6/26/2017 – 7/2/2017
Monday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour 15 minutes PM: Core strength 15 minutes
Tuesday – AM: Track workout! 12 x 200 fast/200 easy recovery jog + 1k at 5-10k pace (by feel) 1 hour total run time PM: Group bike ride 2 hours
Wednesday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour 10 minutes NOON: Easy run 30 minutes + Strength 30 minutes PM: Teach indoor cycling 1 hour
Thursday – AM: Tempo run, 2 mile warm up + 4 mile tempo + 2 mile cool down PM: Group ride 2 hours
Friday – AM: Masters Swim 1 hour NOON: Teach indoor cycling (and take it super easy) PM: Easy ride 1 hour 40 minutes
Saturday – Masters Swim 1 hour 10 minutes + Long run 1 hour 17 minutes
Sunday – AM: Long ride 4 hours 15 minutes PM: 40 minute run with 10x 1 min strong/ 1 minute easy
- SWIM 4 hours 30 minutes
- BIKE 11 hours 50 minutes
- RUN 4 hours 30 minutes
- STRENGTH 45 minutes
21 hours 35 minutes
(does this work?)
When should you push through and when should you give yourself a break?
This week had some rough moments. Not only was it my 3rd week without a rest day but my training this week included more intensity and volume than the previous 2 weeks (and years?). While being sore and tired is expected, this week I felt both mentally and physically run down. I struggled through workouts and had multiple moments where I considered modifying my training or taking a day off. As I decided instead to “put my head down” and push through I thought a lot about these moments where it would be easy to find an out but you choose to keep moving forward instead.
After last week’s post on a mid-season rest break, my opinion on unplanned days off is a bit different. I do believe in listening to your body, planning rest into your training schedule and being flexible but I also find A LOT of value in pushing through “normal” fatigue and soreness. In short, if you aren’t sick or injured (or at risk for an injury), I believe in sticking to your plan to the best of your ability. From my experience, the mental stamina that is cultivated every time you make the decision to press on in the presence of adversity is even greater than the physical benefits of finishing a workout. On the other end of the spectrum, bowing out when things get tough is just as harmful to the competitor in you.
Some of my most memorable training sessions are the ones where I pushed through physical pain and mental demons. These are the workouts where I gained the confidence that I could in fact get through tough workouts and races even when I don’t feel great. I will never forget when a coach told me “if you feel like crap, let yourself feel like crap”. In this tear-filled (for me) situation, I was struggling through a swim session where I felt like crap, I wasn’t making intervals and I honestly wanted to call it quits. This coach wasn’t going to let me out of the workout or allow me to ease up on the effort but he also didn’t want me to ignore how I was feeling. He knew that getting through that workout in spite of feeling terrible was going to be a huge success that I could deposit in the bank and draw out during my next inevitably tough moment.
We train to race and there is no one who believes that races are all easy. Races are hard and there is no telling how you are going to feel on the day. Pushing through the tough moments, tired days and long weeks prepares you for the inevitable race day hurt. On the contrary, letting yourself “out” when things get hard prepares you to quit on race day. Every time you take the easy road, taking the easy road gets easier. Every time you let yourself quit, quitting becomes the default.
Don’t think that I don’t believe in rest. I know that rest is a crucial part of training but just as we plan and stick to our training schedules, we should value planned rest just as much. Whether you are making your own plan or working with a coach, having the courage and discipline to rest when appropriate will make it easier to push through that next hard training week, workout or race. Train hard, rest hard, race easy?