Rest. What Rest?

Well, I guess the title of this post is a bit misleading; I did rest for a couple days after the Miami Xterra. I usually take Mondays off, but for the two days following the March 24th event, I rested. But on that Wednesday, I began the transition back into training. With the Xterra Southeast Championships at Oak Mountain in Pelham, AL looming in the not too distant future (18 May), I have to keep grinding away. I may be too late to make significant gains, but small gains are good enough for me. The field is going to be way deeper, and though my prospects of winning are non-existent, I’m still going to go as hard as I can and not come away looking like a chump.

Week of March 25-31
Since the bike hurts much less when fatigued and reduces recovery, I started with a somewhat mellow 50-minute ride a Martin’s Dairy on Wednesday. I rode more than a loop at around 8 miles. My goal was to spin, so I tried not to elevate my heart rate too high. It felt better than expected but did have some sluggishness in my legs. On Thursday morning, I got in a good swim. It was slightly less than an hour with one really hard interval at 800 yards. For Friday, it was a back on the bike  at Chuck Lennon with the boys. I pushed fairly hard and went in and out of a mellow pace with some race tempo mixed in for a total of 100 minutes at about 17 miles.  It was a good hard ride – lots of what I would label as meandering in and out of zone 3. On Saturday, it was yard and trail work on our .75 mile loop at my Mom’s. It may not sound like much but 4+ hours of yard and trail work involves a tone of lifting and bending, and I have now figured out that raking can work the crap out of my core, as long as I keep up the pace. I finished with one very slow 15-minute lap with Shael. In a word – “tired.” Sunday dawned, and I felt I needed a brick. Out to Dairy again, I dropped into a 90-minute bike and a 60-minute run. I kept it mellow with a few strong bursts just for fun. I didn’t feel too bad, but I was definitely done for the week.

Week of April 1-7
As per my usual, I took Monday off. But Tuesday kicked my butt out of bed and to the pool for 60 minutes of aerobic with 3x 600 yard intervals to failure – one in the middle, two at the end. I finished the day with 45 minutes at the gym, hitting all groups but concentrating on and just crushing my legs. I did two sets of walking squats with five pounds in each hand, which took me several days to recover from – not for the light at heart. On Wednesday, it was back to Martin’s Dairy. I focused on zone 2 for the most part in a 95-minute ride with a slog up Grueler to top off the morning. I felt surprising good for how sore my legs were. For Thursday, it was back to the pool for an easy 45 minutes with 2x 150 and 1x 100 intervals. In the afternoon, I started at the gym on the bike and moved to lots of upper body, light legs and heavy core and finished with a cool down on the bike. In the middle of the workout, I used a pulley system pull down to do some swim-specific weight training from a tutorial on Zen Tri. It ended up being a hour in the gym, which is much longer than normal.

Since there was no bike jam on this Friday, it was time to get in a long run. I parked at the east trailhead at Spruce Creek Preserve and did a low zone aerobic exploration on the Ford Trail and Our Trail and then over to Kaye Paul > up Overlook > Bell > KP > 2nd KP back around Ford and done. It was around 80 minutes. I felt ok. It was a hard week, and I still was slightly trashed from Tuesday in the gym followed so closely by the bike on Wed. On Saturday, I kind of took the day off, but I rode much longer than normal on my mornign cruise with my dog Lily, which was followed by 4 hours of yard work at my Mom’s (some was riding the lawn tractor, but I raked for an hour and had a 25-minute slow bike ride on the loop). Sunday brought another day of beautiful weather, and though I was worn, I wanted to get in something with low impact. The day played out well. I rode around the neighborhood for an hour and then added another 40 minutes with Shael. Super low zone – probably zone 1. Not done yet though. My friend Rich was game for a surf and called me out, so I ended up surfing for an hour an a half in some fun conditions. The waves were from relentless easterly wind swell, so it was constant paddling and hunting for waves. I snagged some fun ones and actually found my legs after a bit and performed much better than expected with so much time away – we’ve had a really slow winter.

About Jim Newell

Associate Professor of English, Daytona State College / Thinker / Ponce Inlet Surfer / Improviser / Dad
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