Day 25 – Rest and Recovery

149 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

I make a distinction between the words rest and recovery. I’m telling you this because today was scheduled to be a day of recovery, but it turned out to be a day of rest.

The planned workout for this morning was a 45 minute easy spin. That is what I consider recovery. However, when I woke up, I was super tired and had some congestion in my chest so I decided not to do anything strenuous today. That is what I consider rest.

Something Has To Change

In my youth I was never a competitive athlete and after 13 years of training and racing triathlon, I thought I might be somewhat more competitive. In my mind I’m kicking the trash out of Jan Frodeno, but in reality I’m picking up the trash behind the other athletes. This year is the start of something totally different.

A couple of years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would qualify for Kona. Since that time, I’ve been reflecting on past performances and analyzing race results. One of my conclusions is that I suck… sort of. It’s OK. I’m not down on myself, because another conclusion is that I neither respected the difference between rest and recovery nor did I understand what their purpose was in the overall training process. In fact, I never really trained with much purpose at all.

Reocvery

I used to violate my recovery workouts all the time. When I was supposed to be in zone 2, I was actually riding or running in zoned out. I either didn’t pay attention or I was riding with a group and that group mentality I think is what killed me. Fatigue was a constant companion in those days. I know better now.

Rest

Most of us have familial and work obligations so I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say rest is hard to observe. How many times have we come home from a long ride ready to rest and then be asked by the kids to go to the park or go shopping or just do something that is not restful. And how can you tell your kids no?

LG shoeing a horse
Horseshoeing builds back, and quad muscles.

I used to come home from a ride or long run and head out to the barn to work with the horses. And the kind of work I do with horses is far from rest. Back then I never considered that shoeing horses after a long ride would be detrimental to my triathlon training. It wasn’t always shoeing horses: sometimes it was fixing fence, or clearing dead trees, or mowing the ditch or going on family outings. No wonder I was always fatigued.

Discipline

This year, actually this blog, marks the beginning of a change. It’s a change that I know will stick. I have goals. I have objectives. I have purpose. The 2020 training plan for this athlete is packed with purposeful workouts and purposeful rest.

Coach Sami gave me a great idea regarding the horseshoeing: judiciously substitute it for strength workouts. With the right scheduling I can make it work. Thanks, Sami.

Until tomorrow…