Monday, May 21, 2007

Recovery...Not So Much

I just got thru my "recovery" week although it didn't feel like it! I was buried at work so it couldn't have come at a better time but I really think "outside / life" stressors vs. just training stress should be a major consideration during a recovery week.

Let me throw out the hours last week- I didn't even break ten hours and the only reason I got close was because of a 4.25 hr ride I did with Steven on Saturday. Still came out the other side of the recovery week feeling a bit tired due to work.

IMC Training Week 15 (RECOVERY)
9.0 TOTAL Hours
Swim 1.5 Hrs

(4,500 Yrds - 2 swims. Easy 45 swims with drills)
Bike 5.5 Hrs
(78 Miles - 2 rides. 1 CT hill ride 12 miles and 66 mile road ride with Steven)
Run 2.0 Hrs
(16 Miles - 3 runs. Still having issues with the left heel. It's pretty sore for the first 5 minutes of each run then fine for the remainder.)

Based on work last week, I would have fried myself if I had to do more so luckily the recovery came at a good time. Work will be extremely busy though for the next couple weeks so really need to focus on maximizing my time / efficiency and making sure I can nail the workouts. I did get in 3 hours today via bike am / swim lunch / run pm so I'm on the right track. I am hoping to get in some extended volume this coming Memorial Day extended weekend so keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather. What happened to April Showers bring May flowers!?! Based on recent weather up here, April Showers guessed it, May Showers. ugh.

Now into a glimpse of how the top age groupers do it, I had an exchange with with one of the elite AG'ers in my club. He's an extremely knowledgeable guy and always very nice about responding to any training Q's. He and his wife just won their respective AG's last weekend at the Florida 70.3. I was asking him why he schedules his long runs Sunday following a long bike Saturday and his thoughts on my mid-week long run. This was his response:

"Ok, my theory...that's been tested by 3 straight kona slots and 2 top 3 finishes at CDA (yeah boasting)...and tested on Ann.

You need to tax your body metabolically in every way possible without over doing it. Take this past weekend for example...yeah I have the Florida 70.3 Sunday but I am looking at the big picture.
I did more than an ironman within a 48 hour period. Bike 127, Run 24 and swim 4K. Is that nuts? Well, a month ago yes, but I have periodized to handle the work.

So, I firmly believe in using various combinations of big workouts over a 24-36 hour period to tax the legs in various manners. That's why weekends vary from:
Long run, then long ride (reverse brick)
Run, bike, run, bike, run (big brick)
Ride long, then next morning run long
IM TT simulation, and run IM simulation off the bike.

These 4 combinations I think, doing them a couple of times each to varying degrees will best prepare you for the IM distance. Not just finishing...but placing high in the age group.
I have run Two 20 milers in the past 2 weeks day following over 100 miles on the bike. First 20 miler ave 7:15 pace, second one ave just under 7, 16 miles of which were 6:45 pace. The difference in strength over a couple of weeks is obviously noticeable. Ann? same thing. Her first 20 ave 8:20, her second 20 7:50 pace. Her IM goal pace is 8.

Now, why bike after a long 16 miler? There is no other way to put it except experiencing the total body weakness in the final hour of a long bike following a run.
After just 2 of these workouts, the next time you bike before running, you notice a huge difference in Bike strength.

The big brick and race simulation speak for themselves.

Now the other vital component? It's imperative that you practice exact as you can get...race day nutrition. On both the bike rides and the runs. This, over only a month or so, will allow you to adapt very well on both the bike and the run.

Mid week long run?
I dont disagree with this. My reasoning is this. I save the mid week for a key road interval or hill session. If this is done on tuesday, you could run long on thurs. You should allow 1 day between key runs though.
I would still try combinations of big workouts on the weekends, and maybe every third...take do your long run mid week.
Perhaps doing the long run during the week that you have a shorter ride/run planned, like a brick, big brick, or race simulation. Then chill out sunday.

Doing too much will spiral you down thats for certain. BUT...stringing together 2 bigger workouts together or within 24 hours will, over several weeks, allow you to adapt to extreme stress.
hope this helps a little"

Check his blog for a glimpse into his training here. Nice to be able to draw from that kind of experience when any questions arise. My take away is that beyond consistency, it's pretty important to vary the training stress. Also, no way around gotta HIT IT HARD. I definitely plan on incorporating some more run volume into the weekends, as suggested, since I already plan on hitting the bike volume pretty hard.

Have a great week out there!



Blogger Spokane Al said...

I guess the answer is that if one wants to be a serious age group athlete one must train very, very seriously.

I liked your thought that consistency is not enough - I need to impliment that thought.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

This is great advice. Thanks for passing it along.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Cliff Tam said...

A few weekends ago i did a 7.5 hr brick (5.5 hr bike + 2 hr run). Then the next day I did a 2 hr run in the morning.

So is he suggesting this to be good? I can see some of the benefit gained from going long and stacking the long bike/long run together.

For me, though, I don't htink i would attempt what I am doing for this season. I don't have a deep enough aerobic base to handle the load.

Mike, that's an awesome workout u put in today during work> I just got a new job and have to juggle all that.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

This is really good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Ironmed said...

Mike, 9hrs isn't a light training week, except by IM standards. I've been hovering around that number for a while. Then again, most of my races are under 3hrs. Looks like you're putting in some quality hrs and that bike is, in a word, gorgeous. Keep it up!

6:39 AM  
Blogger SkiRough said...

Let us know how beefing up the bike volume goes.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I guess I'd better get movin'!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

Good stuff here Mike, thanks for posting. I always like to see what other people do, sometimes I incorporate their strategies into my own regime. I don't think there is any 'one' solution, it's about figuring out what works best for you. So, I guess we're just a bunch of lab rats..
Now if I could just nail that nutrition component down..
Cheers bro.

5:41 AM  

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