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Post HIM / Taper / IM / Post Overload

Posted By: KP
Date: Tuesday, 16 June 2009, at 11:48 a.m.

In my early days of racing I had success backing off or freshening up for two weeks after doing a Half IM. Later, as my fitness deepened and as HIM became more a part of my IM preps I remember hitting a HIM real hard and then doing a solid 5-6hr ride that next weekend with prolonged steady and bits of mod-hard intervals. That resulted in me melting down a bit post ride and affecting the following week. I think it probably extended my post HIM fatigue by 5-7 days.

I see this in many motivated athletes. Five days after a HIM very fit athletes 'feel' near normal. However, once they get out and do some extended steady riding power doesn't come as easy as it should and the fallout can be considerable. Add some accidental or scheduled mod-hard and things can get even tougher. In my opinion, for most of us, one week post HIM is not enough time to absorb that race effort and back it up with a solid, quality filled 5-6 hour ride. Ten days is probably okay for the very fit, and after 14 days the very fit are ready for most anything absernt IM. In my view, cutting it much closer than that the athlete is at risk the next week or is set up for disappointment during the workout itself.

Remember, feeling relatively good and being able to generate prolonged steady or short tempo efforts are not always in alignment after digging very deep into your fitness package. I can think of four spots off the top of my head where this is concept of 'feeling good' can be misleading: (1) racing a HIM two to three weeks before an IM (2) doing too much intensity in taper two weeks before your AAA IM & after a huge prep period (3) resuming full normal training three weeks post IM and (4) resuming normal training days after overload camps.

Once you get to know yourself and remember having made these misteps, save those experiences for the next time around. Proper handling of that extra 3-5 days after a HIM, before your IM & through taper and after overload can save your race or shorten post race/camp recovery. One week can cost you three or dull a performance if you insist that you are different (unless you really are!).

coach KP

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