2022 ended as my best best year of Olympic Distance racing - an AG 3rd place (Bellingham , WA, USA - first podium ever) and an AG 2nd place (Vancouver, BC, CAN). All done by using the Low Volume Triathlon Plan, same one I’ve been using since recovering from brain surgery in 2018. Who knew I could get so fast on such minimal volume?
Then last September, 1 week after my last race, I badly hurt my back. Even after doctor visits and scans, no one seems to know what happened but I squatted down to pet a dog and when I stood up my low back seized and I was almost bedridden for 2-3 weeks. Just as I was getting some mobility back and considering rehab, I poured a half gallon of boiling water on my foot! I couldn’t wear a shoe for 2 weeks. Once that healed, I went to Costa Rica for 6 glorious weeks of rest and relaxation. Eager to resume training on my return home, I decided to catch Covid for the first time, which took me down pretty hard for 1 month. All in all, I lost about 3 months of training compared to the previous year.
So, I figured now is a great time for an experiment! Can I “make up” for the loss of 3 months of training on the LV plan by adopting the MV plan? I took 2-3 weeks to gradually build a bit of a base and have started the Mid Volume Olympic Triathlon Plan. It remains to be seen if the extra volume will bring my back to my former level of conditioning.
I will be watching for signs impending injury as this is quite a dramatic step up in volume for me. My massage gun is charged, extra protein powder is in the pantry, sleep schedule dialed in and I just took receipt of a new far infra-red sauna blanket to assist in recovery. Let’s get after it!
With all of those setbacks, my focus would be to get back in a rhythm with what worked before the injury, time off, sickness… if you get there and then find yourself with more time and capabilities then add in the extra work.
Increasing my jan, feb, march over the previous year means i had a consistent oct, nov, dec to build upon.
I hear you, this is why this is a bit of an experiment. After over 20 years of consistent training under my belt I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to start my baseline at a few hours a week higher than normal. My real interest is to see if the increased volume can make up for the missed training (at lower volume)
Yes, extra recovery protocols are in place as is extra time. So far so good with impending injuries, no niggles to report. And the sauna blanket has been fantastic! The far infra-red waves penetrate very deeply into my muscle and joints. When I get out, not only do a I have a moderate sweat going but the heat stays with me longer than when I use a traditional sauna.
No, I don’t think so. As @Bioteknik put it so brilliantly, “just get back into the rhythm.” Accept that you won’t be as fit as you would be without those three really unfortunate incidents. Try to be as fit as you can be given the circumstances. And if you won’t be able to place as highly as you did before, then know that this is only temporary.