A Training Day

Often I have these really funny little conversations when I’m catching up with friends. Generally it goes along the simple lines of… Them: “How’s it going? what have you been up to?” Me: “I’m really good just training lots, what about you?” When you read that it sounds rather dreary and dull.

Quite often on most weekends I’m pretty tired and the simple chores that have built up during the week need to be attended too so even my weekends can be pretty slow (unless I’m fishing). And realistically, I need to take things slow at times.

Eric and I on top of The Ramp. There are a few sections on top where you need to watch your footing or there is a sharp drop! This was our Saturday adventure.

For example, say early in the week you have a late night, now because of that you wake up in the morning feeling pretty tired, more than usual. Then you head off to train and follow your usual schedule. However because you have already depleted your energy just that little bit more, it snowballs and leaves you feeling even more tired each session until you can have another day off. It’s rough and unforgiving. Your body doesn’t care that you had an awesome night out with friends, it just wants sleep.

Running in the Mountains as everything starts to change color. Photo credit Eric Packer.

No why am I telling you this? I thought I might share with you a little bit more of an in-depth look into my training day. That way next time you see me crawling around looking like a toddler who just woke up from their nap you might understand just a little bit more. Now obviously most training days are different, but I’ll pick a pretty classic Tuesday and tell you a little more.

Tuesdays are always big days. Up between 7:00am and 7:30am depending on where we are training. Breakfast is normally two eggs on toast with tomatoes and avocado, plus the all-important cup of coffee. Around 8:30am it’s off to work we go; during summer that’s often to the foothills around Anchorage. The team gathers at 9:00am and we have a quick brief on how the morning will run. For this Tuesday lets say we are running and bounding. So after a quick chat we head off for a 40 minute run, generally pretty easy, just warming up.

Then for the workout itself, we bound, uphill. For 55 minutes, non-stop at what we call level 3. Level 3 is a term that means just below race pace but still going hard. This is almost all uphill too. From the base of the mountains up up up. Then once you reach the post at the top of the mountain you can finally sit down with legs shaking and feeling like jelly. However no sooner than staking your claim to a comfy patch of dirt, you have to cool down. Then you have the great pleasure of staggering upright, looking as graceful as a 3am drunk trying to get back into the club. Moving your jelly legs that have suddenly turned to lead you have the pleasure of running for another 20-30 minutes cooling down.

Once I get home I generally try and inhale as much food as possible that’s in sight as Lauren and my housemates try and hide as much food as possible hoping to make a shopping trip last for more than just one or two days.

After lunch and a shower I sometimes sneak off for a quick 20 minute nap, or some days I have a lot more to do and I’ll try and get paperwork, chores or any other jobs that need to be done during this time.

Around 3:00pm I’m back in the kitchen telling myself this is just a small pre training snack (it never quite happens) and then its back off to training. Tuesday afternoons are always gym. But before you can even walk into the APU dungeon (yep our gym is underground) its warm-up and jumps. That’s either a 30 minute double pole on roller skis or a 30 min run. Then we have the pleasure of doing hill sprints, single leg hops and bounds up a small hill.

So once we have staggered into the gym it’s lifting time. Gym is always a block of free weights and then a massive chunk of core and maintenance strength. It’s always a long session in the gym and I probably get a little caught up talking with everyone too.

Chin-ups are finally improving.

After all this I head back home dreaming of dinner and putting my feet up. We have at least two days a week that are like this. Tuesdays are often one of the harder days of the week but I actually find them the most fun. To me it really feels like I’m making progress and moving forward. It’s also easier to see times decrease or improvements in the gym so I feel really motivated on these days.

So next time you see an athlete staggering around on their rest day or between sessions be kind and just throw an extra blanket on them.

Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.


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