Ahhh, week 4. I like week 4. After spending the last three weeks progressively building the training volume I finally get to take what is known as a recovery week. The recovery week is a necessary staple of the triathlete's training plan. It gives their body time to recover and adapt from the training stresses that have been put upon in order to build strength and endurance that it may not be able to obtain by keeping it in a constantly stressed state.
Fortunately this doesn't mean that I will be doing nothing this week. I did enough of that in the off season. Typical I like to drop my volume to about 50-60% of what I did the week before. So that means that this early in the ironman training plan the workouts will be short and sweet for sure.
But while the workouts are shorter, sometimes I like to compensate with a little more intensity. Take for example today, although I really didn't have much choice in the matter. Our training group decided it would be a good day for some hill repeats. I was a little unsure about this as I have not really run anything remotely resembling a hill since I have been rehabbing the hip. After a good warm up we found a nice little quarter mile stretch with tough a gradient. We ran up and down that puppy 8 times. Hip felt great, but the rest of my legs were screaming at me, as seems to be the usual case these days.
So while hill repeats probably aren't in my top ten ways to start recovery week it did feel good to work hard for a little while. It's nice to know that the hardest day of my week is out of the way now. I can relax, enjoy my week, and get mentally ready for the next one.