I believe there were no races last weekend. Some people are starting back to base training, some people are in the thick of it for November races, and some people are still recovering. Whatever phase you’re in, be in it! Every phase has a purpose and you can’t fast-track it.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about in terms of recovery. I get a lot of questions from people along the lines of “can I do this” or “can I add that” and I say … “as long as you can recover from it”. It’s not the stimulus that hurts you – it’s the inability to recover from it. If you look at the difference between what elite athletes are doing and what we are doing, it’s basically just a lot more work. And they also eat twice as much and sleep twice as much as us. A typical daily schedule would be: wake up, eat something, train, eat something, sleep, eat something, train, eat something, sleep. They can train more only because they are eating and sleeping more – not the other way around. So it stands to reason that if your eating or sleeping get cut down for some reason, your training has to follow suit or else you’re risking injury or breakdown, or at the very least not getting stronger from your training. Your training HAS to be dictated by your ability to recover from it.
I’ve been fascinated (as many people have) by the Norwegians and how they train. Currently the fastest runner, cross country skiers and triathletes in the world are all Norwegian. I’ve listened and read a lot about their systems, and there seems to be a few similarities across all these disciplines. One, is that they all train with a long-term athlete development approach. No one is an overnight success. They have all been doing smart, not crazy, very sustainable training that builds gradually from what they’ve done before, year after year.
The second thing builds on the first: they are all very focused on athlete health and recovery. No one can train hard and perform well over 10-20 years if they aren’t really healthy. The Norwegian national cross country ski team does body mass checks for its athletes at the start of every training year, and has been known to tell top level world class athletes that they can’t train with the team because they are too light. They have to go back and put on weight so they can absorb the training. The coach of the Norwegian triathlon team (which boasts the two fastest short course and long course athletes in the world), repeated the same philosophy. If their athletes are getting injured or tired, they don’t cut down their training – they grill them on whether they are eating enough and sleeping properly. That is their responsibility as athletes and they have to focus on it as much as their training sessions. The top two triathletes in the world, Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt, are not your classic skinny, cut looking endurance athletes. Blummenfelt has addressed this: he doesn’t care what people say. He knows his body has to carry the mass he does in order to be strong. He is not getting injured and he can go back to the well again and again and again. Because he has the energy to sustain it. The old paradigm of what a strong and fast elite athlete looks like is breaking down. If you’re losing weight while training, that means your energy out is greater than your energy in. This is not a formula for sustained performance.
This is just something to think about for people who are transitioning from a mindset of “exercising” to “training”. Training is about performance. If you want to perform and grow and improve, you have to recover. In order to recover, you have to eat. A lot. To paraphrase the amazing Jen Sygo (nutritionist to the stars who came to speak to us a year or so ago): You have to eat more than you think. And you can’t get it all in with nuts and fruit. You have to eat the chips!
So much more to say on this topic, but I’ll leave it there for now. (also if anyone is interested in booking an appointment with Jen, she is at http://jennifersygo.com/default.asp?pID=4 – she knows so much and we honestly don’t know what we don’t know)
Onto tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO TIME!
- 2 x 800 w 1:30 rest. 2 min rest. 4 x 400 w 1:15 rest. 3 min rest. REPEAT
- If going by time: 2 x 3 min w 1:30 easy, 2 min easy, 4 x 1 min Hard, 1 min Easy – 3 min easy – Repeat!
- If just coming back from an injury or illness, or just getting into it, do 1 set OR skip the 2nd set of 800’s.
That is all – see you in the am!