This is the month in the year where it is almost impossible to stick to the plan and do every session, as there are parties to go to and pool/ gym closures to contend with. I had factored all this in, so was pretty sure at the beginning of the month that I would be able to stick to my weekly mileage as well as go to the gym. However, less than a week into December and I was struck by a cold that quickly made its way to my chest. Ordinarily I would continue to train through a cold, but having learned from trying to train through colds previously I decided to take it easier for a day or so.....having 2 days off in fact and then getting back into it slowly. As I was coughing all night long I wasn’t sleeping at all well.... and then Mel and the kids got it.....and they weren’t sleeping so it got really bad. Mid-month it started to get better so I thought I could train harder again (obviously I still have not learned my lesson!) and then it got worse again....all in all the cold/ cough lasted the whole month and at the beginning of Jan the family and I still have the remnants of it. So, my training has been hit pretty hard this month, I tried to keep going when I should have recovered fully.
Interruptions to training are frustrating, I know I should ease back and I do try, but if something is taking weeks to recover from, that is weeks of not training properly. I am learning that this is where the mental strength comes into play. It is better to have 2 slow weeks rather than trying to train through it and end up having more time off in the long run.
When I got back in the water just after Christmas to do a swim test I knew it was going to be bad. Almost a week without any swimming at all, my arms felt like jelly and my lungs felt like they were going to burst. I felt like I hadn’t swum in months, not weeks! Perhaps it was the wrong time to do the test, but perhaps not. It did tell me where I was and gave me a new focus to my training. The upside to these interruptions is that it actually doesn’t take that long to get back into the swing of things and after 3 consecutive swim days I felt much stronger. This is a fantastic mental boost, I may still be swimming ever so slightly slower than I was a month ago, but I feel like I am storming forward in terms of fitness.
I am sure that there will be more illnesses and possible injuries between now and the end of July and I know I will have to be sensible with how I approach them. Converting the knowing into doing is the challenge!