Ironman Build – The Shape of the Pear

I always thought that pears had quite a nice shape. But when applied to training ‘maybe not’.

My training is on the verge of going pear-shaped in the bad, metaphorical sense.

The volume is increasing steadily by half an hour a week. There’s an all-prevalent sense of mild tiredness throughout my body but nothing particularly aches, as such, and the enjoyment of the training is still generally there. OK there IS the occasional achy bit after some faster work from the previous day but nothing much and those types of ache have gone by the next day.

I’m on about 15 hours a week, which seems quite do-able. My Load stats have just hit an all-time high on 16April. BUT because the build-up has been sensible the TSB (Training Stress Balance) *IS* quite low but sensibly so.

So where’s the problem?

I don’t feel like I’m eating well enough as I mentioned before, here. But the main issue seems to be a recurrence of my upper hamstring injury from back-in-the-day. Quite consistent pain. Fairly painful when poked. But now it’s causing me to hold my body differently for cycling (cycling causes it) and then sometimes I hold myself differently too in running. Like today. Today’s HM resulted in very painful back problems that I assume are related to the hamstring. There’s almost certainly lots of nerves that join the two and that go through my hip which is also painful.

I reviewed my sleep and recovery stats for last week and they are not a pretty sight. They’re showing several nights with no recovery DESPITE what FELT like a good night’s sleep. A few of the other nightly pointers have strayed beyond their normal boundaries. Essentially they are saying, ‘Oi! there’s something wrong’.

As shown here 

The HRV RMSSD is one of the most useful, showing virtually zero recovery on Tue, Fri, Sat and Sunday. Yet the other stats (if you were to only look at those) show a good sleep score and lots of sleep. Although too much LIGHT sleep (top RHS) is also a worry.

By happy (planned 😉 ) coincidence next week is planned as a significantly easier week. Hopefully that will lead to a lot of R&R. I’m also deciding which physio/osteopath to go to. I’ve seen a few over the years and am never convinced that most of them find and treat the root cause. I’ll probably end up going with the one that has a conveniently free slot and then moaning about it afterwards.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: 1 week later.

Well that final run on Sunday was not a good idea. Something went in my hip (opposite side to the dodgy hamstring, which still hurts). Probably only a strain but it hurts like crazy and it went on the wrong/unexpected side. Running is no longer possible. Over the week it got gradually better with a bit of physio help but any weight-bearing stuff is just not possible. Luckily there is unencumbered swimming, gym and cycling 🙂

The image below is the stats for a MUCH easier week – as planned AND as enforced by injury. You’ll see that, probably, the injury is playing havoc with my nervous system and that is inhibiting recovery and/or making the stats seem poor in terms of recovery. Similar poor stats to last week but also the ANS balance looks to be staying higher than it normally does.

And the point is?

I was listening to my body but perhaps not paying it sufficient attention. Just missing one last day of loaded up training probably would have staved off injury and, instead, I would be 6 or so hours better off with run training that I haven’t been able to do.

The other point is that even if you don’t listen to your body you can, instead, listen to the stats. The EMFIT stats, above, do start to become pretty clear, pretty quickly that something is wrong. One night can be an aberration but more than two and a trend has definitely started.

I reviewed EMFIT ages ago: (here) if  you want some more detail.



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2 thoughts on “Ironman Build – The Shape of the Pear

  1. If your TSB goes below 12 – 15, take a few days off or do some LSD until your TSB goes back to a plus number or you will not be happy with your t raining plan. I know. Every time the TSB goes below -15, I get sick or pull a muscle. I now have PFS ( Patella-Femoral Syndrom ) in my right knee and have to Ice it after every run. Although I can do a race with no problem. Just all the other slower training runs.

    Burt Peterdon

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