Another game of soccer last night, and happily another victory, and another clean sheet. Alas, I've still not broken my duck for the season - don't have my shooting boots on yet. I was surprised by my performance though as I more or less kept up with the play despite my only having started training last week after 4-5 weeks out with an ankle injury. Admittedly, it was a slower paced game and I didn't go "box-to-box" as much.
I think it comes down to the fact that I've always been fit. I'm not sure if it's natural, or if it's a result of me always running around as a kid. Of course, the key thing to realise here is that fitness is not the same as stamina. I'm fit in the fact that after I'm tired due to a workout/run/game/whatever it doesn't take me long to recover. What has happened to me because of my injury is that my stamina has plummeted meaning I tire more quickly.
I once heard from someone that you lose stamina three times as fast as you gain it - if you rest for one week, you lose all your hard work in the previous three. Quite how true this is I'm not sure - it may only refer to elite athletes who need to be in top top shape all the time. I got to a similar stage (though elite status was still a distant speck on the horizon) where I was training with the runing club at university. We used to do simple, easy runs on a Monday and sort out club stuff afterwards. Tuesday was interval training which is one of the nastiest, most horrible things ever invented, and then Thursday was a long run. Competitions were held on weekends. About half way through the term/semester I got to the stage where if I missed the Thursday run due to other commitments, come Monday I was distinctly slower and lethargic.
Missing Tuesdays was not really an option because it was a gradual increment in difficulty. It started off not so bad - we were running in partners at a speed, not quite full out, but too much to talk. We started at running 3 laps of 1.25km with 2 mins rest inbetween. The next week it was 4 laps, then 4 laps at 1.5k, then 5 laps, then 5 laps with 90s rest, then 6 laps until at the end we were doing 6 laps of 1.5k with 60s in between each one. It was def. the best and hardest training I have ever done, but I find it almost impossible to motivate myself to recreate it on my own. I need someone to run with, so you don't take it easy and someone to ensure I don't spend too long resting.