Sunday, August 17, 2014

Have You Ever Been Stuck in the Training Trough?

I've been there for a couple of weeks now.


I am deep, deep, DEEP into my marathon training, with less than 2 months until race day.  I have been dutifully building up my long run mileage on the weekends, and trying to hit some lofty paces on my technical runs during the week.


I've also had a longer schedule at work, with earlier wake-up times.  Knowing the schedule change was temporary, I figured I would just power through.


It has gone as well as you would expect. 

Oh and did I mention the heat wave?


It's a hat trick of misery challenges!

As my PT/running guru Bruk has explained it to me, when you train, your body goes through peaks and valleys.  You have a certain level of fitness, then immediately following a workout (run) your fitness dips and you rest. Ideally, you then slingshot up to a higher fitness level.


The cycle continues, getting you to a higher fitness level after each workout.  I, on the other hand, have apparently been running during my recovery periods.


This is no bueno.

When you don't give yourself enough time to recover from the dip, you won't get out.  You will be left languishing in the training trough, like me.


Not only can this lead to fatigue and lack of motivation, but more serious issues as well.


At least I'm not injured.

Bruk also told me that due to my age I need more recovery time, and that he automatically builds more of it into training plans for people over 40.

I wasn't too happy to hear that.


I may have overreacted just a hair.

A minute or so later he asked me how old I am.


I should hope so.

Being a former marathon coach, Bruk tweaked my long run schedule.  He had me skip my next long run, then added in more recovery weeks (i.e. fewer miles) while still getting me up to peak mileage before tapering. I'm feeling optimistic, and hope I will fare well on this plan.



Questions:  How about you? Have you ever been in the training trough? How did you find your way out?


*If you enjoyed this, please consider sharing by clicking 
on one of the social icons on the left side of the page.  
It makes my heart happy!


UPCOMING POSTS:  CANADA DAY 10K WITH MY SISTER, MORE GLUTES OF GLORY, LONG RUNS

Bonus: Here is a screen shot of an actual conversation I had with Christy, who is also training for Portland (I'm blue.)


We're keepin' it real.

We did a long run yesterday though, and it went well, so that's a good sign!

29 comments:

  1. You will get that love for running back soon! And I always LOVE your illustrations!!! Getting old seriously sucks!

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    1. It seriously does suck! But thank you for the compliment, and I do think I'm back on the upswing!

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  2. Not bad for an old geezer of 39. I think the yo you in the trough plan looks good. All the best to you for your runs!

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    1. Hehe, it's my shoe that I'm twirling :D Thanks though, I just need to get through this patch.

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  3. I've totally been there and it can be so discouraging! Sometimes a little rest can go a long way! I love your cartoons by the way :) Hope you get out of the trough soon!

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    1. Thank you Sandra! Yes, I do feel like things are looking up today :)

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  4. SHIN SPLINTS are the bane of my EXISTENCE... Oh well, those and a bunch of other crap that CRAPS ALL OVER MY LIFE too! ah ha ah aha ha! While you obviously have to train to run marathons, I think you might be doing TOO MUCH. Why don't you take a chill week? Is that even allowed? Why not try and not stress out too much about it? Does everyone get metals? LOL. I am not a very competitive person, so I would probably just walk a marathon and finish it in 8 hours, lol! There wouldn't even be a finish line anymore by the time I am done, ha ha!

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    1. I don't usually get shin splints and didn't even know I had them until he was pushing on my shins and I jumped from the pain! The truth is that for the last 3 weeks I have cut out one of my weekday runs. So in that sense I have chilled out a bit. I also want to run faster than last year and at this point I'm slower. That doesn't help. But I'm starting to feel better :)

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  5. Been there but time off usually is the best and you'll come back better than ever! And what's with Bruk? 39 is definitely NOT 40!

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    1. It's so hard to know what 'time off' will do though. Skipping that one long run, along with several Thursday runs seems to have helped, but of course I'm nervous about how that will affect my race.
      I think Bruk knows now that 39 is not 40 :D

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  6. Is it not enough for you to be Tri-Girl, now you have to be a Marathon-Girl? Shin splints are rough, hope you recover. By the way, as much as I appreciate the social icons on the left, they do obscure the text for me (this might not be the same for everyone's reading experience). Good luck with emerging from the trough.

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    1. Oh bummer about the icons! Thank you for letting me know! So far on my browsers I haven't been able to replicate that. I'm going to try and remove them; for now, if you hover over them you should see an arrow to click that will move them out of the way.
      I'm not much of a TriGirl lately, so marathon-girl has to do for now. Next year, though, I'll be a real TriGirl again!

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  7. Ooof. I imagine that if I did run, I would just live in the valley.

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    1. Well it's fine there if you hang out in the hammock :)

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  8. You'll be out of that trough soon enough - hang in there!

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    1. You're right! I think I'm climbing out.

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  9. Yep. Been there...my last attempt at the marathon was me beating myself up during training and crashing and burning at the race. I'm over 50...training for Chicago again...and this time letting my CrossFit coach train me. While she's kicking my a**, she's built a lot of recovery into this plan. I've put all my trust in her and am following the plan to the "T".

    Hang in there and give yourself time to heal! I read once that it is better to be undertrained than overtrained for a marathon. Seems like good advice!

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home

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    1. That does sound like good advice, just counterintuitive :) I don't know why it's so hard to trust someone with experience over a generic piece of paper with numbers on it--I'm learning though.

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  10. I can't say I've officially been in a training trough but I'm pretty sure I've wandered around the edges a few times, ha ha. I'm over 40...getting closer to MID 40's and I'm finding it harder and harder to recover. I have a hard time with taking more than one recovery day a week but I suspect that's going to have to happen soon. :(

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    1. Ugh. Since I only started this active thing a few years ago, it's hard to think that I have to slow down already.

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  11. I've definitely been stuck there too! And I'm been stubborn about accepting the fact that my body does need longer to recover now that I'm, ahem, getting older. It stinks and can be frustrating but hang in there!

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    1. Yeah it sucks. But at least we don't have to stop, right?

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  12. Your cartoons are always amazing.
    I get stuck sometimes too and am not the smartest about listening to my body.

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    1. Thanks so much :) I don't know why it's so hard to listen to our bodies.

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  13. I thought I commented but don't see it so... Well, love your humor & take on this!!! So fun BUT true! I wrote about it too on Wednesday with my We are not always on post - great minds think alike!!! At 56... I need recovery bad!!!!!

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    1. Sorry your first comment didn't go through--that is so annoying! But thank you so much for posting again! Great mids DO think alike!!

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