Sunday is typically a day of rest for me. Not just from work and other things, but from training as well. I usually don't train or race in Sundays and it gives my legs a chance to not pedal for a day and Sunday's are a great day for naps! Today, I really needed a rest as I am exhausted!
I've been training with my coach, Dave Harward from http://www.plan7coaching.com/ about 4 weeks now, so we've gone one full training cycle. This past week was my longest by far, training almost 16 hours. For some that may not sound like much, but for me, that's a lot. In the past, 12 hours may have been my max, and that was later in the season. This is definitely the most winter miles I've ever put in. We packed an hour and half swim and multiple 3 hour rides into the week with some intervals as well. So, I'm feeling it. I actually couldn't finish my 3 hour trainer ride in the basement on Saturday. I probably worked a bit too hard on Friday and paid for it for sure!
It brings up some thoughts about recovery. A lot of amature athletes don't give enough thought to rest and recovery. They believe "I just have to train harder to get faster" and yet they never get faster or they burnout. Training harder is necessary obviously, but rest needs to accompany that as well. This becomes even more important as I inch up to 40 years old.
A few recovery tips:
For big effort workouts a protein drink, lots of water and some carbs will replenish the body pretty well. Careful with the protein drinks though. They have a ton of sugar and fat. For intense interval workouts, I've found a 10 minute ice bath will do wonders and then spend the night wearing compression pants. A good article on compression garments can be found here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/09/news/velonews-training-center-the-benefits-of-compression-clothing-for-cycling_140700. An active recovery cycle is also beneficial in your training calendar.
So, needless to say, I'm looking forward to a "softer" week this week. I took a long nap today and stayed off my feet. I've gotten pretty good at finding activities I can do with my 3 year old while sitting or lying down!