Friday, March 13, 2009

Fighting Fatigue - or NOT Fighting It

During Ironman training, unlike marathon training, the biggest struggle for me is the exhaustion and fatigue. For a runner with a tendency to overtrain, triathlon training is a good way to stay injury-free and still get the endurance "high" on a daily basis (what drives my no-rest mentality). But Ironman is a different story. Unlike cross-training for running, the cross-training now becomes the sport, and I can no longer escape the muscle and mental fatigue of 2-3 hour training days because I now have hard bike rides and hard swims. Training has become a second job. And the thing I hate most is that sometimes the only thing between me and my next workout is my bed. Sleeping often takes precedence over eating -- being so tired that you can't chew is usually a dead giveaway of which one to choose. As I get older, sleep has become even more important -- to heal, to regenerate, to recharge my brain, and, obviously, to spend more quality time with the cat.

But I'm not complaining. I'm just learning to balance this thing again. It seemed easier 6 years ago -- when I was younger. I often wonder if I'm training harder now or if I'm just not recovering as fast because of age. One thing is for sure, the difference this time is that I've learned to listen to the fatigue and the pain now.

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