6 weeks ago I posted about my overtraining. I have been working very hard at recovery since then. I am back to training hard and plan on racing very soon.
Here is what I have done on general principles for my recovery. I hope you can learn from what I have gone through.
First, I had to recognize that I was overtrained. Sometimes that can be hard. I have gotten better over the years. Soreness is normal, tired is normal, deep down fatigue is not. Then I stop digging the hole that I put myself in through overtraining.
The shift needs to be very fast, just like recovering from an acute injury. No more intense workouts for a while. Since speed skating is a power sport, I need to be off the ice for a couple of weeks at least. I need to be flexible with my thinking and be ready to adapt quickly. My Coach Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr and I need to develop a plan and be able to change daily based on my feed back and her knowledge and wisdom. Active rest, and recovery work.
I have used various combinations. Early in the process I used walking, stretching, stationary bike, yoga, and swimming. Saunas, cold tubs, whirlpools, massages and rolling my legs with “the stick” daily, are additional tools. Recovery work is almost as time-consuming as regular training. If I do the work, I get the results, period.
I have kept track of my HRV number using my ithlete device daily. When I start to get higher numbers indicating I am better rested, then I can add some easy but stimulating work. When I do my stationary bike work I can add some sprints at first. Maybe a little jogging. I need to be careful about any impact that could hinder recovery. Then some easy skating. I was very careful to stop skating hard or back off when I felt fatigue again. Then some easy weight work, again just for stimulation. A lot of stationary bike work, and swimming. The key for me is that it takes a certain number of heart beats at low intensity to recover. A nice walk can be very beneficial, especially with my wife Maripat and our dog Lilly.
Now that I have increased slowly to full speed training, I can be ready to race again. Sometimes the process of overtraining and recovery can have a silver lining. I will only see that in retrospect. We will see.