By Pete Williams
Since taking up triathlon in the summer of 2007, I’ve taken some time away from training. I went four months without swimming one winter. Last winter, the coldest in decades in Florida, my training group kept the bikes in the garage. I also stayed off the bike for a month after a minor crash in 2008.
No matter the layoff, I quickly got back up to speed (pun intended).
This time is different. Today I rode for the first time since Nov. 15. Lots of lame holiday excuses for much of the layoff, but a legitimate one was my three-week January battle with a kidney stone that required two surgeries and a third time under anesthesia.
I’ve eased my way back with spin classes and strength training, a few sessions in the pool. On Thursday I tried a few 100s at my pace interval and was gassed quickly.
This morning I returned to my group ride, the same folks I’ve ridden with since 2007. I knew I was in trouble when my heart rate rose to the 160s just a few miles into the ride. I peeled off early, cutting 10 miles off the 30-mile trip, got a flat, ended up back with the group, and got dropped again.
While most of the group ran three to five miles, I struggled with two. Just brutal. I can’t remember feeling this week from an endurance standpoint ever. It can’t be just the layoff. The surgeries no doubt contributed.
Any suggestions for jump-starting the recovery? (I’m now five weeks removed from my last surgery).