The danger of rest

Have I mentioned that I did an Ironman? I’ve certainly managed to shoehorn the subject into most social conversations over the past 2 weeks and of course used my race backpack for tri club swim practise. It does feel like it happened in a different life time though and I’m sure if I tried to run a marathon today I’d fail miserably. Can your fitness evaporate in 2 weeks of rest?!

Post race rest

I’ve consciously given myself lots of rest since race day, I’ve focused on refuelling (and yes cake and beer counts as refuelling) and generally giving my body and mind a well deserved break. But as I pass the 2 weeks post race mark I can feel that I’m hitting the danger zone, the one where you start to feel tired and lethargic all the time and can’t quite comprehend that 2 weeks ago you were at peak fitness. If you’re not careful you become a grumpy, irritable and low on motivation. I think my wife would confirm that I’m definitely in that zone!

I can feel myself getting twitchy, inevitable when you complete a goal you’ve worked towards for so long. The post race blues would be another way to describe it, good to give yourself a break but at some point you need a new focus ,whatever that is, rather than going cold turkey. I will always be a runner and love just heading out with no pace or distance goal, but I also know that having some sort of goal is a good thing for me.

Spaniel sleeping
Pretty much how I feel!

I’ve never been one to take on loads of races every year, that doesn’t work for me from a budget or family perspective. Of course a goal doesn’t have to involve a race, it can be a whole multitude of things.

Goals for the rest of 2017

  1. Maintain swim and bike endurance – I’m really not a fan of the pool and need lots of motivation to head there every week. Don’t really have that at the moment so focus instead is on keeping the fitness ticking over by getting in the lake once a week. Will lose a little for sure but that’s fine, but want to ensure I have some base left come the autumn. Same for the bike really, I’ve never had this level of bike fitness before and don’t want to lose it. I intend to do more triathlons next year and this is a great base to start from. Need to be out riding at least once a week, maybe a turbo once a week too.
  2. Focus on speed – I’m an endurance athlete, the longer events are what interest and motivate me, but I’ve spent a long time running slow. For the summer at least I want to start doing some sessions to develop a little speed and would love to get 10k and 5k PB’s (currently 39.36 and 19.56 respectively).
  3. Have an adventure – at the end of last year I did a navigation course in the Brecon Beacons, I need to get out in the hills and test those skills. I’d love to do an overnighter with a stop in a bothy. That would be amazing. Also discovered the cross Brecon’s cycle route which looks incredible. Would make a cracking day out.

Race plans

Race wise I only have the Great North Run booked in and plan to just do that for fun, other than that I will likely just do some small local races and maybe a parkrun or 2. Anyone else already ticked off their A race for the year? How do you structure your training post race?

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