Sunday, August 7, 2011
Week one of my recovery plan is now complete. It did not go well. Running feels like (and is!) a slow shuffle even if I only go a couple miles.
After feeling worse each day, I realized I needed to do more research on recovery. I thought that a week off followed by a week of easy would be fine. Apparently, I was wrong.
A Google search led me to this document by Gale Bernhardt: "Recovery After Racing", found on ActiveTrainer.com
In this document, Gale lists the recovery time for triathlon as being 3-5 days per hour of racing. Wow! Given my 7+ hour race, that means I need to be in recovery mode for 21-35 days! No wonder I don't quite feel up to snuff.
I also found another document to support Gale's suggestion of 3-5 days off per hour of racing. Ironman.com's document, "Post Ironman Race Recovery!", suggests that the typical age-grouper needs 6-8 weeks of recovery following a full Ironman before resuming their regular training schedule. Cut that in half (my race was a half-Ironman distance) and it matches up perfectly with the number of recovery days suggested by Gale.
So, I am backing off for a few weeks. I will no longer be following the Hal Higdon Post-marathon plan that I had originally planned to use. These next few weeks will have no more than 2 easy runs per week. In addition to that, I plan to swim at least once per week, do yoga 2-3 times per week, and try to use my foam roller at least every other day. I also plan to walk every day as a means to fill the time slot formerly occupied by training and to stave off boredom. Liam and I may take out the mountain bike and child trailer to toodle around the neighborhood, but the road bike will probably remain in the garage for the time being. In a couple weeks, I will reevaluate how I am feeling and go from there.
The hardest part of being your own coach is being objective. Did I know that the crappy runs early in the week meant that I should have backed off? Yep. Did I back off? Nope. I completed my workouts as written, rather than listening to my body or evaluating my performance. I wouldn't push another athlete like that. Why do I think I am any different?
Are you your own coach? What methods do you use to evaluate your own performance? Are you able to remain objective?