Over Training or Under Recovering?

[caption id="attachment_6909" align="alignright" width="295"]recover_train_triathlon_ironman Source: NL Hockey NJ[/caption] Over-Training or Under-Recovering?  Which are you doing?  If you are an age-grouper then there is a high probability that you are under-recovering even though you say you are over-training.  This topic came up a couple of weeks ago when Jeff and Annie came up to the house for the Dallas Marathon.  Jeff was up here because he had a few athletes that he is coaching and they were running the marathon plus Annie had to meet Ginga.  While we were out to dinner Jeff and I were talking about my off-season and how well it was going and that base building was going to be starting on December 10th with Maria. I explained how in those three weeks I felt like my body was being rebuilt.  The time off was doing me so much good.  I was waking up whenever I wanted to and doing whatever I wanted todo  in terms of staying active.  I wasn't training for anything but getting an active recovery in.  One day I might put down a 30 minute run into Training Peaks and within 20 minutes of starting out I would stop because I was done and just didn't feel like doing anymore.  Maybe the next day was to bike for 45 minutes and I would get 30 minutes in and head back into the house for waffles.  This was making my body feel great and the true meaning of recovery was poking its head into my life. I have always prided myself on proper recovery.  I would have my recovery shake within 30 minutes and then another 3:1 Carb:Protein based meal 2 hours later.  My glycogen levels were being replenished and I felt like I was doing everything right but I wasn't.  I wasn't taking into account the other factor which is sleep.  I was going to sleep around 9:30-10:00p and waking up at 4:00am to start training at 5:00am and that 7 hours wasn't enough as I would feel exhausted in the middle of the day.  With my company under-going changes there was no time to nap and so I wasn't getting enough rest.  During that time period I was an asshole to everybody around me and it was because I was under-recovered and not over-trained. Jeff and I discussed how its possible for a pro athlete to be over-trained because they have the opportunity to get in the proper recovery as they can take 4 hour naps in the middle of the day but they can also certainly over-train.  They can put in too many hours on the bike or on the run and even push when there is a little ache or pain and next thing you know they are finishing in 11th place when they were expected to be in the Top 2. Age groupers, for the most part, cannot over train.  There just aren't enough hours in the day for them to do that but they can certainly not plan in the proper amount of recovery and that can hurt their performance just as much. My first week with Maria has been back to the basics.  Base building to its finest.  1 hour trainer rides at a certain heart rate followed by a 15 minute run.  A 1800y swim that is followed by 30 minutes of strength and core.  Nothing pushing the limits of my ability, outside of a swim and bike TT test, but enough to allow me to get that aerobic / fat-burning machine going.  It has also worked to be a continuation of the recovery process, both physical and mental.  I needed the three-week break as much from a mental standpoint as physical.  This first week has allowed that to carry on. My suggestion if you are feeling really crabby is to stop what you are doing and relax.  You aren't going to lose fitness and you aren't going to gain weight if for one day you ride your trainer for 1 hour instead of 2.  Listen to your body and heed its warnings because if you don't you are going to head into that 'A' race with the wrong mindset.  You'll be questioning if you had done enough or rested enough.  The answer is that you probably have done enough, IF you paid attention to your training plan.  If  throughout training you skipped days and were nonchalant about it then no you did not do enough.  If you followed your plan then you are going to be fit enough to tackle the race and it becomes making sure you have rested enough. Make sure that your recovery and rest are a part of your training along with swim, bike, run and nutrition.  Put it into Training Peaks or whatever service you use to track your data.  It is a lot to juggle but that is why you got into endurance sports, triathlon specifically, to begin with.  You had the mindset to tackle the challenge so make sure you take care of your body while doing so.  

Have You Gone Into A Race Under-Recovered?  What Was The Outcome?

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.