Specifc Adaptation to Imposed Demand
- Demand: the stimulus such as training
- Adaptation: the changes to the body from the demand
Over the last few weeks my training has been going well. In fact I have a bit over three weeks of consistent work that includes aerobic conditioning runs, prolonged threshold session, hill/strength training, long runs and a couple of races. This has accumulated a big demand from which I hope to gain some significant improvements (specific adaptation). For that to occur I had scheduled a recovery period on every fourth training cycle. This time I really needed the easier week.
Coming off the weekends 10km race I had a bit of soft tissue damage to my right quads. Pain, swelling and bruising combined with some cramping of the surrounding muscles signalled the need for recovery. Three very easy days, with a bit of icing and compression did the trick. I'll be surprised if there are any ongoing problems from this.
What did surprise me was just how hammered my legs really were. With the easy days, my body realised it had the chance to get in some repair work and the heaviness and sluggishness of needed recovery came on strong. This week I attempted a MAF test as scheduled, but during the warm up I knew it wasn't going to an accurate gauge to my current fitness. With a pace of 4:40/km I had dropped 12 seconds off last month's effort. To ensure I continued on the recovery line, the 400m TT was skipped.
The last two days of the recovery cycle had me up in Echuca, where I ignored the heart rate monitor and stopwatch. Heading out onto the soft muddy trails along the Murray River was perfect therapy. The spring in my legs returned during those runs. The flow of someone built to run came back. The accumulated fatigue lifted and I am now ready for the next training phase. Another 4 cycles of Base training will have me ready for the more specific marathon training, that isn't all that far away.