Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rules of Recovery and Illness

Day 72 Rest Day

With three others sick in the family it looks like my taxed immune system from a long last week work and training wise I picked up this cold. Made sure I got a good rest this morning prior to Church and then a long nap this afternoon with lots of fruit and vitamin C.

Some friends immediately went to the "over training" reason of me getting sick and notwithstanding that as a possibility I think its not so much as over training but a long week and lots of sick people around me. The real test will be how long it takes me to recover and if I can beat this illness back quickly - hopefully prior to the race on Saturday.

Took the advantage of a decompressed day to do some research on recovery and stumbled across a great article. It had five points that stuck out to me as some good rules for recovery.

1) Rest days - This one I have had nailed down for years and years as my regular regime always has Sunday as a complete non-workout day. The article I read said its more than just scheduling a non-workout day but too make sure you decrease other types of stress as well (like not doing a ton of work). So recovery checkpoint 1 for me accomplished.

2) Recovery blocks - Next thing I read said is that we need to schedule 3-5 day minimum recovery blacks where we cut back training on a 3 week cycle. The article recommended the old 3 week hard and 1 week recovery block is often insufficient and most people see a less effective 3rd week in the build cycle. I sure know that to be true and found a 1:1 or at most 2:1 periodization has worked best for me. Recovery checkpoint 2 accomplished as I have been doing mostly 1:1 cycles.

3) Recovery season - The article indicated that up to 3 times a year you should take a 10-21 day recovery season to truly keep the appropriate freshness in place. Since I am only in day 72 of my regime this would mean about every 120 days taking a 2 week really off-season approach. Recovery checkpoint rule #3 accomplished so far - Need to plan that in sometime in November

4) Sleep - this one is a key factor for me. I find that getting less than 8 hours is really risky and if anything this may have brought on the weakened immune system that caused me to finally catch this cold. I pushed the envelope and had at least 4 nights of less than 7.5 hours this week and my experience is that doesn't cut it - add to that the 20 hour workout week and it was my first broken rule of recovery

5) Nutrition - Its a new one for me to be so focused on my nutrition and by what I am reading I think I have done pretty well except getting in more fluid replacements on my workouts. I need to get a better handle on that.

All in all I think this weeks planned recovery block should be good for the knee (which is strained under the training increases) as well as time to recover health wise and be back into prime shape.

Tomorrow will be an intentional extra rest day with a focus on some stretching and massaging but no cardio. One really unusual thing was that when I have been sick my morning resting heart rate usually elevates 4-5 beats. This morning is was actually 2 bpm lower than normal at 38-39 and I checked it three times. That was weird.

1 comment:

Sous-Chef said...

I'm glad you got some rest and Rook in tonight! I'm cheering you on!

PS. I realized that as I'm getting into a more stable work/school schedule that I need to start getting in more physical exercise. That Rush legacy and all that... I'll come up with a goal and a plan and pass it by you if that's all right.