My body is aching all over. I've definitely had a sudden shift in gears from my lighter training regiment to getting after it lately. I’m excited about all the great things coming up, and its easy to get a little crazy during intervals or lifts. I actually was chatting with a coach the other day about how I took a different look and approach to a fall conditioning period this post Olympic season.
Every one of us had a specific training and competition plan designed for the Olympic season, and I guarantee at least 80% dropped right off that plan in May and June. The sense of urgency to achieve the Olympic A-Standard becomes all that matters leading us to the US Trials. The only way to achieve it, is too compete, and compete, and compete. Without any notice you make a compromise in your plan, than another, and another, and suddenly your plan, that was prepared a year or more in advanced, goes right out the window and you are flying by the seat of your pants. You start doing what Track and Field athletes call “Mark Chasing”. You are chasing after a performance mark instead of sticking to your plan, your tapering, and taking proper care of your body. Then what happens, suddenly you are two or three weeks away from a major championship you should be rested and peaked for, and you are doing as many as four or five competitions a week, chasing that god damn continually elusive mark. What does that leave you with, injuries, lots of them. They may not any alone be too detrimental, but as a group, they must be. You continue to ignore them, starting with IB profen, then the icy hot, then atomic balm, the wrap, the neoprene sleeves, the heat to get started, the ice to finish, and this list can go on and on. ‘You put a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches’ and you carry on towards the task while it tears, you continue on for the mark.
With that being said, you have left yourself a mess through the summer, your plan is long gone, and now you need proper time to heal (sometimes mentally more than physically). Is that amount of rest time and reintroduction to conditioning the same for a 22 year old man, as it is for a 32 year old man? Probably not. It makes sense to me not too continue to follow a seasonal training pattern that I have followed for the past 14 years, especially this post Olympic season where I laid mind and body on the line bordering destruction and glory. So I took time to rethink, and retune my training. Older and wiser you could say, or maybe just older and tired. The best way to describe it; is skipping the annual horror of fall conditioning after a late summer rest period and going straight to early to mid season type regiments with a much slower transition into such, and the rest of the season to follow a fairly similar timeline to those in the past, minus the mistake of “Mark Chasing”.
That was a lot more explanation of sore muscles than I had planned. As you have read, I’m normally used to doing a heavier load of training at this time of year, and the excitement of the “Ultimate Vaulter” clinic and comp this weekend, getting to hang out, train and trade secrets with Mark Hollis, and the indoor season right around the corner, I did a little too much this past two weeks.
There is also one other underlying reason for the additional workload, the weather. It’s been gloomy lately, and when it’s gloomy, I get gloomy as most of us do. I do value my time outdoors. In my opinion the best anti-depressant in the world is exercise, and sometimes you need a little extra to get you through those gloomy days. So if you’re feeling these seasonal blues like I do, get out and break a sweat, its not that hard, find something. It’s not just the nice endorphin's you get during the training; it’s the brief emptiness of mind, and the lasting feeling of confidence that comes with the knowledge of achievement on the day.