Sunday, May 31, 2009

Diminishing Returns

By definition, Diminishing Returns can be described as:

"refers to how the marginal contribution of a factor of production usually decreases as more of the factor is used."

As a finance major, I had my share of economics classes learning all about the subject. Well, I had a lot of classes about a lot of things, but this is certainly one of the terms you can use to describe so many things, not financially related.

So of course, since my blog revolves mostly around training, and fun times had you can see where it would pertain the most.

As I mentioned in my last post I've had a pretty kick ass year so far. A few bumps in the road with my stupid IT band, but as long as I've taken care of it, it hasn't knocked me down. And as horrible as they may be, injuries in my history have always been my breaking point. The factor that stopped me from continuing to train for a long period of time, and most of all slowing me down.

While all of my current races and times have been NEW for me, there was a time about a year after I started racing when I was pretty speedy. I raced a little, mostly 10ks, but injury struck me before I could really make use of my fitness. And, it continued on for so many years, as my speed slowed down.

I KNEW I was going to eventually bonk. I've been basically consistently training since Feb 08 when I started my 20weeks of Ironman training. I spent some time yesterday going thru my training log, and while nothing has been to crazy. No classic overtraining hours or speeds or too much intensity or building too much too quickly. It's jut been a steady stream of training. I have to note, that I do think the biggest factor in allowing me to sustain a good endurance for so long is the hear rate training. I rarely do any workouts out of zone 2. While training for a specific even I will do speed work, but it's once per sport per week, and the rest of the time I am VERY religious about staying aerobic.

Well, knowing it's coming I think has made it a little bit easier on me to do the right thing. To stop and rest. I fought it a little bit last week, by still doing a few workouts, including yesterday a nice 90min bike ride. Where after taking my turns of 1min pulls and feeling nauseous when my HR hit 145, I took my place on the back of Shane's wheel for the next 45mins :-) I still considered it ok, active recovery if you will, but after a little lecture from Shane last night, I think I'm finally going to just STOP.

So it started last Sunday with a horrible run. Followed by Tuesday with another horrible run. My pace wasn't horrible, my HR wasn't too bad, but it hurt. Every muscle in my body. Then Tuesday I went for a leg workout with Daniel. Not too bad.... I usually do 4 sets, I only could do 3. My muscles were starting to get sore while I was still at the gym. My knees throbbed my body ached the next day.

I swam Wed and actually felt pretty good, considering. Rested Thursday & Swam again on Friday. I got my ass handed to me in the pool. I split with lane with a guy I've been swimming with for quite some time. We swim together great. Take turns pulling, although he can do a faster all out than me, my endurance usually pulls through at the end of the workout. The first part of the main set was a 1000straight, broken into 100's First 100 = all level 2 Second 100= 25level 4, 75 level 2 Third 100 = 50 level 4, 50 level 2 Forth 100 = 75 level 4, 25 level 2 & Fifth 100 = level 4. Then repeat.

So, the idea was to have some speed stuff into the set, but for the most part it should be a good, but not too hard effort. Teach yourself to back down. I started out slightly behind my lane partner so I could play chase. The boys usually start out too fast, then ease back, but not today. He instantly was pulling further and further away to the point that at the end of the set I actually thought he would lap me. Thankfully he didn't, but when I finished and my watch said 15:35 - 1:33/100y pace I couldn't believe how HARD it felt. I was getting twinges in my stomach and not feeling so well when I tried to speed up. I was missing the wall on my flip turns. No matter how tired I am, I can usually just pull through in a swim set, but not today.... This was a good sign for me.

Here's a google search of the signs:
Decreased performance times - CHECK
Weight loss - hmm, not so much
Slower recovery in heart rate after exertion - CHECK
Abnormal rise in heart rate on standing - CHECK -
Increased resting heart rate - A little
Sluggish, heavy legs - Can they get any more swollen?
Persistent muscle soreness - I'm always sore, but after last week it was BAD
Swollen lymph glands - Check, usually a sign I'm getting sick
Increased incidence of infections, allergies, injury, headaches - Awful headaches and in Ogden I broke out in hives on my chest.
Loss of motivation - Not really, I always WANT to go do stuff
Desire to quit during competition - NO
Loss of appetite - It has been random, more of nothing sounds good.
Trouble sleeping - I've been waking up every night HOT as heck and drinking gatorade
Irritability - Well, I would say no, but Shane would probably say yes.

While I agree we could all relate to so many of these things, especially when training - but it's how differently I feel, and the fact that I am not exactly training for anything specific.

So - I have a plan. And, since I do not have a coach at this time, it's going to be MY plan, and of course per the advice of my husband.

We are heading to Rocky Point on Wed, so I will rest completely until then. If I'm going absolutely nuts, I will allow my self to swim on Mondays, usually the slower long set days. God help us all!

In Rocky Point, I will be almost forced to rest. I usually run, but walking will be just fine. We have a 5mile stretch of beach I can walk on. And spend time out on the water in the Kayak! We will get back on Wed, and I'll slowly do a couple workouts after a week+ rest.

Shane is convinced I will come back stronger if I just shut everything down for a week or so. But, if I wait and push through it will need more and more time off. So, for once, I'm going to listen. I have a couple more races planned for this season, so starting soon, I'm going to need to follow a schedule to get me there.

One is a sprint triathlon on July 19th. I have plenty of endurance for it, probably too much, so I need to do a few speed sessions on the run and the bike.

Then, the next race is a half ironman. So, after recovering I need to get 3:30 (not sure I need to go up to 4hrs) bike ride in and a couple of 1:40-2hr runs in, but mostly I want to stick with speed work to try to do well in this race!

I might be pushing my luck on the half ironman, depending on how I recover, but I'm positive if I am stopping soon enough I can bounce right back!

Like, I said I've never been able to train this long before without being stopped by injury, so it's kinda all new to me! I'd love any advice or shared experiences!


Jessica said...

not sure how it is possible that I just found your blog, but it is so!! Very nice!! I love it, have fun in RP, and let's schedule a run when you return :)

Supalinds said...

A half ironman is no big deal, duh!

Hang in there, recover and come back even better!