Sunday, March 4, 2012

Recover, Adapt and Continue

Photo copyright Alan Rowlette.
In the days after the Donadea 50K I took a slight step back and reduced my training volume and ran shorter and easier than usual to allow my body adapt to the Training Effect which I should have got from the race. You don't get fit during training and you certainly don't get fit while racing but instead the fitness gains happen while recovering so it's important to allow your body adapt to the stresses you put it under.
My Gym sessions in the week following the race were weight free and consisted mostly of mobility exercises, easy core work and foam rolling.  I find that in the days following a race or hard training session that wearing compression shorts or running tights do help with getting back into a regular training routine while still allowing the body recover.
Next week my Gym sessions will change slightly and I'm told the weight and reps will increase but this will only be for a short period as I prepare for my next race and following on from that I'll again Recover / Adapt and Continue as I prepare for yet another race but each time I start from a higher level with a progressive overload.

Before a race I do a simple test using my Heart Rate Monitor to get a measure of my cardio fitness and I do the same test a few days after the race.  Comparing the results I can tell how much fitness I've lost and I use this to gauge when I can return to my regular routine.  A HRM won't pick up on muscle fatigue or damage but your legs will tell you if that's an issue.

The Test:
Run 50 - 60 mins at a heart rate zone that you would consider easy and keep the parameters tight as in only a 5 beat difference between upper and lower end of zone.  Note the distance covered pre race and do the exact same post race.  If you cover less distance for same HR then you need to take it easy for another few days.  Using auto lap if available can make the comparison easier to make.

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