Physical And Mental Adaptation To Training Stressors

[caption id="attachment_9476" align="alignright" width="300"]physical mental adaptation - endurance sports - training Source: Steve Ingham Blog[/caption] Physical and mental adaptations are taking place during these training stressors that I am under-going during what can be described as Cycle III of the Lake Martin 100 training.  When I first thought about training for a 100 mile race I was inclined to say to myself:  I will never get through this.  As the days and weeks have passed I have seen my body and my mind adapt to the training and this isn't the first time.  During the three training cycles for the various Ironman races the ability to adapt to the training stressors became more and more evident. Yesterday I was at the chiropractor and we were discussing the training for Lake Martin as well as the events that took place on Sunday at The Cowtown Ultra-Marathon.  During that conversation I uttered the words:  the physical and mental adaptation is quite evident.  The look was peculiar but I went on to explain the following:
  • Running 15 miles is no longer a chore.  It is ~2 hours of training and not 15 miles.  Mental adaptation.
  • Running faster at a lower heart rate has become the norm.  Physical adaptation.
The miles I am covering have all been around the 145-148 bpm range.  This for me is the low-end of Z2 and my body has been able to adapt to this range and along the way I have gotten faster.  This past Sunday I ran 31.25 miles and was able to run the last 10k of that distance at an 8:25/mi pace.  I was able to do this because I kept to around 10:00/mi for the first 25 miles (paced Karen to a 10 minute marathon PR) and my heart rate was barely into Z1.  My energy sources were not tapped and I had physically adapted to burning fat for fuel.  My glycogen levels were not depleted and this allowed me to pick up the pace like I did for the final 6.25 miles. Had I not been training at a slower than capable pace then running those first 25 miles would have been a chore.  Mentally I have been able to accept the fact that in order to keep the motor running for 50 or 100 miles, even 30 miles, I cannot go out and run it as if I am trying to qualify for Boston.  Laying out a race strategy for Lake Martin means that I will have to be able to go slow out of the gate.  Walk the uphill from the start, run the flats and cascade the downhills.  Mentally this would have been nearly impossible a year ago as I would say:  In order to get faster I have to go faster.  The difference is that this year it is about going longer.  In order for me to go longer I need to start out slower. [caption id="attachment_9475" align="alignright" width="300"]physical mental adaptation - endurance sports - training Source: Heather Hagen Blog[/caption] The physical and mental adaptions that is occurring during these training stressors will carry over when Ironman specific training begins.  Matter of fact I saw that happening when I went on a biking binge in September and October.  During those two months I cycled 750 and 800 miles respectively.  As the miles piled on my speeds picked up and when I combine that with what I am seeing from these huge running blocks leads me to believe that the same can be done for swimming.  Of course, I would have to actually go to the pool in order for that to happen.

Do You Experience Physical And Mental Adaptation When In The Midst Of Large Training Blocks?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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