Today I did my first run session since Kona. Not long, not fast, but wow was it great! 30 min easy trail jog in the autumn sunshine along the fjord. It was a spontaneous run during lunch and I felt that I ready for a new beginning.
Since Kona Oct 13thI have had no structured training, and actually almost no training at all. Oct 20 I returned to the swim start and jumped in the water 07.05 for an easy 1,9 k swim. It was our last day in Kona and I wanted to enjoy swimming there before heading home to Sweden. After that I didn’t train until a 20 min gym session Monday last week. Last Friday I “swam” 20 minutes, trying how it was to swim with a freestyle snorkel. I’ve also completed a 30 min exciting off road roller ski session and a 30 min relaxed gym session. I retrospect I can see that this weekend I slowly started training again. Structured training with swim, bike, run focus will however not occur quite yet.
So, I gave myself 3 weeks almost completely off. And I’ll give myself a 1-2 weeks easy start. Why? Because I’m convinced that I need it, physically and mentally. You see, I’m a true believer in the power of recovery.
And even though I’m not done with defining my “vision” for 2019, I want to make sure that I build a solid foundation for what ever inspiring goal I’ll decide to strive for.
Now, for most athletes the power of recovery is no news, at least not on a “knowing” level. But quite a few seem to struggle with the transfer from knowing to doing in this case.
So, to encourage those of you who are afraid of resting too much and loosing everything you built up during all these hard sessions for the past year, I’d like to share a secret: This is not my first break during 2018.
Actually I’ve used it twice during the season in order to be able to get as close to my full potential as possible. One longer and one shorter.
i) After ITU Long distance world championship in Odense in July, I took 10 (ten) days off 🙂 . 8 of these days were spent with my beloved family in Croatia. OK, not completely off, since I had one aqua gymnastic session in a hotel pool in Croatia (with my wife and some 20 other tourists), two family gym sessions and two easy run sessions. In total I registered 4 hours of training (aqua gym included 🙂 ) during these 10 days.
ii) In August I turned 50 the weekend before IM 70.3 World Championship. My wife had arranged a surprise trip to Italy, so we got up at 3 am on Wednesday and came back after midnight on Saturday. During these four days focus was on relaxing, enjoying good food and even better wine (much food and even…) and the company of each other and our friends Maria and Magnus that just happened (sure) to be scheduled at exactly the same trip. I did swim for 20 minutes one morning, and I completed a hilly 14 k run session in the heat. But I’m quite sure this was not the most common way to train the last week before heading for Port Elizabeth and IM 70.3 WC.
Outcome of this “unorthodox” way of preparing for the World Champs: I had a great race and executed one of my best 21 k runs ever, 1.19.31, to take the victory in my AG.
1948 WHO defined health as: ”A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
I believe that in order to perform as an Ironman athlete, we should make sure we keep track on all these three aspects of health. My four days in Italy with my wife and close friends at a wonderful vine yard with an excellent kitchen and wine cellar might have taken a tiny portion off my physical form compared to a standard preparation for a 70.3 race. But the mental and social well-being boost I was able to get outweighed that ten fold.
Trust the power of recovery.
Keep track of all three aspects of your health: Physical, mental and social well-being.
Dare to follow your own path – chances are it will lead further than you imagine.