I managed to remind myself what weights look and feel like. I did a very late weight session, working both my upper and lower body. I am feeling it, though all I really want to do of late is take a nap. I find myself thinking about naps a great deal. With the increased mileage and my struggles in getting enough sleep at night, I am always tired. This symptom has gotten better over the weeks. Coach Joe English had this to say about naps:
Ah, I love naps. Naps are one of my favorite things in the world. I enjoy them for two reasons: first, because I love my bed and second, because they make me feel better. People are always asking me if they should include napping as a part of their training routine.
If you can: yes, absolutely.
Sleep is a critical part of your training. Actually, it’s what happens while you sleep that’s critical. When you’re sleeping, your body is doing all kinds of work to repair damage and respond to the loads that you’ve been putting on it. It’s a time when your body can recover and not do anything else. It’s not busy eating, walking, toe tapping, thinking. It’s just sleeping and recovering.
With that in mind, people that don’t sleep, have a difficult time recovering from their workouts. And people that over-train, often have difficulty sleeping. So this can be a real death cycle. We’ll often find that if someone is not sleeping well and we get them to back-off the intensity of their workouts they BOTH sleep better AND recover better in their workouts.
But back to naps. Naps are a great way to give the body an extra chance to recover between workouts. They are most important for people that are doing a lot of very intense training or working out multiple times per day. Runners that do a track workout in the morning and run again in the evening for instance, or triathletes that workout in multiple sports per day, will benefit from a brief nap between those workouts.
Coach Pete’s training has me operating in what he calls macrocycles; it is an interesting process that works in five mesocycles.
Mesocycle 1: Endurance and increasing miles. I started off at 80 and will top off at 105 miles per week.
Mesocycle 2: Speed and endurance. I will use this cycle to push my miles over 100 per week while focusing on my lactate threshold. Ideally, this stage should get me closer to performing the distance at my ideal pace.
Mesocycle 3: Getting ready to race. Lots of miles and speed work. Again, I use this periodization to train my body to feel the race.
Mesocycle 4: Taper. Though I work to cut my miles here, they still remain high. After this stage, I should go into my race feeling renewed.
Mesocycle 5: Recovery and prep work for the Chicago Marathon in October.
Total Miles today: 0