Why a week?

A very talented rower, who goes by the handle boston_sculler on twitter posts some interesting stuff. Today he posted a link to an article in Runners world.

Why Masters Runners Should Try Longer Training Cycles

I read through the article and it made a lot of sense to me.  Right now I work on a 7 day cycle.  Generally with 3 hard sessions and 3 endurance sessions.  I often feel like I am inadequately recovered by the time I need to do another hard session.  The article talks about an old marathoner who adopted a 9 day cycle.

There are pros and cons.  The pro is pretty easy to define, you can fine tune the training cycle to match up with what works best for you.  The con side is a bit more subtle.  So much of how we plan our lives and communicate about our training is based on the one week unit.  Breaking out of that paradigm has the potential to be very isolating, unless others will be following a similar pattern.

I’ve spent a couple of seasons creating custom fine tuned training plans and I think that they have the potential to get me in better shape than using an existing plan unmodified.  The problem that I am having is that I am giving up an important source of motivation and support.  It is easier to get motivated to do a specific workout if you are part of a group following the same plan.  Every one gets to congratulate and cajole each other as you go along.

I know that I should be internally and intrinsically motivated by my objectives, but I think friends would help.

So, I think that’s where I am at right now.  Once my leg is fixed, I think I will look for a few training partners and we can come up with a common training plan and agree on things like cycle length, numbers and types of sessions, mesocycle purposes and the lot.  The way I’ve been working this is making me feel lonely.


Update on my knee

I saw the Orthopedist on Friday.  We reviewed the MRI together.

He pointed out the areas on the surface cartilage of the knee where there was evidence of arthritis, he also showed me an area on the meniscus cartilage that was damaged.  He said that was likely the cause of my knee clicking and locking (and hurting).

He was somewhat ambivalent about doing surgery to trim the meniscus. I asked him is the knee would get any better without it.  He thought that it would not.  I told him that I wanted his honest opinion.  I really wanted to be able to restore the full range of motion of my knee, or at least not have it lock, so that I could resume rowing.  But I didn’t want to do something that would have negative long term effects on my health just so I could keep doing this specific sport.

He said that the surgery had a low risk of complications (<1%) and that there was a better than 50% chance that it would fix the mechanical issues with the knee.  There was a 5% chance that surgery could make it worse.  I guess the other 40 to 45% chance is that it doesn’t help all that much, but doesn’t make it worse.

Since my knee worked well enough to row 10 days ago, I decided that trying to fix whatever damage is there would be the best course of action.  I will be setting up a surgery date on Monday.

Until then, I think I will stick to very low intensity stationary bike, along with core and upper body strength work.  I think I need to give the joint a rest.