Well, I did it.
I managed to put myself into an overtrained state. Good thing to have caught it early and not have it drag deeper into an overtrained state or else it would probably take longer to get myself out of.
In some ways, it really sucked because I didn’t know how much my body could take before getting into an overtrained state. I looked back over the last few weeks of training and know that I was doing a lot of swim sprint workouts, matched with run workouts that had hard, long intervals in them for stamina building, and I was working my way through a bike threshold series which was supposed to increase my tolerance for high heart rates for longer periods of time. Then on the weekends, I would run and bike long which didn’t allow for my body to recover enough.
It was too much.
Last week, I sensed I was feeling a bit overworked and resolved to do a lower workout week (which we should all do every 4-5 weeks) to let the body regroup. But heading to NYC on the redeye and being jetlagged, plus having early morning activities, meant that I was sleeping very little and my recovery was hampered by that. I went for a swim on the day I got off the redeye and felt something give in my lungs.
After that, I seemed to remain in that state where you feel like you did a long, hard workout the day before, except that it feels like that every day no matter what you did.
Still I went for a 1.5 hour run as part of my reduced week, as well as a two hour bike. Both were an easy ride and run and I didn’t test my aerobic system too much, but in the days after it still felt like I was not all back to normal, able to handle the next day’s workouts.
Of course, I hated to admit it to myself but I really needed to take as many days off as possible to get this feeling out of my lungs and my body. So I sit here, typing a blog entry instead of doing a workout.
One of the hardest things for a triathlete to do is to not workout and truly recover. I know I won’t lose much fitness, and more importantly I need to recover. However, I can’t shake the feeling that maybe I’ll lose something more.
Threshold workouts are tempting; you really push hard and feel like you’re doing something good. But too many without sufficient recovery put me here now. This coupled with my age and my body’s ability to grow into these types of workouts meant that my body just could not keep up and now it’s overtrained and needs rest and recovery time. It’s all trial and error frustratingly, although I did sense that I was overdoing it. I’ll have to watch the warning signs and my intuition more closely in the future.
Well, I did it.