Posted by Coach Mark
For many athletes, now is the time of year that we’ve started back triathlon focused training. For the last couple of months, you may have reduced your training, gone through targeted training blocks (focusing primarily on running, cycling or swimming) or have completely taken time off from triathlon to participate in other fun activities. Great! So what happens when you start back up?
Often times athletes try to start their triathlon training up at the same level they left it off at. If you trained seven days a week and had speed sessions and longer sessions in both the bike and the run throughout each week, why not start that back up? Certainly you can, but your mind and body might react negatively to the immediate and dramatic change. After a week of “training like you used to”, you may feel very run down, tired and sore. Your immune system may lower its defenses causing you to even feel sickness coming on. Your muscles and tendons start tightening at a quicker pace and your body starts begging for more hydration and fuel in the form of dense, nutrient foods. Mentally, every session starts feeling difficult and labored. You start to think that you are terribly out of shape and that you should have never reduced your training in the “off season” to begin with. You’re getting “dropped” on the group rides and seem to be hyperventilating during the group runs. And swimming (if you’ve taken some time off from that) may seem as if you’re moving your arms through glue. Uhhhhgggg!
Don’t worry! First, trust that you are carrying a great amount of fitness over from the previous year – you just don’t know it. Don’t panic and don’t let those negative thoughts creep in. Second, this “shock” is often very typical of trying to launch your training volume and intensity at the same level you left it off at. So, maybe you should “ease” into the regular, daily training for the first few weeks? Let your body and mind adapt (which it will quickly) to the routine of triathlon training. Don’t get discouraged and know that any change will certainly cause a bit of discomfort – but we like that! So if you’re experiencing these early season symptoms, adjust your training and give yourself a bit more time. And if you’re about to start back up, you know what’s coming so plan ahead!
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