Recovery Week! Just in time…

Well, yesterday was the first day of Base 1 Week 4 – aka recovery week. This is my first recovery week of this training block, and it is much needed! I was pushing a heavy form score at the end of last week – a whopping -65.6. With this week’s plans, that will move back to a much more manageable -39.3. Erm.. manageable? hmm..

Joe Friel suggests that good progress is made between -25 and -45. A “higher” negative (e.g. lower than -45) is equated with more fatigue, and a “lower” negative (e.g. higher than -25) is equated with not working hard enough. So, at -65 I’m fatigued. Yep. I can vouch for that. At -39.3, immediately following a recovery week, well… that just shouldn’t be the case. Probably. Indicative of being very fatigued currently.

Yesterday I did some light core work, which I don’t track as being part of CTL/ATL, and did no other exercise. It was a great day off, much needed. That day alone chopped a massive chunk off my form score. This week is 6 rides totalling 9 hours at an IF of under 0.70, 3 runs for 21 km, and 3 swims at lower IF for probably 9 to 10 km. It doesn’t sound like my volume is dropping here, but my TSS volume will go from last week’s 1253.3 to ~780. That’s a massive decrease.

But I’m toying with the idea of doing some proper fitness testing again this week. I should do a swim test, as I have really been basing my swim FTP on an estimated pace rather than an actual pace. And I just found out that I had my power meter set up wrong on my bike… which means another FTP test there is in order too.

The short version of that story is as follows. My LBS told me the cranks were 167.5mm when I bought the bike (oh, I’m short, btw). I didn’t measure. I use Garmin Vector 2S which requires the crank length input. I input the crank length as 167.5. Yesterday I measured the cranks at 170mm. So the cranks are longer than the Vector thinks. Implications of this are light, really, but still matters. Basically I’ve been pushing more watts than it says. In relative terms, I believe everything I’ve done so far is still good, since the FTP is based on the same measurements as my workouts would be (e.g. the input of 167.5mm crank). So it is consistent, but not accurate. Consistency in power meters is a billion times more important than accuracy, but accuracy is necessary for race planning and goal setting. So, gotta fix that. FTP test. Damn.

As for running, I don’t think I’m ready for an FTP test there yet. But I might change my mind towards the end of this week. Like swimming, I have a vague idea of where my current FTP sits and am basing my training off that. Run testing is less bad than bike testing, but still way harder than swim testing. So we’ll see I suppose.

For now though, I’m going to focus on recovery. Stretching & low intensity this week. Gotta make the most of it because I’ll be back at it in no time!

The World’s Greatest Recovery Sandwich

Recovery drinks are overrated (joke). I’m focusing my science brain on recovery sandwiches. And why not? It’s true what they say – There’s nothing like the love between a man and his sandwich.

I’ve “invented” the worlds best. I’m claiming it now, and I’m not even going to bother Googling to see if it is a real thing somewhere else. It’s mine. And here it is:

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Ohhh yeahhhh

Here’s what’s in it:

Whole grain bread with Margarine
1 full can of tuna
Pickled Banana Peppers
Light Marble Cheese
Light Mayo
Habanero Aioli

Pretty simple to make:

Preheat a pan (yes, it’s grilled)
Butter/margarine up that bread
In bowl, mix rest of ingredients. Be sure to cut cheese into small bits, or just grate it
Put a slice of bread in the pan butter side down, and scoop mix from bowl to bread
Put other slice of bread butter side up on top, obviously

The hotter it gets, the more likely the cheese will melt. And trust me, you want that cheese to melt. Don’t burn it (duh) but let it grill nice.

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Eat while hot with a nice glass of skim milk, or three if you’re like me.

And there it is. The World’s Greatest Recovery Sandwich. You’re welcome.

I was going to write this yesterday, but then I fell asleep

Sleep is so wonderful. The last few weeks I’ve been up early for workouts, and I guess I’m still adjusting to this. In the past I’ve never really done morning workouts, with the exception of swimming. I was stupid for not. They’re awesome. And exhausting.

On Tuesday of this week I was so wiped I decided that I need to give myself a chance to recuperate a bit. So I’m off work today & tomorrow, making this a four day sleep filled weekend. I have two goals: do my workouts, and sleep as much as I can. That means naps, and sleeping in, and going to bed on time. My job for four days is to sleep.

Damn I lead a hard life.

In seriousness, I’m a big fan of sleep. I’m not one that can function on less than 7 hours, and usually if I know I need to have a high-productivity day, I plan for 8 or more. Part of this I think is because I have trouble staying asleep, but really it probably has more to do with genetics than anything. Some people need sleep. Others don’t. Luck of the draw.

But more sleep is actually ok with me. In this crazy sport, sleep is essential. The human body releases elevated levels of HGH while sleeping, and that coupled with a proper diet and not moving for 8 hours, a lot of muscle damage can be significantly recovered in just a single night’s sleep. That’s what I’m going for.

Late last year when trying to plan out my 2017 season, I came across mention of tart cherry juice as being something that can aid sleep. Science reasons, I guess, but I was not able to find anyone that would suggest it was in any way bad or dangerous. So I found that our local Sobey’s carries some and started drinking a single serving before bed. I’m now an official believer in the stuff, and groan and drag ass out of bed when I get up there and realize I haven’t taken it that night. For me it works so well that I can actually function on 7 hours of sleep quite well. In brief, it helps me stay asleep for a full night. Uninterrupted REM sleep is amazing when you’re not used to having it. Placebo effect? Honestly, who cares? If it’s placebo, I’m still sleeping like a baby. If it’s real, I’m still sleeping like a baby.

So it’s a bit after 9:30. I’ve been up since about 8:30 or so – an extra three hours sleep this morning! I’ve got some work to do today with a 90 minute ride and a dip in the pool. But I’ve got all day.. so maybe a nap first…..