In my previous blog discussing CNS fatigue and over-training the main point was this, if monitored and followed by an appropriate recovery period, training into and through mental and physical fatigue can be useful and result in significant performance gains. The evidence in support of this message came during my first week back at full training, a week I have taken to calling my Golden Week (this week actually being an 8 day period, Saturday-to-Saturday from July 6th to July 13th).
The first workout of that week was a new addition to my training plan, seeing how far I can run in 18:45, the amount of time that I want to be able to complete a 5 k race in. This workout was a way to ease back into full training, with it being a workout that challenges me to empty my tank, but without the pressure of trying to beat a previous personal best. It would also provide useful information regarding where I am currently in relation to my goal.
I ran 4400 m in 18:45, a result that I was very happy with, showing that I am 600 m away from my goal.
The next workout that I tackled was running 5 k at a 3:45 min/km pace in the shortest elapsed time possible. My previous personal best was 26:58. On Mon. July 8th I was able to do it in 26:45 min, win number one.
On Wed. July 10th I tackled seeing how long I could run at the 3:45 min/km pace. I completed 1700 m, win number two, beating my previous PB of 1600m. This workout is the one that I had been feeling the most anxious about leading up to it, with nervousness getting in the way of my performance on previous occasions. It felt amazing to beat the PB that I had set way back in May.
The final workout of the week on Sat. July 13th was completing 5 k at a 3:45 min/km pace in the fewest number of segments. In order to get a win in this category I would need to complete it in 5 segments. Success! I completed my first 5 x 1 km repeats at 3:45 min/km, win number three!
In addition to 3 out of 3 wins in my running workouts, I also had strong week in the gym. When squatting on Wed. July 10th, I increased my poundage to a total of 8640 lbs, completed as 4 x 16 with 135 lbs.
On Sat. July 13th I performed an Olympic clean and press workout. Each week during this workout I am trying to develop both strength and power, as well as getting in some back and upper body cross-training. In the previous week I progressed my volume to 4 x 18 with 65 lbs. My goal that day was to complete 4 x 15 with 65 lbs, with each set being timed. The results were as follows 1st set = 1:18 2nd set = 1:14 3rd set 1:08 4th set = 1:06, with me taking a comfortable seat on the gym floor at the end of the fourth set.
All of these results were wonderful reinforcement that my training to-date has increased my overall strength and speed. This is not to say that another way would not have been better or equal, or that this method will get me all the way to my goal of 18:45, but for the next few weeks/months it's progressive overload and striving for more wins as Mission StrongFast continues!