Monday, January 14, 2008

Overtraining

All (in particular Barf):

This is a funny, yet good look inside overtraining written by a very respectable runner back in 2000.

Good reading.

1 comment:

Joel said...

I definately was a bit overtrained for Boston 07 (but not too much on the same token). It was a few other mistakes (my f-ups) that made the wall hit me in Boston about 3-miles before I expected. It has taken my injuries to analyze & evaluate why I messed up.

First, I hit at least 40-miles per week pretty quickly & held it there. I belive in the 15 weeks of 2007 prior to Boston that I didn't have 40+ in just 4. Two were after weeks of 60+ & one was a taper week. I didn't need all that as early in the program as I did. My qualifier (Frederick in 2006) I only hit 50+ twice (4 and 3-weeks prior to the race), but at the perfect spot in training to peak. Then I ran 35 & like 15 the week of the Frederick Marathon. It was perfect for my fitness I had at the time.

I came through mile 20 at 2:21(Frederick) (Boston 2:17), but I ran 4+ minutes faster in my last 7K during Frederick because my legs were not shit)

A positive side of my overtraining was I ultimately survived Boston & it made my base fitness Post Boston the best I'd ever had ever. The two months after Boston posted my PR's in 5K, 3.55M (z's race), 5M, & 10K. Had I not broken my hamstring from a non-running event in June I would have likely gone under 3hrs at Marine Corp in the fall.

For Boston '07 I ran three (3) 20+ milers, & looking back on it, the third & final (23.7) was a dagger. I should have gotten picked up by a support vehicle about mile 21 & started to recover for a week, pick it back up for a week, then just straight up taper, or something different all together. I had 23 days remaining after that nearly 24 mile effort. It sucks the mind is a wet squash at 20+ or I would have been smart enought to stop. Of course, I stubbornly told myself I needed to finish. My quads broke down the last mile. I thought it was a good thing, I mean, I've felt that same pain in three prior marathons, at varied distances during those races, but the pain was there.

In actuallity I kept training after the 23.7 & for those who have felt your quads go to pot, you cannot bounce back for an optimal performance just 3 weeks later after the legs biggest muscles get thrashed. But the "I have to work harder (the overtrainer in me) kept me running until I hit full blown taper with about 8-10 days left...

Hind sight tought me: 20+ are okay to do, and necessary, but need to be well spaced out and done correctly. I especially needed to run that last 20+ smarter. As soon as I started to hurt I should have bailed out. The extra 2 miles was a mental lift, but much more detrimental for the legs. I all in from the 23.7, drop that back to about 21, & not try to cram every single 'routine' workout in (Fed Hill, Wed, hill thurs, Patapsco friday, long run sat/sun). Sometimes you need a day off (which takes me to my log again for a stretch of 17 consecutive running days, and something like 28/31 during the peak). (OVERTRAINED)

Come race day I felt good as I did in my training long runs, but I knew I was going to struggle as the race got deeper. I didn't let up as my goal was sub 3hrs - I at least give my self a shout for gutting it out, but I should have dropped my pace (or not pick it up the way I did) around mile 8. I clipped out a number of 6:30's & 6:40's in the middle part of the race. I survived the up hills of miles 17-21, heartbreak was hard but still did that mile in 7:40, got through the 22nd mile (a killer downhill after the previous 17 downhill miles, then 4 up).

But miles 23-26.2 just were brutal. I hated life. The only reason I didn't walk is I had experienced that unbearable quad/calf/hamstring burn a number of times before, a pain you just don't know until you've run nearly or over 20miles.

At 35K I was done but I had enough time in the bank that I thought I'd still pull out a 3:07 & PR by 2min... WRONG. 8:30-8:40's the last 4 miles led to a second best marathon (missing my PR by 21 seconds)... 21 f'n seconds...

The advice I can give, after completing 4 marathons, 1 DNF (22.5miles), and about 7 or 8 other 20+ runs in training over the years: Make sure when you go for 20+ that you have both enough time in your training program to not only recover properly from the 20+, but also give yourself enough time to rebound, get a bit of good training back under your belt, & practice proper tapers for each additional 20+.

The best thing about my injuries last year is I am NOT able to do anything near 20 for likely a solid 6 weeks or more...pushes me into March... So in reality I'm only getting a single 20+ for Boston this year.

F you Boston, your stupid Socks, your damn marathon - I will get my revenge this year.