What an odd week. It started with a joyful voluntary rest and ended with a full health check and ensuing enforced precautionary rest.
REALITY check – NO Bill Rowan program has a full week off
I entered Monday morning languishing in the joy of what I had genuinely thought was a prescribed weekend off. Even more exciting was that I thought I had a further 3 days off.
I do profess to initially being somewhat surprised by the fact that Lindsay Parry’s Comrades Bill Rowan medal training program contained almost a full week of rest at the end of every month. But I shelved that surprise for the more commonly held belief of the huge importance placed on recovery that has become more and more prevalent in modern training regimes.
Lindsay Parry is the THE Comrades Coach FFS. Who was I to question him.
What the rest did allow for, was to get my first blog post in a while out, for which I was extremely chuffed, along with some social media action to accompany it.
So imagine my surprise when I entered my office to the 3 enormous smiles and laughter of my office mates who were overly interested in whether I’d enjoyed my weekend off. Curious as to why they’d all be on THAT train first thing on a Monday morning, they encouraged me to check out my Twitter.
And there, laid bare to the world and beautifully framed in a simple tweet by the question “what happened to the 1 – 4th Feb”, was my blunder and apparent idiocy.
Greg then strolled through chuckling and proceeded to show me how badly I’d misread the end of January and start of February part of the program. Worst of all was the discovery that while I had been sitting on my ass, I’d missed two long weekend runs of 2 hour (Saturday) and 2.5 hours (Sunday).
Greg did have the good grace to point out that he’d fallen foul to the same error when following a Comrades program the year before (shoo – maybe not that doff). I’d like you please have a look and weigh in on the matter; page-snips of the program (available here – Bill Rowan program) shown below.
One thing maybe casting me more in the doff camp, is the fact that Tristan pointed out that the cells in question were empty, rather than having the word “REST” (notice too the capitalisation of the word – fuck) boldly typed therein as the cells in every Monday and Friday very clearly did.
Okay. I’ll admit it. On this occasion my powers of interpretation have put me in the doff camp and I hope I can convince you over time that I fancy myself slightly above average intelligence.
How do I make up the lost sessions?
Well in short you don’t really. Lindsay pointed out in a facebook live webinar with Brad Brown a few weeks ago that when life causes you to miss a session, don’t try and make it up or you risk overtraining and possibly injury.
So I picked up the program again on Tuesday and felt strong in my first two runs, the long rest obviously coming into play.
I did decide I’d make one little rejig of the program; I’d extend the designated time of the upcoming long weekend runs to match those of the weekend I’d missed.
Surprisingly Reduced to a walk!
Following the program ballsup, I was anxious but excited to test my speed out in a scheduled 8km time-trial on Thursday, but halfway through was reduced to a walk after running out of steam on a fairly innocuous hill.
I managed to get going again after a 2-minute walk without any appreciable degradation in speed and finished with a somewhat respectable 4.47 min/km average pace, but felt a bit knackered afterwards.
Enter Friday and I started the day feeling a bit weeker than normal and by the time I got to lunch was feeling pretty ropey and lightheaded.
Doctor, ECG and vials of blood
For me the Doctor is a last port of call reserved for when I’m lying in bed drenched in sweat with aching bones. Even then I often feel that a day or two in bed can see me through most ailments without the need for a Doctor’s visit, or the inevitable antibiotics that come therefrom.
This time however, with two long weekend runs looming, the need to steady myself getting out of the car on Friday evening and my Dad telling me to be careful after the recent death of a friend the weekend before by heart-attack while Mountain biking, I thought I’d better visit the good Doc.
I personally believe it’s a good thing to have a decent check-up every couple of years when participating in endurance events. In fact, participating in the ABSA Cape Epic requires a certificate from a Doctor proving that a thorough medical has been conducted within a certain period before race day, which I think is a good idea.
I couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment on Friday afternoon so laid low and waited it out till Saturday morning. Initial checks, including an ECG were all good, but I had multiple bloods taken too, the results of which I’ll get on Monday.
Taking Gabs (my 5-year-old daughter) with me to the Lancet laboratory at Morningside clinic was incredibly amusing. The little busy-bee was fascinated by the whole procedure, quizzing Nurse Patience at every step of the procedure and insisting she document the whole thing with photographic evidence, especially the resultant six vials of blood.
Where to from here?
I do feel considerably better today than Friday, but still not hundreds considering the time off.
Having missed two consecutive weekends in this important building stage, I’m a little anxious about my Bill Rowan prospects, but am hoping I can do a few longer runs this week (I won’t overcompensate Lindsay – promise) and look forward to the big test / marker the weekend after next when I run my first full marathon (The Township Marathon) since the Soweto Marathon in November 2014.
I’m just going to push on with the program and some hard strength work in between and hope these two weekends missed are the last sessions I miss before June 10th.