Recently Gordo posted an excellent blog entry on his site. It never fails to seem that whenever I am having some floundering thoughts about things, Gordo always seems to write something that drives deeply into the precise subject I am thinking about.
The short summary of his recent post is that over the last several months, he has spent much of his training time in the red zone – fun, but high intensity and prone to burn out. That has resulted in him feeling “off”. He is putting himself back on a more traditional (for him) approach to prepare for Silverman (Half) in November.
This is something I have been struggling with over the last 9 months or so – the place of intensity in my training routine. I know that to continue to improve from my current level I have to get stronger on the bike and on the run. I am simply not strong enough on the bike or the run to accomplish my goal of being the top amateur at a North American Ironman.
To do that, I need to include intensity in my training plan – aerobic overload will only get me so far. I need to introduce some higher quality work to raise my FTP and my 5k/10k pace. I’ve tried this several times over the past couple of years. In 2007 it led to a complete fitness breakdown by 4th of July. In 2008 it was too little too late – but it did help. Late 2008, I attempted to do the Endurance Nation off-season plan – it was simply to much for me. It was a very sound 16 week plan, but I just did not enjoy suffering every single workout – and once I got frustrated with it I started chalking up zeros.
A similar thing has happened this spring – I’ve had some pretty good consistency, but I have been racking up more zero’s then normal – and I’m not sure of the cause. Recently I’ve been wondering if it could be my routine working against me – putting important workouts on days where my mind is not really capable of executing them (i.e. Long Run on Friday PM, while working at home) – as opposed to having done it on Tuesday while being “stranded” at work 12 miles away with no other option to get home.
So I’m left at a bit of a loss. I am/was really looking forward to the Merton Group ride on Tuesdays to help get some great rides in, but that forces my long run to later in the week. That format will ensure a better quality ride, but will result in less consistency of completing my Long run, and possibly more Gym Class Hero efforts out of myself.
If I do my long run on Tuesday, I have to do a quality ride solo Thursday morning – the result, better consistency, but probably a bit weaker effort will result on the bike – significantly less Gym Class Hero efforts.
Compounding that is a desire to be a bit social in my training and hit some rides/runs with Matt [Amman] and Chris [Wichert], while not trying to force them to comply with my schedule.
Why do I always seem to over think these things so much? Maybe that’s why coaches are so in demand….