Ever since my race in Mexico I have been struggling to get things going again. I was a little sick going into the race and then really sick coming out of it, some kind of mucous-cold thing or maybe allergies, I don’t know. So after the race I took a week relatively easy to let my body get over whatever was going on inside it, but I always had one eye on the next race coming up, itching to get back into full training mode. As a driven athlete I am all always trying to improve and there is always much to improve. It can be very hard to sit still for too long, so once my easy week was over I eagerly began to ramp things back up with a big swim and run focus.
The first couple of days went ok, I could tell that I wasn’t as fresh as I should’ve been after a week easy, but maybe that was just because I was flat from taking a week easy. But as the hard days rolled on my performance continued to drop. It was a feeling as though there was constantly something holding me back, not allowing me to reach the production level I needed. The feeling of not firing on all cylinders really sucks, I just couldn’t get my heart rate up to push my body hard enough to illicit the training response I needed and no amount of ice bathing or foam rolling was making a difference. Worse, my confidence began to drop as I underperformed one workout after another.
For most athletes, this is where the experience and guidance of a coach is critical. It’s hard to make yourself take that time off you need. Just complete rest to reset the body so that you can hit the high effort performances that you need to get better. As you become better, your hard days become harder and your easy days need to become easier. It’s a concept that I often preach to the Zoom Performance Athletes that I coach, but it’s always a hard pill to swallow when I have to do it myself. From an athlete perspective, it’s easy to see how doing a track session or really smashing it in the pool will make me better. It is much harder to understand how laying around for two days could ever make me faster.
Hopefully these two days of complete rest will reenergize my system and allow me to really crush it in the next two weeks leading up to Barbados. It’s hard to sit still when you want to get better and even harder when you know the competition is out crushing it. Soon enough I’ll be back at it though and with renewed vigor!