Reading and Thinking Keeps Me Out of Trouble – Hopefully

So far in 2019, I have taken my training to higher levels than I have in years. Unfortunately, on the flip side of that, the one thing that the number of years that have passed since I was born have done is – is taken away my ability to hold that high level of training for long periods of time.

In other words I am starting to feel that fuzzy around the edges feeling that tells me it is time to pull in on the reins for a week or two to let the old boy recover a little.

Now thankfully I am not injured and still am smiling, but at the same time when I read this blurb from Mario Faioli’s – The Morning Shakeout while eating breakfast, I found myself nodding my head and going this is exactly how I am feeling.

Screen shot of email from Mario Fraioli “The Morning Shakeout” on 3/19/19

…Sometimes these lessons are profound, other times they’re more practical. And every once in a while, they’re a bit of both. Recently I’ve come to realize that as an athlete, I can only keep the proverbial water running at full blast for 8-12 weeks at a time before I need to dial it back for an extended period to refill the tank. And that is exactly where I’m at right now…

Quite honestly, I have had the water running at full blast since the end of October. I have very consistently been putting in at least 30 mile weeks, which is good mileage for me. When I started doing the Hansons Half Marathon plan that mileage has steadily increased to the 48 miles that I ran last week.

During this time there have not been any cut-back or rest for an aging body, weeks thrown in to consolidate the gains I have made. The intensity and distances have only increased and I am starting to notice maybe it is time for a quick break.

I know, a lot of runners can do a complete 16-24 week training cycle and not worry about it. However, when I look back through my logs, I see that I fall fairly naturally into 4-6 week go hard, then the body requires a cut-back week over the last few years. When I ignore the cut-back week, to keep pushing a training plan, I get the blahs and the aches/pains start to multiply or worse the injury bug starts to visit.

The reality is that

As much as I hate to admit it most of the time, the older I get the closer I have to pay attention to the signals that my body is talking to me about. Yesterday, when I had zero desire to do an easy 6.0 miles and my hip and ankle were grumbling a little more than usual, I decided to take the day off.

Once in a while I can be smahtah.

Then when I read Mario Fraioli’s “The Morning Shakeout” today and looked back at my running log, it kind of tied things all together and made me think about how much and how far I have come since last October.

Even though the Hansons Method is based on accumulated fatigue, there is a point where it accumulates too much and I need to back off, recover and then get back to with a fresher body and mind.

Sometimes, you get so focused on the constant improvement model, that you forget that you have to stop for a bit to take a breather, take stock of where you are, then decide the direction to keep moving.

This is especially true for my running right now. I don’t have any races scheduled and have purposely been using the Hansons Half Marathon Method more as a base building cycle, than a race prep cycle. The last few months have been more to see how things work for me using the Hansons Method than anything else.

So far it has worked well.

However, as a concession to my age, doing the Hansons Plan without a cut-back week or two included into the cycle, probably is not going to let me complete the training plan without burning-out or an injury. Just the way things are.

In other words for me to be successful with the plan, about every 4-5 weeks, I need a cut-back week, to solidify the gains I am making. Which means that this week goes from being planned to being more whatever I feel like doing and then on Sunday re-evaluating how the old body feels, to see if I need an extra week or if I am ready to get back to it.

Oh, I still plan to run and workout, but not at the Hansons Method’s intensity or mileage.

Then I will get back to my Hansons Method Half Marathon base building time. The philosophy fits my personality and how I want to train, but I have to modify it a bit for it to actually work well for me.

You know that damned experiment of one thing.

How about you, do you ever take a cut-back week in the middle of a training cycle, just because you know if you don’t, you will start to have problems?

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