Friday, August 18, 2006

It's all about recovery

Well as you can probably tell my blog template has changed again. When I switched it over to my blogger account to my google account (which is a beta version) some of the formatting of my page got jacked. It would of been an easy fix, but the beta version does not let you edit the raw HTML... yet. As soon as they do I will fix everything and get all my links to race reports and other blogs back up.

Update on my neck:

It feels great. As of this morning the stiffness is completely gone. I am really glad I skipped my swim on Tuesday and gave it a couple of days of rest. I still got on my bike though.



AM - Swim - Skipped due to neck/upperback stiffness.
Lunch - 20min stationary bike/Core
PM - Bike - 2:20/36mile - Hill Repeats of Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines (outside):
1 - 6:38
2 - 6:44
Torrey Pines (inside):
1 - 5:12
2 - 4:55

I was supposed to get out on my mountain bike and do a couple hill repeats of Black Mtn. Due to waking up with a stiff neck and after talking it over with my coach we decided it was probably a better idea to stay on the road for my ride. Riding offroad is a lot more taxing on the body. So the plan was to head out on the road and see how it felt. If I felt any pain or discomfort I was gonig to head back home. If I felt good it was out to Torrey Pines for some hill repeats. Well, suprisingly, I felt great. I had to hold myself back on the ride out. I wanted to hammer. When I got to Torrey Pines I climbed the outside twice and the inside twice. I haven't done hill repeats out there since early May and I crushed my old times, which is a very good sign. All the climbing I have been doing offroad is defintely working. After the ride I took an ice bath, relaxed, and watched the Padres get beat, again, by the pathetic Giants.

Thursday: Rest/Recovery day

Slept in
30min on stationary/recumbent bike (very little resistance)
15min of stretching
Chiropractor - Adjustment
60min Massage
30min Epsom Salt bath


AM - Swim - Master's - 4000 yards - Speed day
Lunch - Core (still to come)
PM - 60min easy run (still to come)

I was kind of nervous to get in the pool this morning, but after a couple of strokes I could tell my neck would not be an issue. I lead the lane for the first two hard sets and hit all the intervals. It was solid. I let a this fast chick take over and just cruised after that.

I have been thinking a lot about recovery and my approach to it. What got my thinking about it was reading Simon Whitfield's blog (thanks for the link Mike). He is a super fast triathlete from Canada. His blog covers his training and he always mentions what he did for recovery with same kind importance as what he did during his swim/bike/run workouts. It defintely got me thinking.

So now I am approaching recovery and rest days a bit differently. For the most part I think most of us see a rest day on our training plans and think "ok, there's a day I don't have to do anything. I can just hang out". At least that was the attitude that I took. Instead I think we should be looking at these days and be thinking about how we can maximize recovery during those 24 hours. Now I am approaching these days with the same kind of preparation as a workout day. Typically when I get my weekly training plan from my coach I look it over and start mentally preparing for the week. I know what days I am going to be working hard, going long, and what days will be for recovery. The night before my hard workouts I defintely start thinking about the next days work and being mentally prepared and definitely helps. Now I am doing the same things for my rest days. I have a plan for my recovery days. I want to get the most out of these days so the day after I am truly ready to hit it hard again mentally and physically.

Yesterday was a rest day and I took full advantage. I slept in (got up at 6:45am as opposed to my daily 5am wake up). I then just hung out and worked from home a bit, had good clean breakfast and headed into work. At lunch I hit the gym and rode stationary/recumbent bike for 30 minutes while reading the latest issue of Inside Triathlon and then stretched for 15 minutes. Riding the stationary bike is something I try to do everyday druing the week. I don't really use any resistance and helps to get the blood flowing in my legs and loosend them up before I stretch. After work I headed to my Chiropractor for an adjustment and followed that up with a 60min massage. Then after dinner I soaked in a epsom salt bath for 30 minutes. I was in bed by 10pm, slept great, and woke up this morning ready to go hard in the pool.

This weekend:


AM - Run - 4 mile XC race(running only) - warm-up/race/cooldown for a totaly of 90 minutes

that's all I am doing tomorrow.

Sunday (big day):

1.5 - 2 mile swim
4 hr Mountain bike/30min run
Weights - lowerbody

I am really looking forward the XC race tomorrow morning. I am going to really push it. My plan is to go out with fastest guys and see if I can hang for the entire 4 miles. Sunday should also be fun.

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