Training Update Mid-February 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 15:15

I'm finally firing on all cylinders! After having a bit of a rough start to 2016 due to little injuries pestering me like mosquitoes, and the lingering of my Achilles problem from last year, I'm now back in the groove. The patience I wrote about a couple of weeks ago is paying off as the injuries have subsided and I feel more resilient and injury-free than I've been since mid last season. Here is an example of what my training looks like nowadays:

Monday AM - Ride shorter, more intense intervals on the CompuTrainer at Tailwind Endurance for 1hr 15min. Do 30min of stability and plyometrics off the bike

Monday PM - OFF, maybe a massage

 

Tuesday AM - Run around 10 miles with Fartlek intervals in Summit, NJ

Tuesday PM - Swim a coach-prescribed set, around 1hr 15min at John Jay College in NYC

 

Wednesday AM - Ride longer intervals on the CompuTrainer at Tailwind Endurance for 1hr 30min. Do 15min of core work off the bike

Wednesday PM - See Doctor Todd for treatment

 

Thursday AM - OFF

Thursday midday - See Josh Grahlman in NYC for treatment and 1hr of strength conditioning

Thursday PM - Run around 10 miles with longer intervals on the West Side Highway path and Central Park in NYC

 

Friday AM - Run to the pool and Swim at Hoboken Masters for 1hr 15min

Friday PM - Spin an easy 1hr 15min at Tailwind Endurance, then roll, stretch, do yoga, or whatever else I find to be therapeutic and recovery-based

 

Saturday - "Long" Ride of 2hrs on the trainer, mainly drill, endurance and tempo-based, with a short run (~15min) off the bike

 

Sunday - "Long" Run of around 14 miles then Swim 2hrs at Berkeley Aquatics

 

That's 3 main runs, 3 swims, 4 rides, and 3 strength sessions per week totaling around 15 hours of training. My coach and I have found this to be a good balance of training that allows for enough recovery, and for me to always feel like I have "extra bandwidth" in my schedule (very important!). On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I'm up before 5am so my wife and I are like old people because we go to bed at 9:30pm every night! Keep in mind, the above schedule is just one week during the base phase of training. Each week is a bit (or a lot) different depending on the time of the season, whether it's a "down week" or not, or whether I have life events that step in to remind me to be a "normal" person every once in a while. Consistency is king, but there should be some ebbing and flowing in your training too.

My swimming is just coming back into form after a month off due to some arm injuries (rookie mistakes), and my running is also just coming back after many torturous months of Achilles pain after Kona last year. Fortunately, I've been able to devote the extra energy to my cycling and strength work. I did an FTP test a few weeks ago (303w FTP) and am close to where I was the last time I tested back in March of last year (312w FTP). Normally, I dread FTP tests because they're so brutal! But this next one I'm kind of looking forward to because I want to see if I can exceed where I was last year in March, in February.

I just did my first Masters Swim meet ever! I swam the 100IM, 100 backstroke, the 50 backstroke as part of a 200 medley relay, the 200 free and the 50 free as part of the 200 free relay. I had a blast! I swam faster than expected given how little swimming I've done. You can see my Facebook page for more of a recap.

I'm also going to the wind tunnel next month! I'm stoked to see what kind of "free speed" I might find in that expensive hurricane chamber...

Even with all of this training, I still manage to do almost all of it alongside training partners - I love training with people! If anything here piques your interest, message me on Facebook or email me at matthew.j.bach@gmail.com, and maybe we can get together for a training session. Always happy to answer questions too!

Happy Training!

 

Patience

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 16:30

Patience is something that many preach, yet few have. Disclaimer: I'm going to preach it here, but don't always have it either!

It's so tough to be patient when you're injured because you just want to be doing what you love and be able to get better at it. Back in 2011, I had Achilles issues, then crashed my bike and had two sprained MCLs that resulted in knee pain. It was chronic. Months and months went by, I worked with two physical therapists and didn't see improvement. All the while, I was training through the pain because "it's the middle of the Tri season!" and "the NYC Marathon is just weeks away!" Big...patience...failure.

After 2 1/2 years of debilitating chronic knee and Achilles pain, I decided enough is enough. I devoted myself to getting better, working with a great physical therapist near my work in NYC named Josh Grahlman (who I still work with in addition to Dr. Todd - that's how much I value Chiropractic and Physical Therapy!). I did the assigned strength work religiously (mainly working on my glutes) and got treatment 2-3 times per week. At first, there were no noticeable results. I was frustrated but succeeded in remaining patient and diligent. Then after 3 months or so, all of a sudden the pain started going away and I could run without being laid up for days! Since then, I've been adamant about keeping a strength program part of my training regimen, and it has allowed me to train consistently for nearly 3 years now. The patience paid off.

Here I am again, having my patience tested. I've had a rough start to the year as I learned that the Achilles inflammation I suffered during Kona was not just inflammation but a partial tear. I tried running a few weeks after Kona and the pain was really bad, so I decided to lay off of it for a while and continue to have it treated by Dr. Todd. While I was eager to start up again, I remained patient by telling myself "you have a long season coming up but no races in the near future. TAKE IT EASY and use the opportunity to swim, bike and do strength work." I got back in the gym, and promptly failed to be patient, biting off more than I could chew with a workout that I have done before but not after months away from the gym. I have an impinged nerve and some angry tendons in my biceps and left arm from my neck down to my finger. Not good! What a rookie mistake I made! Now I'm trying to be patient again with my recovery. I was on a roll in the pool, swimming PRs and lots of yards, but then this happened and now I've gone three weeks without swimming more than a couple thousand yards total. Frustrating! But as I've learned, it's necessary for me to be patient now and heal up. The patience is bearing fruit though, as I'm nearly firing on all cylinders again. Just another week or two I hope!

Be patient! When you sustain chronic or acute injuries and let them linger, they are more likely to return later on. Nip them in the bud before they get too bad.

Question: when is it too bad?

It's hard to tell! You must either rely on the advice of others (ideal but difficult) or rely on your own hard-earned experience (not ideal because usually you get that experience only after making the mistakes yourself!) to know when a little niggle is a threat. I've always said "if I stopped training after every niggle, I'd never be training!" and while that's partly true, you must understand your own body and when you need to back off. I learned about my body the hard way in many cases, but am proud that I've also learned from other's mistakes and have heeded their wisdom. It's prevented me from sustaining even more injuries along the way, and recovery is tough. It requires patience!

Goosfraba :-)

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