It SUCKS to get back into training after a break. It feels like I was never in shape. It hard to imagine I did an ironman 6 weeks ago. 30 minutes into a run I feel like I am going to die. DIE!
But thats ok. That feeling is good, because it can remind us to take it easy. To train slowly, and to be chill.
Here are my tips to getting back into it:
1) go SLOW. keep it zone 2, (65-75% of your max HR, or able to talk). If you can’t talk you are giong too hard!
2) Keep it fun. This isn’t the time for hard mental challenges. Social rides like the SLB-ERC-CREW ride this Sunday leaving from Grant’s tomb at 9:30 is perfect. No drop, chill, as much talking as training. easy mentally. Also Cross train, Cross dress, ride a Cross bike or listen to Kris Kros. Whatever you need to do to make it different and cool.
3) Keep it short. That is, don’t ramp up too much volume. My coach looked at me and said “well your not going to just jump into a 20 hour week are you?” And my girlfriend busted out laughing as she did the math. I was heading right for 20! Thats why most of the time I end up sick during my first month back! Doh!
4) be motivated but not obsessed. I have my A race in 10 months. Thats too far way to care. So I set a few short term goals: Beat Brett up the hill climb race at www.zentriathlon.com training camp next month. Thats good short term motivation, BUT won’t be something I am obessing over, unlike him. which is going to make it that much more fun when I beat him down.
5) Build in RECOVERY. You may not think you need recovery because your going slow, and easy and not doing too much. WRONG. You need a recovery day and in 2-3 weeks a recovery week anyways because its not based on what you use to so, but where you are now. I often forget this and pay for it.
6) If you strength train, make it THE key workout now. How often can a non SBR workout be the KEY workout? Only now. So enjoy it, put it first and use this time to make some strength gains. Same is true for yoga if that is key for your training.
The thread that runs through this is simple: be patient. Don’t be a winter champion. Do the stuff now that you need to do to be healthy, rested, and strong when spring comes and it matters more. Town line sprints in December are glorious to win, but that glory fades by the time the muffins are gone at the stop. A kick as A race lasts a lifetime.