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A Saturated Sponge

January 20, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

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This week:

Swam: 1,000m in 15:00 (1 session)

Biked: 37.3km in 1:20:22 (2 sessions)

Ran: 34.19km in 4:16:30 (4 sessions)

Strength Training: 3 x 20 minutes

Overall, it’s been a good week.  I was able to get on the stationary bike twice, and did strength training 3 times – both of those are confirmation that I’ve stuck to the plan and hit my sessions this week, which I’m really happy with.

Yesterday’s long run was really good (in an I-just-got-my-ass-kicked kinda way).  Stretched my run out to 18k, which I’ve never done before.  Felt really strong through the first 10-12k, and finished with a reasonable amount of fatigue.  But I’m finding the post run recovery really tough.  Today was supposed to be a light 6k run to round out the week, but I don’t have the gas left in the tank to make it happen.  My legs weren’t sore during the run, but they sure are now.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles on Active.com lately, and found this particular quote resonated with me (handy isn’t it, when you find support for decisions you’ve already made after the fact):

The best plan is not only the one that addresses the athlete’s individual needs specifically, but one that is also flexible in adjusting volume based on how the athlete is responding…

Think of your body as a sponge. It will continue to absorb training volume until it reaches a saturation point. Once the sponge is saturated, it can no longer soak up volume; you are only wasting your energy, risking injury and further degrading your performance. You must let the sponge dry out before it will soak up more fitness and that will require time and patience.

My running volume was only up 10% relative to the past two weeks, which I understand to be a reasonable amount.  However, my bike and lift volumes were essentially negligible this winter up until this week, and (I assume) that has an impact on overall training volume.  I think my sponge is saturated.

So I’m taking today as an off day.  The key next week is to get right back on the horse.  It starts tomorrow with a 1,000m sprint swim before work, and a 6k run and lower body strength training after work.  I think my goal for this coming week is to stick to the volume/frequency training plan that I’ve developed, but step up the intensity.  See if I can work stronger, not just longer.

What’s your goal for this week (fitness or otherwise)?

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