Training recovery after being sick

So time to recap where I’m at in my training…to a large degree because I’m coming back from being sick…sounds weird…I’m _never_ sick…I guess I’m mortal after all…and wanted to recap it…and we’ll be leaving for vacation for a week next Tuesday, and I wanted to dial in the training that I wanted to do while away…my season-to-date follows…

…lot’s of links in this post as I was going back through the last few months and re-reading my ‘evolution’ over the past few months…

My original season plan I posted on Dec. 14, and summarized here:

So my Planned and Actual-life-happens schedule summarized:

So planning wise, I’m in pretty good shape still…says the optimist…considering I pulled a hamstring and was sick for a couple of weeks in the first 10 weeks of the year…geez…the convention weekend and vacation coming up next week I expected to be softer on training…and were, and will be 🙂

…for coming back after being sick, I decided that I liked the looks of my Week 6 original schedule…all intensity, all the time, so challenging…the peak week before a mini-taper…before the original bike and run re-test week…and decided that I’d ramp up to complete that week fully as planned before pressing forward…following my notes in an earlier post:

  • 3 weeks ago: soft transitional week getting back into training after 2 weeks of essentially none
  • 2 weeks ago, I started back with full training hours (8+ for the week) with lower intensity
  • last week: full training hours (8+ for the week), with bike almost back to full intensity, while increasing the run intensity
  • this week: full training hours and full intensity in both bike and run

If I remain intact this week…hopefully Fortuna will smile favorably on me… and don’t get sick/injured again…the net effect will be that I’ll be missing 2 weeks of the ultra-high intensity VO2 max training that I had planned, as a result of the side-tracks so far…life happens…turn the page

…and swimming…I haven’t been in a pool for months…can’t say that I’ve missed it, but not in line with my goals…with the side tracks I’ve ended up inadvertently following the no-swimming protocol of the Endurance Nation folks that I wrote about on Nov. 26…so I’ll be in the pool…there’s a swim up bar 🙂 …or ocean…every day on vacation…even if it’s only to cool off…alright…I’ll be doing drills…would have liked to be further along on the swimming…so to catch up, my goal is a 45 minute open water swim by the end of the vacation…I’ll soon see how much I’ve remembered…may be overly ambitious…stay tuned…first phone call back will be to coach Dinah for some pool work…if she’ll have me back

I’ve been particularly nervous about that hamstring…I think it was that it went out without warning…on any runs since then, I couldn’t help but think that it-was-really-going-to-irritate-me-if-it-broke again…so today’s run was really a benchmark on my ‘comeback’ to full speed…yeah!

One thing that I’ve adjusted is no fast intervals on any hills…all fast intervals on the local college track…it may be a while before I feel confident to run flat-out on a downhill…Ironman Florida is a flat run…Vancouver Half Iron is hilly, so may just be taking a stroll down the hills…good news for Iron Daughter…where is Iron Daughter by the way (BTW) 🙂

So today, was 3×1 mile (actually running in lane 7 which is 1.094 miles for a little extra) on the track with 4 minutes jog between….wasn’t full out, but pressing the pace by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)…based on the 5 point scale..and turned out well…faster than I thought that it was…may have been the cold rain…pace was 8:08/8:04/8:04 per mile…compares favorably to my test the first week in January, 5K in a 8:14/mile pace (no rest between miles there)

…the most interesting thing about this workout is that with my 5K test at 8:14/mile (my 37 vDOT), the workout spec…what I should have done…was actually 95-100% of the 8:14 pace…so more properly should have been at a 8:30-8:14 pace…this ended up being more of a VO2 max workout, since it was higher than my test result

…so either my fitness has improved since the first week in January even with the lay-offs…let’s hope…or I’ve just blown myself up by exceeding the workout spec in a hard workout…I guess we’ll see 🙂

…my Heart Rate chart from the workout today for those interested in such things…you can see that I eased into the first one to test the legs..felt like Z3-4 RPE…than a steady push in the 2nd one…felt like Z4 RPE, and then about the same Z4 RPE with Heart Rate going up a bit from the last effort…actually a good graph summarizing what intensity-focused training looks like…warm-up, main set of high intensity intervals, with short rest between, and a cool-down…looks like fun doesn’t it…it does get the blood pumping:

Not ready to declare victory yet, but feel that I’m at least capable of pushing the training pace now in both the bike and run…nice

…would be good to get out of this week intact, throw in some added intensity over the next couple of weeks…some adjustment around the vacation…re-test the week of April 4th, and then switch to the Vancouver Half Iron ramp-up with whatever I’ve got in terms of speed at that point…turn fast into far

…I’ll be re-evaluating my race goals based on the April 4th week testing…originally a 12 hour Ironman…I _may_ re-test a week earlier after my vacation week, if I’m rested at that point…would be lovely to see a better test result than the first week in January…probably not what I originally would have liked, but _something_ for the effort would be pleasant

Final thoughts

As an athlete it’s _really_ tough being injured or being sick…my little bout with sore throat, cold, cough etc. is nothing compared to what many people come back from…broken things…cancerous things…and worse…

After my hamstring pulled, and then I had a followup hamstring spasm in a workout a couple of weeks later, I was starting to refresh my research on race-walking as a way to complete the Ironman…

…it is very tough to get past the I’m-never-going-to-get-back thought process…but I/we/many have and do…the body can/does heal itself if given the chance…a remarkably complex and wonderful and incredibly beyond-our-current understanding flesh and bone machine


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