cold takes a lot of energy out of you - eat some more food.
Right - lets look at it
I count 6 significant gaps in your training since the beginning of the year. mostly with very little training in between.
The only week of significant volume was thanks to a ridiculous birthday run of 4 hours - that was asking for trouble.
Recognise your baseline - 52 days, inconsistent training - total volume from 1st Jan to 21st Feb 27hours and 13 minutes. Number of days of training - 27, number of days not training 25.
Now in the last 7 days, off the back of 52 days of very low overall volume and zero consistency you pump in 12 hours of training - of course you feel like shite.
You need to step back.
repeated gaps in training - what is the underlying cause ? Have you been to the doctors ? check for Glandular Fever ?
If you are clear and healthy then your starting point is probably 4 - 5 hours a week
spread across 5 - 6 runs, 1 or 2 days off a week. no more than one hour in any one run. Do that consistently for 2 or 3 weeks. First 2 weeks just steady efforts. bring in a couple of quality sessions, then build volume.
Key word - Consistency = regular training at regular volume and regular effort - gets your body used to what you are asking of it.
The problem with good athletes is that they know how to push their body really hard and will do so even when their body is not actually in condition to deal with it.
after 2 months you are no longer in that kind of condition and need 2 months at least to build back up.
Second Key word = Gradual. Progression needs to be gradual, increases in volume and intensity need to be in small increments, coaxing your body to accept more stress. Pile in too hard and it will break.
You need to play the long game.
Very true, and I know it. What's really missing is any incentive to do so; it's rough breaking into the senior years especially after a few months of inconsistency and therefore loss of virtually all racing shape.
We'll see what happens when the days get a bit warmer, and keep steadily ticking through in the meantime.
And trust me Jon I've not stopped eating since the plane landed!
The senior team is open to newcomers - especially in the forest disciplines, so train well, aim high and see what happens :-)
I was really interested in comments from one of the younger women who raced in the international cross country at Holyrood in January. She had been out with injury for a long while, she had a pretty decent run but in her interview she said she and coach had taken a very conscious decision to take things slowly, realising that they could be achieving better results in the short term by training harder, but they would not do that, they would build slowly, aiming for a greater performance in the long term.
You can also look back at some top orienteers who have been world champion right at the beginning of M21 and then either never achieved those heights again, or taken many years to get back up there.
You've shown lots of potential and had some great results at junior level. The potential is still there but top performance at senior level is likely to require the long game.
When I saw you were off to Halden I thought it could be dangerous for you as you are so enthusiastic you'd just dive right in there and do what all these top guys are doing, even though they are maybe 10 years older and stronger.
My suggestion is that you use your time there to learn HOW these guys do it, don't just jump in blindly, step back, observe. What is their approach and attitude? how much technique do they do? when are they serious and focussed? when do they take the pressure off, relax and enjoy? When do they back off ? when do they skip sessions ?( in a big, committed club like Halden its easy to think that they all train really hard all the time, because someone always is, but I bet that all the faces are not always there.).
Decide how much is sensible for you to do - I've made a suggestion for now - stick the volume you decide. Major on doing the technique work, rather than the volume.
You are 7, 8, 9 years away from your physical peak, that's a lot of time to slowly build your strength, resilience and fitness and maximise your potential.
There is no rush.
Nice words Kitch thanks.
Not pushing it is definitely the general message I'm trying to keep in mind. But at the same time that's all I've ever done so it will take some time to register.
do what you want to baaaabyyy
Believe it of not, you are already getting old.
"good hGH (human Growth Hormone) levels are important in adults for tissue regeneration"
The way you have always treated your body is not the way you can always treat your body