training for wagner

On Monday I decided that I needed to begin treating my preparation for this summer’s Ring Cycle as I would any other endurance event.  Each practice session would have a specific goal and I would begin and end with stretching.  Each day I would do my “drills”.  My final goal is to be able to sit through rehearsals and play performances without hurting (and, of course, hitting the correct notes).   Wagner stands out for me because even thought I love it, it’s really strenuous and lasts a long time.  Hmmm… sounds like a triathlon.
Let’s compare:  Timings for the operas are approximately  2:35, 4:30, 4:50, 5:15 =  just over 17 hours total.  My ironman took me 14:20- less than the Ring Cycle but my race was all in one day with no breaks and the operas will be on separate days with intermissions.  I can get through both races and operas, but not without proper training.  My first off-season from the opera I joined Team in Training and barely touched my violin for several months.  I had never in my life put my violin down for such a long time and when I picked it up again and dove back into 7 hour-a-day rehearsals, I paid for it.  Everything hurt and my technique had suffered.  I should have known better; I would never decide, after sitting on the couch for 6 months, to go do a half ironman!

I’ve taken the past several days off from outdoor workouts, as I sort through the latest back pain.  Foam roll-outs help relieve the discomfort and my acupuncture appointment this week really helped.  I continue to explore different bodywork options and as I play my violin, I’m being really conscious of position and posture.  I take frequent “shake-out” breaks and dance around my tiny practice room  to loosen up (a challenge, as it’s currently my laundry drying room also!).   Good times….


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