Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday 0 miles + end of season rest thoughts.

No jogging. We looked at houses and scrambled our brains again with indecision. I have noticed that having an endurance sport as my job in the past has ruined my ability to use jogging as a relaxation technique. Some of my athletes say that they do their best thinking when they exercise while I need as clear a mind as possible to exercise. Maybe for me, life is a distraction from exercise, while exercise is a distraction from life for others? When my life gets hectic I stop exercising.
We've pretty much narrowed our house decision down to two completely different choices. One based on our practical and rational thoughts, and one based on our hearts. If we didn't have a son then this decision would be simple. But we can't be selfish now. And something I haven't mentioned before- my wife is 13 weeks pregnant with our second boy. So it gets a little more complicated. A new born up in the isolation of the mountains is something..
Life tends to intervene with our goals as athletes. Sometimes I think the timing is impeccable, other times, it is down right frustrating. Norman Stadler injured his foot in the month before Kona... forcing him to rest which allowed him to race Kona at his best and he won. Impeccable. I'm tired and need to rest... we're buying a house and my coaching business is exploding, all in the month before Las Vegas. Impeccable or frustrating? I can either try to race Vegas very well rested or 'life' will frustrate me this time. I shouldn't say 'frustrate' because my life is a dream. I could never, nor would I need to, ask for more.
I think I started typing this post with the goal of explaining the purpose of a rest break between seasons.. which is where I believe I am right now.. so I'll stop rambling and get to the point.
That really is a 4 letter word in the world of sport. We think that not training means we lose fitness. If this were true then couldn't I just walk out the door and start running, continue to run with out stopping until I became an elite runner? Training breaks you down and makes you weaker.. it's true. It's when we rest that our muscle rebuilds and our glycogen and hormone levels are replenished.. and we make fitness gains. It's also the time that our brains "recharge". They say that an athlete can't hold their peak focus before a race for more than 8 weeks. In general, I would agree. With proper rest breaks within this last period I think it can be extended to ~10-12 weeks.. but the point is- our brains are possibly more fragile than our bodies. Without a true rest between seasons we burn out an lose focus.
A 'true' rest break between seasons would be inactivity that resulted in a loss of fitness. In order to maintain fitness you need to train with the mental focus of maintaining a peak, which is the level of fitness where you would start your rest break from. In order to give your body and mind a rest.. a loss of fitness and sharpness is inevitable (and it should be welcomed!).
Now- if you have trained correctly in the preceding year then your fitness is at an all time high, so even with a loss of fitness you will still be starting the next period fitter than than the last. I have made a graphic to make to my point..

As you can see- if you take a rest break that is appropriate then you will begin your next season rested, recharged, and still fitter than the last year's starting point. Of note: this same graphic can illustrate the peaks and valleys of fatigue from week to week. If you rest every 3-4 weeks then your fitness will resemble the same progression from month to month. This graphic also illustrates the need for a long term goal- years!
Where was I? Oh... I think life is intervening on my training right now. A rest break is needed and I can't be trusted to take it willingly. The new house, the 17 new athlete's asking for coaching in the last month... someone is stepping in and it's not the raccoons that stole my shoes. If I can engineer a proper rest break and execute it, then I can come out the other side with an office, 3 bathrooms, and ton's of great athletes to call my own while running better than ever.


beth said...

Wow. congratulations. ben's going to be a big brother! good luck with the house decision- not an easy one. and rest...

BRFOOT said...

Congrats on the baby. A practical matter that you may or may not have thought of about the house and small kids. The spiaral staircase is pretty trecherous. I have one that connects the 3 floors of my house. And I can assure you that there has been more than 1 close call. And we moved in there when my son was 8 or 9. Just one more thing to think about. When my kids got older the lack of friends to play with was kind of a pain. Always involved driving someone somewhere.

Ward said...

First of all.. a big congrats on the soon-to-be addition to the family..!! HUGE!! Now... if you decide to have another one, then we can talk ;-) Rest is almost always a good thing I've found.. as long as I don't abuse the donuts and fig newtons... again congrats to you and the Mrs.....!!

Wet Hair, Warm Heart said...

You are in the greatest "tough" spot I have ever seen. Congrats!

GZ said...

DUDE! DUDE! Congratulations to you and Jo!

ckotte said...

congratulations! don't sweat the house choice...it all works out in the end.

you are dead on with life sometimes intervening with your goals. this rings so true to me.

congrats again! those little ones are the most important things in life..

now go rest...you will need it!

Matt said...

Congratulations, Tim. Complication is the key. Your decisions are more difficult and almost certainly result in richer lives. Marathon shmarathon. You're killing it!

FatDad said...

Congrats Tim. Those are some happy problems to have!
17 athletes! Wow...don't turn into LuchoCorp...haha

Trevor Glavin said...

Hi. I am friends with Beth and James Walsh so I learned about your blog from them. You have a lot of really GREAT information posted...thanks for sharing! Best of luck with all the exciting changes!

Brett Cornwright said...

Congratulations! Now your going to get a dose of what parenting twins is like! You will do well though, you'll just be .... busier. :)

Lucho said...

Thanks for all the good words!
Brfoot- Ya.. we've thought of that. There is a K-8 school less than a mile from the house in the mountains. Lots of families living in the area. I fell a lot as a child and I turned out ok... errr, wait.

Ward- You have 3 kids!? Good on ya for that! I can't imagine.
Homer: MMMMMMM, doooonuts..

Thanks Wet hair. I agree! I'll take this "tough spot" over most people's "good spots"..

Ckotte- I hope it does work itself out! And "those little ones are the most important things in life.." is spot on!

Matt- I think you're right, the harder it is the better the end result?

Fatdad- Ya- I'm getting slammed. I'm horrible at organizing and working from home. I can handle it all if I just shift my discipline from using my legs to using my head! LuchoCorp... I like that;)