I'm two days away from heading down to Miami for the last race of the season and find myself thinking about the last 4 weeks of training. I went down hard on the bike at the Poconos 70.3 race and since then have been fighting an uphill battle to get myself ready to compete at my optimal level. I've still got bruises and road rash from the crash, but after watching Chrissie Wellington's unbelievable performance at Kona, I hesitate to even bring it up! I am amazed how long the body takes to heal after a crash and it's a visual reminder of just how much of a beating a body takes during a race. The past week weeks have been all about coming back from that beating.
Coaches (including myself and my own coach) always stress recovery after a race, but it's hard to realize just how much damage is lurking under the skin. Having external reminders is a great way to realize the amount of time and energy it takes to get back to 100%. Reading the blogs and tweets of people who raced Kona and are already jumping back to full time training with their next race still 5-6 months away is almost scary! I'm not talking about Pros who will be back in action soon or have unlimited time/resources to aid in recovery. I'm talking about the average triathlete working 40 hours a week. There's simply NO WAY that the body has recovered completely from the effort of a full-on Ironman Race! The mental need to train is amazing and can be detrimental for us Type-A personalities! Anyway, off my soap box....
Aside from my colorful skin, the cold and wet race in the Poconos also set the stage for me to come down with a nasty little cold (helped along by my wife's hospital germs!). For roughly 10 days, I was breathing through a mask of snot and feeling completely exhausted. Sore, sick, bruised, bleeding, and two weeks away from a peak race of the season is not a position that anyone wants to be in! After a bit of internal panicking, I did what any self-respecting stay at home spouse does to feel better: I went shopping! Kidding (well, kind of).
In my defense, I did need a new helmet from the crash (above) and am sponsored by Newton (below), but the idea is that I took a step back from my panic and took a deep breath. I focused on taking care of myself and getting sleep. The choice between panic and believing in my training was important for me to mentally prepare for the coming race. I'm happy to report that I'm feeling good and hitting all of my training targets after a bumpy last few weeks. (1:05/100m in the pool, 300w on the bike, 5:45's on the road.) With the help of a solid training plan and my feel-better equipment upgrades, I should be ready to roll in to the off-season with a successful race! I'll report back here next week.
P.S. the MV2's are simply amazing!