Recovery weeks are confusing.
Much like that collection of signs in that picture, which includes a “left turn” and “no left turn” sign, you get conflicting signals.
- I’m doing an ironman in seven weeks, I should train hard…But I’ve trained hard – really hard – for three weeks in a row, and I need rest to absorb that training and let my muscles repair before
- I’ll lose fitness by only training an hour a day…But come on, I can’t lose fitness that I’ve built over months with a reduced training load for one week.
- I’m hardly training at all and am tired for no reason…But training hard for three weeks might, just might, be part of the reason.
Normally, I’d be struggling with the low volume that my coach put in the schedule for the week, but given the fact that I traveled to Las Vegas for the U.S. Open synchronized swimming championships with the team I coached, it was easy to just go for the prescribed time/distance, since I didn’t have much spare time with all the coaching and athlete herding I had to do.
Easy in the sense that I didn’t have an opportunity to overdo it during recovery week. But not easy in the sense that I had to wake up around 4 am to get the training sessions in, and certainly not easy in the sense that Vegas was experiencing a heat wave (read: almost 120 F with lows in the mid 90s).
Monday: Rest day, used to pull my life together before going away for five days.
Tuesday: The first pre-4:30 am wakeup call of the week, followed by an early flight to Las Vegas with the team. An easy 30-minute treadmill run at the hotel, which was a little cooler than the 116 F temperatures outside.
Wednesday: A 3000 meter swim at an outdoor pool, which is not really ideal when it is 95 F out at 5 in the morning, because that means the water in the pool gets HOT. I was glad that my athletes were competing at the indoor pool across town instead, because the water temperature didn't exactly support high performance.
Thursday: The schedule called for an attempt to run outside. The weather had other plans when I woke up at 4 am to find that it was already 95 F, and that there was a duststorm warning(?). 50 minutes of easy running on the treadmill, followed by 45 minutes of strength training and stretching, all done in time to be back to the hotel at 6:45 to get the kids ready for competition for the day.
Friday: Up at 4 am again, this time for 3600 meters of swimming in the hot pool with some faster efforts.
Saturday: 4 am. Nowhere well-lit to run. Treadmill again, this time, 4.6 miles with some speedwork. A long day at the meet, concluding with awards before we jumped on the redeye home.
(The swimmers I coach are on the far right side in the light blue. The top three teams are from Quebec, Mexico, and Ontario, this meet draws swimmers from all over.)
Sunday: Survived the redeye home. Concluded recovery week with a 45 minute spin on the bike trainer.