Weekly Cool Down #9

Weekly Cool Down
3.03.20
At least I got on BBC
Weekly Cool Down - #9
 3.03.20
Morning Everyone,
I am going to be straight up but this week's letter is based around me opening up about what I initially believe went wrong this past weekend. 
As you will have seen from the last post I have been really putting in the quality work when it comes to training. Every third day I have been ticking off a session and yes some have gone better than others but the fitness is definitely there. I do not believe Sunday's performance or tailing off after 8miles is down to overtraining or fatigue as my mileage has fallen between 80-95miles/wk and I know from previous training blocks I have been able to handle back to back weeks of 105-110mile weeks. My sleep has been good as I aim to get 8hrs more like 7.5 every night. Finally, I have been regimental when it comes to my strength training as well as doing core on most days for at least 10minutes every day and have even started skipping 3times a week, so it should not be down to my biomechanics.

With the process of elimination the one aspect that has always been a bit of a struggle for me has been nutrition. Whilst I do believe to be someone that eats healthy - I do think this is where my weakness lies. I do think there is a stigma around male endurance athletes around talking about this topic if there is an issue and that it is tricky to open up about it. As many of you will be aware when I did triathlons I lost a lot of weight and I was very much under-fuelling, especially when it came to me doing an average of three sessions a day. Since stopping triathlon and focusing on running my relationship with food has been much better along with the opportunity to work with Renne McGregor, a leading specialist in Sports Nutrition to understand and grow my knowledge of nutrition while training at this level. I would say that it is part in parcel with the characteristics of keen runner/endurance athlete as by nature we are addictive and obsessive and this is great in training however attribute stems all the way through to many aspects of life such as nutrition.   
Over the last 14 months I have been vegetarian and I would say that before this point I was not eating a ridiculous amount of meat and if it was it was mostly chicken. Having stuck with this I haven't seen much difference in my training and recovery. From a day to day aspect I definitely get enough protein though I do suspect that after evening sessions I do not take in enough protein. However with the amount off stress I am putting my body through I do believe I do need the iron to sustain the red blood cells.
What was emphasised in the race this weekend and has been indicated in recent sessions is that I quickly become exhausted in the tail end of a session. I have the fitness and dynamics to run at a quick pace say 5:10s (threshold) but as soon as it goes beyond 30minutes I just feel I can not keep the energy levels up. This is very unusual for me as I have always had a good base of endurance whether it be swimming, cycling, ski touring or in this case running. 
After the race on Sunday, I felt crap as I have put in all this quality work and I did believe I was in low68 shape. I really want to get to the bottom of why this is and aim to get some blood tests done this week. Having had them before I know roughly what they should look like and I just hope it sheds some light onto what this issue is whether it be Iron, ferritin, testosterone or cortisol. Tom & Renee, will help me understand the results and I very much hope the test highlights a clear aspect that needs to be addressed. However as Tom pointed out even if it doesn't then at least it tells us what it is not,  so any outcome is a positive.  

I do feel it might be time to step away from this vegetarian diet. I am a complete advocate of eating less meat however with the pressure and intensity I put my body through every day I need to make sure I do not limit my diet and make sure I have variety so to get the nutrients out of natural sources and not rely on supplements. 

The legs feel in a good place heading into this week and we will keep the ball rolling but this week's aim is to get the blood samples sent off, to get to the bottom of this. 
What the week looked like:
Monday: AM: 7@ 7:23/m / PM: 7.4miles @6:53/m
Tuesday: AM: WU 1.5miles - 5*7min Tempo avg.5:15 (1min)-WD 2miles / PM: 5miles@7:25/m
Wednesday: AM: 7.3miles @7:17/m / PM: Swim 2000m
Thursday:  AM: 7.8miles @7:04/m / PM:6miles (3*3mins+5*strides) @6:10/m
Friday: Rest - Swim*2000m
Saturday: AM: Swim*2000m / PM: 5.7miles@6:34/m
Sunday: Big Half (71:15) + 5miles

Total: 75miles - 8hours 17minutes

I hope you all have a great week.
Charlie 
 

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