I’m coming off a rest week cycle (13 hours of training last week as opposed to 25 hours the week prior) in my training for Ultraman and feeling quite good, although admittedly a but restless. So counter-intuitive to “rest” when I only have 3 months of real training left before the event. I feel like I need to be doing a 4 hour run today. Instead I’m sitting on my butt.
But I also realize the absolute necessity of allowing the body to repair itself and recover before another bout with heavy miles and hours. Its common sense actually — you rob yourself of significant improvement without allowing proper recovery.
But despite the seemingly self-evident nature of “periodization” training which has become the norm in the last 10 years not only multi-sport but also in swimming, track & field, etc., this is a concept that eluded conventional wisdom in swimming during my competitive years in the 1980’s at Stanford and the Curl Burke Swim Club. Back then it was all about pulverizing your body with constant high intensity and volume twice a day for months and months on end without respite, then put all our faith in a 2 week taper at the end. Sometimes it worked. Oftentimes it didn’t.
During my later years in swimming, there is little doubt that I was completely overtrained. Unable to function normally, let alone swim fast, I was basically a narcolept half the year. So much so that I needed months to recover, not a few weeks. Ugh, the regret……So I am excited about my training plan and trusting in my program.
Tomorrow afternoon I go in for lactate testing at Phase IV in Santa Monica. It will be interesting to gauge my improvement from the last test 3 months ago. I will keep you posted.