Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday 8 miles, start rest block.

I've run 307 miles in the last 21 days and when I first started laying out my year I planned on doing a 3 week cycle with a rest block every 4th week. I felt very good on my morning run and am sitting here in my running kit ready to go again... but I need to keep my eye on the big picture. Improvements only come when we rest. Training breaks down our bodies and long periods of training accumulate stress and fatigue. Only when we rest do we gain strength. Even though I feel great I know I have done well over the last month. My health is 100%, not an ache or twinge, very little fatigue. Resting will almost guarantee an elevation in fitness and the next 3 weeks will be even better. I'll back off and hold my mileage and effort down for the next 4-5 days. There is a 5000 on the track in Boulder on Thursday night- this would technically be 4+ days of rest if I count the rest starting from Sunday morning. I count a day as 24 hours (go figure), so if you finish a hard run on Sunday morning at 9:00am and don't run again until Monday morning at 9:00am, technically you took a day off.
I'm running an LT test tomorrow morning with Gordo. This will give me a fairly definitive perspective on my fitness.


jameson said...

i love this post... i am finally learning to embrace "rest". it took a lot of time, some blood work, and a good friend to make me realize that i was killing myself!

now i feel like i am getting stronger by the day, week, month... i love it.

keep the feet up!

Lucho said...

Hey Jameson- It's important to remember too that "rest" is a relative term. For you and me, we can rest and still train enough to kill most people. In the Tour De France the riders will ride up to 3 hours on their "rest" days.
My rest week might still turn out to be 100 miles, but it's the way it will be structured. Very light on volume and effort for the first 4 days, then a huge ramp back up. I've always thought that an athlete should put in some killer sessions immediately after a rest week... they are after all- rested! My weeks mileage will look something like: 8/ 14/ 10/ 11/ 18/ 17/ 22 miles. Each day will be broken in to shorter runs and at a relaxed and easy effort with no regard for HR minimums. Just easy jogging. At this point even a 10 mile day will allow adequate recovery for me if it is split in to 2 x 5 miles.
Thanks for the comment!

Brett said...

Interesting analogy on the Tour de France. I think it was Stage 16 in 2005...but not sure, I could not Google it right...but I'm pretty sure Vinokourov actually took the rest day after Stage 15 completely off, while everyone else went for a 3 hour ride. Stage 16 (the next day back) was a mountain stage, and he was quickly dropped in his own speciality (climbing) and finished 50+ position that day.

Lucho said...

Brett- Active recovery is more effective than sitting still. Running is trickier than cycling in that it's weight bearing and it is possible to run too slowly, which can actually be more stressful than running faster.