Monday, September 19, 2011

TNF 50 Weekly Training Update: The Fear of Overtraining

Another hard week of training in the books, and I’m feeling pretty good overall. A little achy, but more so from the CFT, than the miles this weekend I think.   I still owe you all a post on the training plan that I am following, so that will be coming this week (seriously this time…I promise). 

The highlights for this week’s training was the b2b long runs of 24 and 16 and the hill work that I was able to incorporate into my running this week. The 9 miler on Thursday and the 24 miler on Saturday both has some pretty silly elevation that is leaving me very confident as I continue on in my ultra- training.  Now I really need to start focusing on getting out to the trails more often so that I can continue to work the hills while also focusing on the tougher terrain. 

In other news, I want to switch gears really quickly to talk about over training.  For the last two weeks or so, the HeadThinker has been dragging. She’s been keeping up with her runs, but complaining that she’s tired and that her legs just aren’t recovering. Well, long story short, she’s overtraining, and it’s my fault! I feel so bad that I have put her into this situation.  Basically, about 6 weeks ago she was feeling great and wanted to up her mileage because 1) she was feeling strong and running well, and 2) she wanted to make sure she could run multiple 20 milers and at least one 22 miler prior to her marathon (Nike Women’s Marathon on Oct 16th).  Well the first week or so went great and the next week was ok, but then the wheels sort of fell off. Now, less than 4 weeks out, she is having to take a lot of time to rest and recover and probably more importantly, she has lost a lot of confidence!  We added lots of rest days and dropped her mileage and now she is slowly ramping back up with one more week of solid training before she starts to think about tapering.

Obviously there are a couple of lessons here. First, what works for one will not necessarily work for another.  I thought that since I had followed a similar high mileage plan that it would work for her as well. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that I have run about twice as many miles as she has this year and her base was not up to the challenge for increased mileage so soon. Second, it is imperative that you listen to your body over your training plan or training partner. While being tired is normal, always being tired and sore is not.  Never be a slave to a sheet of paper.  Finally, we (well really she, but I am vested in her success as well) are very lucky that she did not get injured, which would have totally derailed her marathon plan. The first marathon is something special. I want her to have the same chance for both joy and success that I did. 

Have you ever dealt with overtraining? How and when did you finally realize it? Were you able to overcome it and still complete your goal race?

Mon – Rest
Tue – 9 @ 9:42
Wed – 9 @ 10:14
Thu – 9 @ 9:25
Fri – Rest
Sat – 24 @ 9:54
Sun – 16 @ 10:54

Total miles for the week – 67

Next week’s goal: Maintain mileage at mid to high 60s and complete another b2b weekend of 4 hours and 3 hours. I'm also thinking about a giveaway when I reach 25 followers (4 to go!). What do you think?