, I end up 'stomping' because my legs are so heavy.

  2. I sat glued to my computer as well watching Kona. I think My heart started racing a little when I saw Chris McCormack finish! So awesome!! On the side note, its great you listened to your body. SOmedays you need to no matter what your plan says.

  3. First off good luck this week. I feel for you, I am getting burned out mentally and physically, I hope you are stronger willed than me :) NAIL IT THIS WEEK!

    I watched Kona for over 14 hours man... I was drained after watching it hahaha. Loved the coverage though, upset that they don't cover it on NBC all day, seriously, there were over a million people watching not including the other streaming webcasts!

  4. I with you regarding giing your body the break when it WILL no respond. That's the way I felt for the two days after my last 5k race (gotta start somewhere). Glad you go some R&R.

  5. You are human after all! While reading your blog the other day, I was wondering if you ever rested! :)

    Glad you listened to your body. I am sure that it will pay dividends in the long run.

    Rock it this week!

  6. I loved watching Kona on line also! Great week of training and kudos for listening to the body.

    I hope training goes swimmingly this week!

  7. Hey man, cool post. It seems we are on somewhat parallel training plans. I wasn't sure what race you were training for until your previous post with the schedule. I'm training for IMFL, which is the same weekend as your 70.3. Don't worry about having to rest for a day here and there. I hit the same thing yesterday and rolled out a ridiculous 9.6 mile bike ride before calling it a day.

    You'll crush it in November! Good Luck!


  8. Amazing how ONE day can totally heal you!

    Nice run! going for a Vegas slot?

  9. I am amazed that the Ironman Live guys can actually keep it somewhat interesting for 10 or so hours straight. Or at least to us tri people.... I am sure it is like watching paint dry for non tri people.

  10. I’ve just completed a recovery week and know in the long run the rest will be beneficial. You train so hard I’m sure your body will respond very positive to any rest. Have a fantastic week!

  11. I think the most difficult thing we endurance athletes face is determining when we NEED the rest and when we are being lazy. It is a fine line and part of the mental fight that we face.

    As you state though it is important to know the difference.

    Thank you for the review of Social Networking. I am going to see that and was looking for a non-movie 'expert' review of the film.

  12. Still so impressed with the Zone2 half marathon run at 1:42. Thats what I want!!! haha..I was also LOL at the Tom Hanks reference and thinking thats what I want - haha

    yep - your little comment on your blog Friday has propelled me into a new dimension of my training. Im going to keep some strength stuff (pushups core pullups) but focus waaaaay more on S/B/R. I needed that. THANKS
    have a great week

  13. Great post and so, so true. As for your 1:42 half-mary in Z2 - I'm a little jealous, okay, a lot jealous. I just did the Hartford Half at a personal best 1:47...and I KNOW that I wasn't in Z2. Congrats, man. You are super fit!

  14. 1:42 with negative splits for last 10k....nuff said!

  15. Yea for rest days! And double yea for the sweet training days that come after!

  16. Great advice. I find that the older I get, the more I have to listen to my body. That can be challenging since sometimes it's a very fine line between having enough wisdom to take it easy or take a day off vs. trying to determine if you are just being lazy.

  17. I think you did the right thing by listening to your body and taking an other rest day. I think all too often, people push through and end up getting even more tired which can lead to injuries...ugh!
    I watched Kona too and LOVED it! I even found myself tearing up every once in awhile when someone crossed the finish line!

  18. I find your blog to be interesting. I secretly hope to be able to do a tri but fear that I would get in the way. It's neat hearing about tri training!

  19. When ever you are extra tired and debating on taking an extra day off, think of me and what I went through, it isnt worth it, take the rest.

  20. Ah, yes... 22 hours of training. That sounds slightly familiar. Of course, with five kids, I was never really able to make the demands of my second part-time job (training for Ironman) quite as much as my first job (being a father.) Then, of course, there was my job—job. But... blah blah blah... that just pays bills, and funds my habit (i.e. purchasing more gear to fund my second part-time job,) which of course is training for Ironman.

    Still with me?

    Beer Good. Fire Bad.


  21. oh... and by the way. take a day off every once in a while. eat a cheeseburger. i wish i had taken some additional rest days every once in a while. but then i remember that if i take an additional rest day, that i actually enjoy resting, and become an incredible slacker who sits on the couch and drink beers all day watching leave it to beaver reruns in portuguese.

  22. Smart move to listen to your body...that's how to stay off the DL. Wow--were you guys hot in wetsuits in that temp? I would think you would be?