The Road to Recovery – Getting in the Groove
After what has been a fairly disappointing year triathlon-wise for me, I finally feel as though I’m on the road to recovery and getting back in the groove.
A plantar fasciitis injury after the first race of the year way back in April pretty much put me out of action for the whole race season. I did race in the British Champs a month later but ended up hobbling the second half of the race and after that had to stop running and therefore competing in races altogether. I could still cycle and swim, but with no races to train for and no real targets there was little to motivate me so I ended up cycling and swimming for exercise rather than training properly
The Road to Recovery
I tentatively started running again at the start of September, 5 months after the injury first appeared. After such a long break it was a very slow start. Literally a 5 minute run to start with and my plantar fascia felt quite tight, but not too painful. Over the course of the next month or so I gradually built up from 5 minute runs to a full 30 minutes by the end of September. These were all slow paced, (MAF zone) runs on the flat, taking it easy and gradually trying to build up some strength and resilience in my foot. This slow build into running again continued throughout October until on the last day of the month I had stretched out the occasional run to a full 40 minutes. With that done I was beginning to think that maybe I had recovered from the injury.
I had also started writing myself a proper training plan, and better still was sticking to it. I’m using Training Peaks nowadays to plan, track and analyse my training. This online training diary software colour codes your workouts once you have done them – Green if you do the workout as planned, yellow if you go a little over or under on a workout and red if you miss the workout completely. It’s always good to see a sea of green and here’s my diary from the past few weeks.
As you can see, most session are coloured in Green, there is one red session that I missed, a swim, but I did go surfing hat day instead. The yellow sessions are all ones that I did a little extra, and there are one or two extra Surf or SUP sessions in there too. It’s taking a while but I’m finally beginning to feel as though I;m getting back in the groove and training well.
Easy Does It
I just have to be careful not to get too carried away now. I’d usually be having a bit of a break at this time of year, taking some down-time after a hard season of racing and recovering ready to train again in the New Year. The fact that I haven’t been racing though means that I’m raring to go now and I’m probably doing a little too much, too early. I’m going to be careful not to increase the running mileage too quickly and careful not to build the overall training volume for a while as well. I’m already doing more than enough and extra will only lead to problems. It’s going to be a matter of maintaining this for a couple of months, letting my body get used to it so that it’s ready for some harder work to prepare for next years races. I’ll have to be content to let my fitness level off for a bit now rather than wanting to see too many gains as it can’t keep going up forever. The plan will be to let my Performance Management Chart (PMC) flatten out or even drop off a bit until the beginning of next year.
Recovery will be the key here, so I need to make the most of my recovery days every Friday and the fact that every fourth week is a recovery week for me as well. Not only do I do easier, shorter sessions that week, but I give my self an extra day of full recovery as well. No doubt I’ll give myself a bit of a Christmas break as well, but even with all of that there will still be lots of training planned, an hopefully executed too. It’s good to be getting back into the groove again, and who knows, I may even start feeling like a triathlete again soon.