I learnt a lot whilst on the Egypt break. Sadly the biggest learning was in the last few days!
For me, a good week of training is a high volume week. Quantity overrides quality because I have never really understood what a good quality session is.
So I proudly emailed Mark, with a few days to go, to tell him training had gone well and I had (so far) covered all sessions in his program. His response was ‘Excellent, but please do not tick off the sessions for trainings sake’.
Mark backed these words up by sending me an article by Chrissie Wellington on the very subject. Saying that in her early days, when she was an age grouper and had a full time job, she physically couldn’t train the hours that the professionals were training, so she swapped quantity for quality. She states in the article, that a good 40 minute (hard) interval session can be as good as doing a 2 hour (easier) session.
Also, the importance of recovery and the need for training to fit in around your life and not taking over your life.
And both Mark and Chrissie are right. Some sessions I did in Egypt I felt really good doing them and equally as good afterwards having completed them. Felt good as in I felt strong during the session, I paced it well, I did the intervals or the consistent pacing etc, I came back beaming and was up for the next session later that day or the next day (as in no aching or tightness).
But some sessions I left the apartment with the words ‘right I better go do this run’, or I ran with my legs still aching from the earlier ride etc.
This enlightenment from Mark came on Thursday, which is why, as I set off for another run, when I was really not in the mood (at all) to run, with my legs aching from the 8 days training so far, and the slight strain on my abductor playing up again that week, the wind howling as I set off up the long hill which was the start of every run session, I thought – this is one of the sessions I am doing to tick off the plan and I would do better to skip this session and rest more – which came out as ‘sod this I cannot be arsed’.
So I stopped after 6 mins and walked back to the apartment. I then backed this up by turning off the 6.30am alarm for the next morning with the idea, if I woke up early I would ride, if not, then I wouldn’t.
So I didn’t do Thursday’s run, or Friday’s ride or Friday’s evenings run and as we flew back on Saturday I didn’t train after Thursday morning’s bike. What I did do was enjoyed the last few days of my holiday rather than grind out those last few sessions. I starting to absorb the training I had done so far and came back motivated to train this week and not knackered after a hard boot camp.
I am obviously not fully converted away from volume yet, as I have the need to state I did 14 hours training over the 8 days I trained, split as:
2 hours swimming
7 hours cycling
5 hours running
Thanks for reading