Winter training 3 weeks in
Time flies when you are having fun. I am already at the end of week 3 and my endurance and strength just keep on improving. Monday I managed to move up to slightly heavier weights for the legs and at the end of the training, doing 2x300, they were still going strong. Tuesday I overcame a major mental obstacle by completing 9 full 500s on the track with little rest between runs and this evening I overcame the physical obstacles too. I no longer had the mental obstacle, but because of pain on the outside of my feet for the past two days, I now had yet another physical one. The only way to overcome the pain was to keep up a fast pace all the way through and it went surprisingly well. Despite my left calf being full and hard from the start, I managed to push out it all the way to the finish. The rests were the most painful and I never thought I would see the day I that would actually rather run another 300 straight after than to first rest. That was a big enough victory for me. Adversity can make you stronger, teach you things, and if you learn from it and use it to your advantage, you will come out of it much stronger than you entered it. After this week, I don't think I'll ever look at the track the same way again; was it always that small and was 300 always that short? :)
POWERbreathe training week 3
I used my Ironman Plus (heavy resistance) to train my lungs on my training free day, but since Monday and Tuesday took its toll on the entire body and I was recovering, I turned it down by 1/4 to level 2.25 to get in a good breathing session and keep correct breathing techniques. When you are tired, don't push for maximum because bad form will break you down instead of building you up; when you do it wrong you feel it clearly in places where you should not and you risk hurting yourself. Don't get me wrong, you should push your limits, but not all the time. Giving a little now and then wont hurt and on days you feel strong and rested you can go ahead and challenge yourself.
Warm-up & cool down
Before every training session I use the POWERbreathe as a pre-warm-up and after as a post-cool down. This week, even though I only got in one real POWERbreathe session, I actually used it a lot; warming up and cooling down with it every training. Warming up and having the energy to cool down with it does require some discipline, but the benefits are almost immediate and significant. Speed skaters use them straight after (many have special breathers with pure oxygen to speed up the process) and claim to recover faster with than without. I certainly got the message loud and clear this evening when my lungs could handle more right from the start. During the runs my breathing was more efficient and I managed to stay relaxed even when I got tired. I also made a big discovery; even though my mouth and throat was dry from the many runs, I was not short of breath, I no longer suffered from mild throw ups and uncontrolled stomach muscle contractions. Before, I would always put a peppermint in my mouth to prevent this from happening, because the mint tricks the brain into thinking that there's fluid and that the mouth is no longer dry and your body no longer thirsty. This is great, because now I can leave the peppermint rolls at home and go as far, as long and as fast as I want without being stopped in my tracks :) It is amazing how small things can make such a big difference.
That was it for now. Check back at the end of next week for part 3. Keep it fun & may the force be with you! :)