Friday, February 17, 2012

the importance of a good Tuesday

The key for me in having a good week, fitness-wise, is Tuesday.

The ideal week begins with a tired Monday. If I feel like riding on Monday, I didn't ride/run/whatever hard enough over the weekend.

Tuesday I typically either ride to work, go out to do some intervals, or get a good run in. Actually, it's been awhile since I've actually done any intervals. But I've been fairly reliable on doing one of the other two options.

Wednesday can be ride to work, do the Noon Ride up Old La Honda, or go off and do a lunch ride on my own. Some weeks I've run on Wednesday instead.

Thursday is then an easy day. Just ride to work and back. But some weeks I've also ridden to work on Thursday.

Friday I typically recover if I rode in on Thursday, or else try to get is little ride in. The Apple lunch ride is a good option, or I just ride on my own around Mountain View.

Then the weekend: During Low-Key Hillclimb season, I was doing the climb on Saturday, then some sort of Sunday ride or run. Now I try to get in something decent each day. It could be a run, a long ride, or a mountain bike ride perhaps. The key is to push myself fairly hard, to be tired on Sunday, ready to start over the next week.

But rewind to the beginning of this week. Saturday was the MegaMonster Enduro, a 100+ mile ride from Paicines, south, and back again. With the climbing, wind, rain, and 200 miles spent in a car, it was a long and tiring day. I was exhausted.

partial data from MegaMonster, until my Edge 500 battery expired.

Bill Bushnell photo
Bill Bushnell photo
of me suffering at the MegaMonster

Sunday I worked on the results, which with all of the split times (3 for each rider, plus start time + finish time) always takes a lot more work than I think it will. Eventually I got that ironed out, but only after taking a break to do a ride around the city. My initial plans were truncated when I realized I was still exhausted. After getting home then working on results a bit longer, I collapsed on the futon for a long nap.

Okay, that's not a problem. Rebound...

Monday was a recovery day as usual. Nothing wrong with two recovery days in a row, and to try to ride hard on Monday would have just disrupted the plans for the rest of the week. Plus I was still tired.

Then came Tuesday...

I was at work, and all of a sudden it was 11:20.... time to change if I wanted to make the Noon Ride, for which I'd need to leave @ 11:30. No, in the middle of something, I'll go out on my own at 12:00...

Then it was 12:00. Still stuff to do. Plus I was hungry. I went to the cafeteria to get lunch instead...

Lunch over, eaten at my desk. I couldn't do anything right after lunch.... I'd go for a run later.

But later never came. It came time to rush off, ride the 2.5 miles to the train station to catch a northbound baby bullet. I contemplated doing a run when I got home, but I was too tired and hungry at that point. I should have stopped at the gym, perhaps...

So nothing on Tuesday. I knew then I wasn't going to race on Saturday, an option I'd been contemplating. If I was to race, anything hard on Thursday would have not been an option. But I badly wanted to get in a few good efforts during the week.

Wednesday: I rode to work ("Skyline Way"). Thursday, I did it again... Riding to work always makes for a good day. I feel energized and alive, productive straight through lunch and until I need to catch the train. Okay, so maybe I didn't drink enough on the rides and was feeling a bit light-headed for awhile... but mostly good days.

Friday: even though I was quite tired Thursday night, and still tired Friday morning, I went to catch the noon ride, wanting to work off some frustration. The Noon Ride has virtually a 100% success rate of this.... and it was a good ride, even if I did get popped from the lead group on the final climb, up Arastradero. I just lacked the extra 5% I needed there.

So I feel pretty good now, Friday night. But we're entering a holiday weekend, and I know if I got hard on Saturday, while I may be able to drag myself out on Sunday, that will have been five hard days in a row and there's no way Monday will make that six. So ideally I do something easy tomorrow, then get in two solid days Sunday-Monday, before recovering on Tuesday then doing a hard ride on Wednesday.

But that would be too intelligent. I'll probably go bang my head against some wall tomorrow and spoil it all.

So missing a Tuesday workout is always the same thing: the initiation of a cascade of destruction ending in tragedy. There's always a good reason to not go out, to take the train in instead of ride, to sit at my desk instead of go for a run or ride at lunch. Once I start accepting these excuses, it's over.


NadiaMac said...

Nice picture from the MME!

TCM said...

Here's how I interpret your schedule (LKHC season). SS means steady state.

Mon - Off
Tue - Medium
Wed - Hard
Thu - SS
Fri - SS
Sat - Very Hard
Sun - SS

Here's the schedule we had for crew winter training:

Mon - SS
Tue - Hard
Wed - SS
Thu - Medium
Fri - SS
Sat - Very Hard
Sun - Off

So, same amount of work but with a different distribution.

The funny thing is, now that we have Strava, those SS days often turn into hard days!

djconnel said...

Thanks for the comment! Actually your schedule is too dense. My actual "schedule" is a bit more flexible. "Ideal" would be to take Thu off except for my train commute, then do an easy (not SS) ride on Fri with a few short, hard efforts. If I ride into work on Thu, it's because I didn't do enough on Tue-Wed.

My schedule this week has been:

Sun: easy
Mon: off
Tue: off
Wed: long and hard
Thu: long and hard
Fri: medium and hard
Sat: long and hard

Hardly scientific! Needless to say I'm a tired this morning (Sun).