Ups and downs, and higher up…
Summarizing my January training: 30 h 30 min. i.e. not quite 8h/week. Rest and recovery sessions not included, so actually I would say it’s a false figure.
Last Wednesday evening I had a really good treadmill session with 6 x 1 k at 3.30 pace. To be honest I’m not sure if the speed was correct since it felt quite easy. From the treadmill I went straight to the strength training session with squats, curls etc. for an 1 h tri-strength work out. The whole training was very inspiring and I could sense that the training is developing the way I want.
Thursday and Friday did’t give the opportunity for proper training, so I turned them into two consecutive R & R -days. On Saturday I aimed for a long distance run session. It turned out however that I was all but ”in shape”. Starting out with the ambition to go for 21 k, I repeatedly adjusted my plan. It took 45 min to find any kind of ”run feeling”, and I decided to make it into a 1 hour session. When the hour was due, I had covered just over 12 k… with an average tempo of 4.51/km. Now, for some this is fast, for others its quite normal and yet others consider it slow. For me it’s the latter, and I felt as if I had forgotten how to run. But, I know that sometimes two R&R-days makes me a bit off and I didn’t put to much attention to it.
Today the plan was to cover a 90 min pyramid interval session on the test bike. The intervals vary from 1 up to 10 minutes and the cadence varies from 60 to 90+. I try to stay over FTP (290 w) for the shorter intervals and allow my self to go 5-20 watts under FTP for the longer intervals. At the end I push it hard and the last 1 min interval I was able to stay at 450 w almost the whole way which is very very good for being me. After the session my Garmin calculated a new VO2 max afterwards (67). So – yes – I was really happy with how I managed to stay focused and push it all the way.
I’m convinced that my ability to focus just as much on the R&R sessions as on the FTP sessions is one of the ”secrets” behind my ”success”. I train and race with very clear goals and loads of determination, but I’ve never been the one who will log most training hours. Often my first question to people who train a lot and ask for my advice is ”Whats your rest and recovery strategy?” And all too many don’t seem to take these R&R sessions seriously. I’d say I divide people into three categories when I discuss their training:
Those who train 1-3 days a week. Focus will then usually be around inspiring goals, key sessions and maybe some nutrition comments.
Those who train 4-6 days a week: For these it’s often a combination of inspiring goals, rest and recovery strategy, key sessions and maybe some nutrition comments.
Those who train 7 days a week: For these athletes I only focus on R&R-strategy. Before they start taking recovery seriously no other advice will be relevant if you ask for my opinion.
Below is a picture taking during one of me key sessions to build strength, endurance and motivation for the coming race season. It’s a favorite 15 min session 🙂
…and some pics of the output of these R&R sessions (in combination with active exercise of course… 🙂 )
I hope you take your R&R seriously and is able to view days without training as really important days on your way to your inspiring goals!