Thursday, January 15, 2009

Test run, more prep, & rest

On Tuesday afternoon after work I headed up the La Costa Canyon High School for a test run. I figured it was time. My foot had been feeling much better thanks to Dan and the rest I have been giving it. I was contemplating doing this run on the track, trails, or tready. After some good advice from GZ I decided to hit the track.

I am not going to lie... I was nervous. I love running and miss it and was afraid that once I started running the pain would come back immediately. Fortunately I was wrong. I ran and easy 3 miles on the track in just of 22 minutes. I started very slow and built into the run. I could feel some discomfort in my foot nothing even close to where I was a week ago. I am sure this is pretty typical after not running in a month. The true test was going to be Wednesday morning and how it felt getting out of bed. Again it felt good, a little tight, but no pain. Good signs. I have another ART appointment Friday morning and I am hoping to give the foot another go this weekend.

I had planned on starting my training phase when we got back from the east coast. Obviously with my foot this was not going to happen. So I am trying to make the best of things (after being a kook and feeling sorry for myself). I decided to use January as a "prep" month and get my body really ready to start working by 2/2. My goals for this phase are just to put in a lot of miles on the bike, all at low intensity with plenty of climbing, get back in the pool, and get strong.

I have been getting in the gym 2-3 times a week for strength/core sessions since mid November. I have been making some gains which I am stoked about. Over the last couple of years I have not cut back on cardio enough to see any significant improvements in the gym. That's definitely not the case this year and that has me really motivated to keep it up. I have also made a commitment to get to hot yoga 2 times a week. I am loving it so far. It's like a combo sauna session and gnarly core routine. I can't wait to see what consistent yoga can do for me.

As much as I am hating not running my foot injury may have been a blessing in disguise. My body is feeling good (other than my foot). All the time off over the holidays really allowed my body to rest, heel, and get somewhat out of shape. So with heading into my 4th season of training I am probably starting the freshest I ever have with no residual fatigue from last year. Alan Couzens (Endurance Scientist) has a great post on the this and Matt referenced in a a post well.

In years past I was always too scared to let my fitness slip too much or stay out of the pool for tool long because I would forget how to swim... and loose fitness. The foot injury and the xmas vacation forced me to rest. I couldn't run, didn't have a bike, and there is no way in hell I was going to search out a pool. Other than a couple of spin classes in Philly with Beth and some strength sessions I really rested... maybe for the first time in 3 years.

I have learned my lesson. When we came back from vacation and I got back on the bike I was a bit out of shape. Anything over 90 minutes was hard, but my strength was good (due to rest). Same thing in the pool. I was out of the water for a month and my first swim went great and believe it or not I didn't forget how to swim.

I know now that rest is key and you actually won't lose all of your fitness or feel. This is kind of a long post for me with no good photos, but coming to this realization is HUGE for me. My homeboy Jim Vance has been trying smash this idea into my head for years and I kind of blew him off a bit and Trevor has tried to convince me of the same thing. I like to train... and train A LOT and I still will but there will be more rest and recovery in my plans. I had a good year last year but I think I had a lot of junk miles/yards in my plan, especially on the bike. I could have taken out some of those "recovery" rides and just rested and could have possibly been stronger/faster.

ok that's it... but coming to term with resting is going to be huge for me in 2009 and will definitely be part of my plan of attack.

My focus for the next couple of weeks is going to be to heel, ride, swim, and get strong. Hopefully I will be rolling 100% by the first week in February.


Luke said...

right on bro...good stuff!! still curious about your '09 racing plans...hopefully in one of your upcoming posts.

Trevor Glavin said...

Glad to hear the foot is getting better. It takes every athlete a long time to learn the "rest" pretty much have to discover the importance of it yourself and experience setbacks like you have had. You are starting fresh and that will pay huge dividends down the road.

Ryan Denner said...

good news on the foot man.

It's good to bring back TJ from time to time - good for the mind, good for the body. As you have already figured out, come 2/2, you will be HUNGRY.

git it dawg.

Sarah said...

Right on, James. Isn't it amazing how long it takes some of us to learn that lesson of rest? I think because it's SOOOO SO SO exciting to be in the best shape of your just can't fathom letting it go. It feels too good and you worked SO hard to get there. But Matt has always used a great metaphor (sort of like Alan's onion one) which was "so you think a car can just keep running and running without stopping to refuel? Eventually it has to refuel or it's just going to stop altogether." That 'stop' is often translated to injury or worse, chronic fatigue syndrome due to overtraining. It's the body's way of MAKING you stop because you were too much of a dork to do it yourself.

Anyway...just glad to see you got a chance to rest and are enjoying the rebuilding phase. I think I'm right there with you on that one. It's kind of exciting, actually. I realized I'm actually stronger on the bike at this time this year than I was last year when I had just kept plowing through...funny how that works. :)

Carolina John said...

Good job dude. Heal, ride, swim, and get strong. that's a good motto.

you still have plenty of time before your next race, right? get that foot feeling great.

Zippy said...

Glad to hear you're back running. I think the mental aspect of dealing with an injury is worse than the physical part.

FatDad said...

Glad to hear the foot's getting better! Shed that fatigue and hot 2009 fitter and faster then ever.

TRI-ROB said...

Seems like we're on the same track bro. As I enter my third season... and have been forced to rest... I'm feeling stronger than ever. I LOVE it! Best of luck hittin it hard starting Feb!


FatDad said...

Thanks for the comment. It totally helped me to reframe the challenge. Made me realize that as long as I am trying to manage the pain, I'll keep having problems. I have to get myself to where you are: expecting it, anticipating it, loving it.

Drew Holmes said...

just thought I would drop a line that your blog still rocks!!