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?

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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!


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