Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off Week....

So this week was pretty much an off and recovery week to let my body recoup from the busy racing season before I start heading towards marathon training in earnest.  I took the advice of some friends of mine in the know and gave my body some recovery time.  The only workouts I did this week was a great 2600 yard swim on Monday, an ok 1000 yard swim on Tuesday, and a LOUSY 500 yard swim on thursday.  Since then I've done nothing.  Today however is my last day of rest before starting up again tomorrow. 

So was it worth it?

Well this morning I decided to take an evaluation of how I feel....

My hamstring still feels tight.  But it feels a little stronger.  I think if I keep my runs to slower paced efforts and work on strengthening my legs back up with regular strength training I'll probably be ok.  This is what I went through early in the season and the strength work I put in then seems to have paid dividends.  However once my training for the FIRM 1/2 got intense I backed off the strength training as I just couldn't handle the volume of training and strength training at the same time.  But now that should be much easier.  So we'll see how I do putting those two together.  My hope is that with regular stretching and strength training I will be on a course to keep that hammy healthy and strong.  Time will tell.  I don't know that taking any more time off is going to loosen it any more.  I think I just need to work through it carefully and keep a carefull eye on it.

The issue that is starting to concern me more is actually my right foot.  I'm starting to wonder if this is more of why my long runs were starting to feel a little funky.  Its hard to explain but it almost feels like I don't get as much spring out of my right foot.  Its also the first spot to go numb when running.  Its as if the big toe on that foot isn't as strong as the other one.  Not sure what thats all about.  I can feel it even when walking.  I'm starting to wonder if that is causing me to compensate with some other leg muscles which is causing the discomfort in my right leg.  Perhaps that weaker toe is the cause to all my leg issues?  not sure...   but definitely also something to keep an eye on.  Theres definitely no pain there at all...  just some occasional numbness and weakness.  Which of course shows up on longer distance runs and makes that whole right leg have to work harder.  I suppose I could go to the podiatrist again but he's just going to tell me not to run for six weeks and I'd like to try and keep running and see what happens.

So theres a lot to keep an eye on as I head towards marathon training again.  Especially as I have some big plans.  I'm hoping to be able to focus on running long and very evenly and slowly paced for this Disney challenge.  Ideally close to ten minute miles in both the half and full.  Or at least 9'30s.  I'm hoping to be able to RACE a marathon in february with the girl and many of her friends in february.  Which means treating the disney race as a training weekend.  My hope is to stay strong enough so that the disney weekend becomes the peak of my training and then I enter a three or so week taper for the Donna marathon in Jacksonville, FL in february which I'd then race the full and shoot for a new PR.  But who knows if I'll be healthy enough to do that.  Although I've booked my plane ticket for Jax already my plan is to figure out whether I'm racing the full, the half, or just plain cheering from the sidelines at the last minute.  I'll train as if I'm racing the full but theres a long way to go and stay injury free between now and then and who knows what toll the Disney goofiness is going to have on me.

So with all this said its time to think about training and what my plan is going forwards.  I think I've put together a new training plan that I hope to stick to throughout the winter...  and here it is...

Monday - Swim / Bike
Tuesday - Run Short / Strength Training
Wednesday - Swim with the girl (coach)
Thursday - Run Short / Strength Training
Friday - Swim / Bike
Saturday - Long Run
Sunday OFF

-Monday's and Fridays are swim and bike days.  My hope will be to swim 2000-2500 yards focused on technique and speed work (more technique to begin the winter and then speed once I'm getting a better handle on form).  The bike portions will be short interval efforts.  1 to 2 hours max.
-Tuesdays and Thursdays will be short runs (5 miles) and an hour of strength training a day.  Strength training will focus on legs, core and swim related muscle groups such as lats etc.
-Wednesdays will be a recovery day of sorts and a focused swim session with the girl who is acting as my coach.
-Saturday will be my long run day.  Nice easy paced efforts.  Its also the girls long run day and I'm really hoping we can share at least some of those runs together as I'm hoping to learn how to groove a ten minute mile pace from her for the Disney effort.  But our schedules won't quite line up but hopefully we can at least do some overlap on some days for part of our runs.
-Sundays are an off day.  I'm not good at off days.  I get restless and want to train seven days a week.  But both the girl and an athletic trainer friend of mine convinced me of the importance of a complete rest day.  And after listening to all the points it makes a ton of sense.  So I'm hoping having a recovery day will really help me stay strong through the winter.  Plus it means getting to sleep in on the weekend and spend quality time with the girl without stressing about where to fit in a long bike or whatever.
Speaking of long bikes...   you'll notice that there isn't really a spot in my plan for that.  I will do some longer rides on Mondays occasionally but for now my focus is on strength training and running.  And I can't focus on long rides until after all this marathon nonsense is over.  So for now my focus is leg strength and intervals on the bike.  The long ride endurance is not going to be a problem for me and even if I don't do many rides longer than 50 miles till after february I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to get to the 120 mile mark well ahead of the ironman at the end of the year.
So thats the plan going forward...   lets hope this week of rest will kick off my training and lead to an awesome season in 2011.

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