Last week was my first ever ‘recovery week’ and I tell you this now: it was HARD WORK.

Day one, (Monday), I felt like death on bad day, or more honestly, like I had been hit by a large oncoming vehicle. I went for a gentle 60min jog and felt ok, but it occured to me this didn’t really constitute enough rest, so I took it down another notch for the next day.
Day two (Tuesday), I did 500m swim drills, and a 1.5 continual swim. I made the mistake of timing myself and getting competitive with the bloke in front..
Day three (Wednesday), I literally jogged, and only for 40minutes – a bit more like it. Then I got a sports massage, from a lady who told me off for running on rest week and said I should do nothing at all..
Day four (Thursday)So, I trained with Reigate Priory Athletics club. 20mins out, 20mins back – so the faster you go out, the faster you have to come back. I lost my shoe in the mud – as in literally, it sunk, someone proceeded to run OVER it, and I had to scoop out the mud. Still I ran back – it was a laugh.

So – I still trained, but this all adds up to 3hrs Mon – Fri, as opposed to the normal 6/7 – and it was all at a leisurely pace, so I think that constitutes a rest week. Until Wednesday, I genuinly did feel ill, but by Thursday I started to feel better.

And today, I had the best bike ride I have had in a long time.
This was partially contributed two by two elements, being two people:
1) Jill Parker came out to give me some tips, so desire to ride well is self explanatory
2) LB came out, and I quite simply could not let him leave un-chicked. So, I destroyed myself on several occassions ensuring I overtook him 😉

Rest week being now over, I am planning the next week.
Jill pointed out my total lack of short, hard sessions. Truth is, I work at the same level, regardless what I’m doing, hence I am still experiencing a two year plateau. I kid thee not, I began runnig in 2009 – cut down to 22.30 5k time in a couple of months, then totally, and utterly, completely ceased to improve. Why? Because I never make myself puke. So – here begins puke inducing training. Granted, I took up biking and swimming, so it is understnadable running got a little way-laid, but I can’t maintain that excuse forever.

Over the last few months, I’ve stuck to about 6-7 hrs training Mon – Fri, and about 5 over the weekend. Winter, base level building is over – hours are going DOWN intensity is going UP. And here is the plan for next week:

Sat – long ride.

Sun – AM – 10min jog, 2(5x200m) hill sprints, 1min rec, 10min jog
PM – 1x300m swim, 4x100m, 50sec rec, 6x50m, 40sec rec 8x25m, 30sec rec 1x300m

Mon – AM – Yoga/Ballet barre work + stretch
PM – Long run – 80min (easy – Sunday = hard! Recover)
(Mon is day pre press day, and thus late finish = easier day)

Tues – REST (moved from Friday, becuase Tues is press day and thus late finish at work)

Wed – AM : 1x5k run
PM: Club 10mile TT

Thur – AM: 500m swim, 4×100 (5sec), 2×200 (10sec), 1×400 (20sec), 2×200 (10sec), 4x 100 (5sec rec’s), 500m.
PM: Pilates

Fri – AM Turbo – 10min easy, 10x2min hard (1min rec), 10min easy,
PM: 2x20min @ 5k pace

So: Break out the protein shakes, vitamins and cod liver oil, because it’s about to get UGLY.
There, however, are the rules:
1) If it hurts (as in injury pain, not normal pain) : stop
2) Stretch. Without fail. Twice a day.

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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