Posted by: pursuingsub17 | March 19, 2012

Searching for recovery methods from over training is no easy task

So I heard back from the great folks at the Run Wild marathon on Saturday. They were more than happy to let me change my registration to a half distance. If there was any doubt in my mind what I had done, it was cured by a long, slow run on Sunday. After a week of nothing (except for a short, 35 minute bike on Saturday morning), I mentally thought I was okay. I headed out for a 15k run and thought if I felt good, I would make it longer.

A little over the half-way mark, I realized I made the right decision about dropping the marathon distance. I actually did 14k – in 1 hour, 35 minutes. I can normally run a 15k in under an hour and a half. The 14k seemed like 18 or 19 and my perceived effort was very high despite the fact that I was running a lot slower than normal.

So at this point, I have to admit overtraining. That obsessive demon of mine that I call “superman syndrome” go the best of me I’m afraid. I have all the symptoms posted on “Ten Signs of Overtraining.” Well, except the loss of appetite unfortunately. I’m hungry all the time. But I’m tired all the time, completely disinterested in wanting to run, and those dreaded heavy legs. Definitely wasn’t imagining anything and it isn’t a sign of old age. I read some forums and a 23 year old had the same issue.

What to do? Like everything else, there are oodles of advice out there and all over the map and contrary to each other. I’ve read recovery takes 10 days – sometimes months. I’ve read massages help but not to vigourously or it will have the opposite effect. I’ve read standing too much at work is the culprit – as is sitting too much.  I’ve read that I should take 10 days off and do nothing. I’ve read to continue long slow runs to “oxygenate the body” because of lack of proper blood flow. I’ve read cross training is the key. The last one makes sense. This is the first year that I’ve started my training just focusing on running with very few bike workouts and swims.

So what’s the answer? Does anyone know? I’m still running the half marathon. Probably going to be the worst race I’ve ever done. But I’m still going to do it. I am definitely not training for a half iron triathlon as much as it breaks my heart. I might do that olympic distance. I’m following a training plan from this week. We’ll see how that goes.

If I manage to bounce back, I’ll post what I did. Whether that’s the answer or not, who knows. But if I think it will help anyone, why not. There’s so much information out there – many theories and no solid answers. Kind of like searching for the formula that explains the universe.

The plan is to go back to cross training and keep the intensity level low. I’ve dropped weight lifting in favour of pilates bands once a week and I’m increasing the number of times I get a massage every few months. Last year I went through training and race season without a massage so we’ll see if that works. I’m also going to attempt yoga about 3 or 4 times a week. So I’m hoping that less intensity, cross training, massage and yoga might do the trick. That and not feel guilty about rest.

In the meantime, I think race season this year will be minimal. Time to write my book instead!

I’ll keep you posted on the results!

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