Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Training tired/sick - "all pain is temporary"

Oh, right, tonight is Tuesday? That means 90mns of high intensity intervals including 5 x 2mns of fast pedaling and 3 x 8 minutes just below FTP (my threshold).

And... I'm feeling a little bit under the weather. Not really sick. Just overtired from too little sleep, and maybe some exposure to sick people over the weekend. But, still, I hardly ate anything today. That alone is a sign that I'm not quite myself... I'm usually ravenous, all the time. Seriously, I'm hungry all the time.

Anyway, so I ate a small dinner, drank some electrolyte mix before getting on the bike, and then after a brief facebook-based check-in with coach about the coming week, it was trainer time.

Today I added some planks and extra stretching to the beginning of my workout. Front planks are HARD when you have a hole punched in your abdominal muscles! More about core strength training another time...

Training under the weather is rough. It wasn't impossible, I just started feeling tired - as expected - and ended each interval feeling a lot more tired.

Training mildly tired/sick takes more mental stamina than anything else. Maybe you're starting a little dehydrated from too much coffee or cold medication, and your heart rate is higher than you want it to be in your warmup, or you find that you need more than just the terry cloth on your gloves to wipe your snot today.

And then, you look down at your index card and see another hour of pain!

I start bargaining with myself. "What if I just cut off the last interval?" "What if I do only a 7.5 instead of an 8 on the perceived effort scale" "Do these last 30 seconds really matter?".

And then I kick that part of my brain and shut it off. Partially because I know it is a slippery slope, and partially because I want to be proud of my effort and training slightly under the weather gives me more of a chance to be proud of my sweat.

So, I do the intervals. On time and on target. And, it hurts. And I suffer through those grueling last 30 seconds of each interval. And, I remember that much quoted Lance Armstrong line "All pain is temporary" and take comfort.

And, then, I'm done. I'm on the last 10 minutes of cooldown and my dog is wagging at me because she somehow knows that this means I will now detach myself from my bike, and pet her while I stretch.

Time for a hot shower!

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