General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Planning recovery weeks Rss Feed  
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2020-03-08 1:38 PM

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Nisbet, PA
Subject: Planning recovery weeks
Imagine that you are a 61 yr old male who has been almost completely sedentary for many years. You are currently 361 lbs. You have lost 30+ lbs since Halloween. You started going with workouts 3x a week in November, but they were not planned. It was just whatever you felt like doing that day. In December you started going 5x a week, still without a real plan. January and February though have been fantastic, 5x a week with doubles on Monday and Friday. Every day has a plan, with specific goals. You are logging 4800 yds of swimming each week (1500, 2100, and 1200). Cycling on Expresso cycles at the Y for 50-60 mins 2x a week. Doing a walk/jog ratio of 9:1 for the last two weeks 2x a week for 45 mins (4 intervals with a 5 min cool down). Previously walking up to 60 mins 2x a week.

You have read from Joe Friel and others that senior athletes need more recovery time, and have read that a common practice is two weeks of building followed by one week of recovery. So if you were going to plan a recovery week, how would you reduce the load; by 25%, 33%, or more? Some other method?

I am thinking about dropping my swim to 3 days of 1200 yds for one week. Perhaps drop the bike to 2 days of 30 minutes, hopefully in zone 2. And drop the walk/jog to 35 mins (3 intervals of 8:2 plus 5 min cool down). Is that too much of a reduction? Am I negating the hard work of the previous two weeks? Should I maintain the walk/jog 9:1 for the recovery week?

I have my first 5k planned for May 9th and my Sprint tri is on August 2nd so I think I have plenty of time to slow things down just a little.


2020-03-09 8:49 AM
in reply to: leatherneckpa

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Planning recovery weeks

Mike,

I graduated to Masters Athlete two years ago and have been looking at information on how to age grace as an athlete but all that I have personally experienced as an aging athlete is that the body is less forgiving as you age.  When I was in my early 20's I might sign up for a race three weeks before the event with no real training then come up with some time of survival training plan for three weeks and go race and think nothing of it.  Now if I were to do that I would hurt for 2 weeks following the race. 

Two years ago I was not writing my own training plans.  The plan was personalized so rest weeks were not set cycles but used as needed. I had a goal every week to do all the prescribed workouts in the plan but then life would get in the way and I would have to miss or do a modified shortened version of 1-2 sessions a week.  I was always excited then rest weeks were scheduled, but they usually just consisted of dropping the 2nd workout on 2-3 days.  So my rest weeks I typically hit 100% of the workouts and I often completed more work in the Rest Week than I did on the full weeks and felt more tiered going out of a rest week than I did going into a rest week. 

So...one option for you since you have been consistent for the past few months would be to drop the doubles on Monday and Friday and drop everything else during the week by 10%.  Or...you could keep the doubles and just drop everything by 25-30%.  The main thing is to make sure that your rest weeks feel easy and that you finish the week feeling good.  Don't do what I did leaving your rest weeks dragging more than you did going into it. 

It also might be good during the rest week to take a full day off.   Pick something and see how it feels.  If you don't feel you cut back enough at the end of the week you can always adjust and cut back more on the next rest week.

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