Recovery week so you can live to fight another day.


Photo by Claudio Gennari

This is the first week all year that I feel like I’ve "needed" a recovery week.  Mondays are always my day off from workouts, and some weeks are deemed “recovery” weeks by my coach, but this week has felt different.  My previous 3 training weeks have been 12 hours, 15 hours, and 17.5 hours.  For many folks, these are just average numbers, but for mere mortals like myself, these long hours of workouts really add up.  Throw in some of the hottest June/July/August weather that we’ve had on record and some busier than expected days at work, and you have a tired me.


After this past weekend, I knew I was in need of rest but didn’t really know to what extent.  I figured after Monday’s rest, I would be good to go.  After Monday, recovery week was really looking like 2 hour or shorter type workouts. Tuesday was ok…just a quick 1.5 hour quick brick type workout.  Wednesday was another story.  It seemed like any other swim workout.  I had 12 x 300yd planned with 300yd warm up and 300yd cool down drills.  It was the kind of day where you don’t feel well, but don’t really realize it until you start the workout.  So I started my warm up drills and felt like crap.  With the heat, I felt like a boiling frog in a pot of water in a science lab.  I only got through 3 of the 12 x 300’s.  Mentally I was toast.  I was slow…I had no strength, no balance, my breathing was off….I had NOTHING.  So I took about 2 seconds to think about my plight, my long range training, and how this swim workout was just a blip on the radar.  I packed up my bag and went home…to recover.

I did some light reading on the subject of recovery as this will be a re-occurring theme over the next 3 months.  Moving forward for the rest of the week I am looking to improve on the following:

  • Nutrition — I eat a lot of food and I burn a lot of calories.  But I could eat better food(more fruits and vegetables), and less empty calorie type foods.
  • Sleep  — I really need to improve here.  I normally only get about 6.5 hours per night.  Just about anywhere you read suggests 7-9 hours of sleep nightly.
  • Yoga — I’ve never really done yoga, mainly because I would need to sign up and schedule a class, but I do understand the concept of stretching and breathing exercises.  Typically I stretch for about 5 minutes and call it a day.  I could really improve on this and just take my time and not rush through it just to be done. Goal –> 30 minutes per day.
  • Stress — Hmmm, stress is relative. During the day, work is like being in the ER at a Hospital.  I try to fix things when they break, stop the bleeding, etc.  I’m not dealing with life or death situations, so it helps to keep this in perspective.  Stress builds and infects so many other parts of your life.  So get up, take a walk…breathe.
  • Time Management — Managing my time with workouts is not a problem for me.  However, work during the day is pretty much a series of one interruption after another.  I’m pretty good at managing my time, but there’s really no way to follow a plan during my day.  It’s pretty much a troubleshoot and solve, and try to take good notes along the way, so that the next time will be faster kind of routine.  I’m always open for new ways to improve on time management, so if you know of some ideas, please post your comments!

Happy Friday Everyone!

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