This is when I promise once again that this post will be the last in my Tour De Torching Myself series. If only because it means I can stop, or have stopped, torching myself!
But maybe I should just say I've learned a lot while coaching other people, that I finally have the opportunity to apply to myself.
An athlete of mine finally finally completed all the workouts in a week, as written. Over the past few weeks there have been many reasons, legit and not, for things to be moved, shortened, skipped, or ignored. I knew this athlete could do the training; it has been the next logical step in training since the end of February. However, for all my cajoling and encouragement and foot-stomping, it just wasn't getting done, until last week.
On Sunday I send an email saying very simply: "goal of the week...do it again. Now that you've proven to yourself you could do it, prove to me that it wasn't a fluke."
Only then did I realize that that is exactly what I had (subconsciously) done in my own training over the past two weeks. I had gone straight from a week where I felt "on the rivet" (a cycling term) of volume and stress, and I did it again (plus an extra workout). I swam 5 days in a row at 5 am, rested two days, and then I did 6 days in a row at our normal swim practice times (anywhere between 5 am and 6:30 am). I needed to prove it to myself (as both athlete and coach) that I could do that week, not just once, but repeatedly. After that the old stretch-goal can become the new normal and physiological development continues on.
In a way, this second week reinforcement was the positive outcome from a questionable self-coaching decision.
Harkening back to the "more is more" debate: I felt so much better on that 6th/11th day than I felt on the 5th of the previous week. That 11th practice in 13 days was by far the strongest overall of any of them. I'm still searching for the point at which less becomes more. I feel like I'm goin' huntin' for a wascally wabbit.