Friday, January 29, 2010

The more you train, the more you WANT to Train!

Getting ready for the Multisport expo in Milwaukee WI this weekend and I put in a solid workout this morning, including a treadmill run of 7 miles and some high resistance / low cadence work on the lifecycle. The legs felt pretty good as I did a set of 5 x 800M 'tempo' on the treadmill, at 800M recovery between each rep. This was the first time to incorporate some tempo work in to my running since my base building period started in early December (including one 50 mile week and several 30 mile weeks of solid aerobic work). The faster running (6 min./mile @ 2% grade) felt pretty easy and there was NO soreness. Even between reps, at 8.2 mph / 3% grade, my heart rate recovered quickly and the running felt effortless. Gimme a big "YOU GO, Coach Troy!!" :)

So, what's the lesson to learn here? After all, the purpose of my training is partially to 'walk the walk and talk the talk' so that I can share my personal experiences in training with other athletes. Here's the lesson:

"The more you train, the easier it is to train and the more you WANT to train." Ah, momentum is a great thing... when it's positive momentum, that is.

That's the double edged sword of endurance sports training. When you start gaining form, you feel better with each workout. On the other hand, when you cannot train (for whatever reason... injury, busy schedule, etc.), it's harder to 'find your groove' when you get back to it, right?

Part of this is due to physiological adaptations to aerobic endurance exercise. The more you train, the more 'revved up' your oxidative enzymes become. That combined with higher blood plasma levels help to make you 'feel' better each workout (to a point). This sort of explains why, during base building periods, elite runners run 100+ miles a week, elite swimmers swim 'doubles' every day and elite cyclists log 3-5 hr days on the bike daily. The physiological adaptations to the volume make them feel stronger, day after day. Again... this can be overdone too, leading to overtraining, so caution must be exercised!

This is also partially the reason why some athletes HATE tapering. They feel overly sluggish and on race day, stiff, clunky, 'fat' and lethargic. That's why each athlete needs to find out their BEST taper method as one size does not fit all.

I hope this all makes sense. I'm looking forward to my morning treadmill workout tomorrow and hoping to get that 'runners high' that only comes with consistency, day after day. Remember, the more you train - the easier it is to train and the more you WANT to train. Ahh, momentum! Go get some!

Train smart,
Coach Troy


  1. Coach Troy,
    Thanks for this post! I've been experiencing the negative momentum this week and it was a nice morale booster to read about your positive momentum! My goal is a PR at the half marathon distance and running/biking has been going great until this week. I've felt tired, been busy at work and just an overall feeling of "blah." I followed your rule on two rides/runs this week about turning around after 15 minutes if you're not feeling well. Anyhow, taking today off to mentally recovery and I'm going to hit the roads hard tomorrow! Thanks for the motivation!!

  2. You GO Coach Troy!

    I agree with your assessment "the more you train the more you Want to training". I'm on week 11 of my ironman base training and did a run and bike workout in the morning followed by a run and bike in the afternoon after work just because I felt stronger and better and knowing that next week is my recovery week. And, yes we do have to be alert to over training.

    Thank you for the insight into training and racing over the age of 40. I'm 49 and feel stronger and faster now than I have in years due to proper training and recovery:)

    Don Cain

  3. I can relate. Been down the last month and a half since a PR on a half marathon in Dallas in mid-December. Travel, sick family members and work combined to shut me down, although my coach tells me it was necessary, and I believe her. My first event of the year will be the first weekend in May and is a 10-mile run and looking at the times and how I ran the half (and the lessons I'll have learned from it), I'm planning on picking up a trophy for winning my age group.

  4. Coach
    How very timely this blog post is! I agree 100% with you. In fact, it's making me a bit suspicious that I'm coming to form a little too early. Much has been written/said about being aware of overtraining, but should there be an increased training load adjustment in cases like yours and mine? Or are we better served sticking with the game plan?