Your Garmin Fenix 3 has a good story to tell. It’s called “The Bigger Picture”.

Garmin-Weekly-No-17

Getting your training schedule derailed for a lengthy period is any OCD athlete’s worst fear. Brought down by 14 days of flu myself, I was grasping at straws to reassure myself I am not losing all my fitness. My Fenix 3 training logs had their own story to tell, and I was forced to look at a different, bigger picture. But how do you find this picture in your training logs?

As a “low volume” athlete, I know I can tackle most races, even Ironman, with 40 hours training per month. With flu setting in, I had 2 weeks of less that 90 minutes training per week. OCD set in and I had to take a look at what price I might pay for this.

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Garmin Connect told me my previous 12 month’s training hours were 476. Divided by 12, I got to 40 hours per month. Courtesy of those hours I graced my mantelpiece with 2 Ironman 70.3 trophies and an SA XTerra and ITU triathlon age group title, amongst others. So, 40 hours were deemed a working recipe for this wannabe, but with 14 days of almost no training, my hours have dropped to 27 for the last 30 days. A 30% drop in this month’s hours. Imagine the fear and anxiety. How unfit did I get?

Sports scientists say that within 7-14 days of no training, aerobic fitness starts to drop. Take note, “starts” to drop. Another variable is your base fitness. The longer, the better. Could a 14 day layoff be very negative, or just a blip on the radar?

This was the big picture: I had a year with 40 hours average training per month, and now one 1 month of 27 hours thrown into the mix. That forms a solid base, with one slight dip. The emotional factor was the flu. Feeling like a train ran you over, makes you feel all fitness is gone. With a formula that is a story for another day, a dip of 2,5% fitness is the utmost worst case scenario with the 13 hours I have lost. In terms of resting, it could even have benefited me. All that is necessary, is to steadily get back to my regular hours.

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So, if your training gets derailed, look at the big picture. Draw your conclusions in terms of a sensible time period. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither does it get broken down in a day. The human body is awesome, and tools like the Garmin Fenix 3 help with understanding and managing it. Use it to your advantage.