Thursday, December 16, 2010

Up Tempo

Man, two weeks since my last post goes fast. I cannot believe how fast time is moving in the last month. Unbelievable. Living a life I never expected right now and will end far to soon. So I rejoice in the moment.

My master plan of training with more frequency was immediately derailed by two days of stomach flu and two more days of recovery. That really, really sucked. However in the last week I have put  together eight  good workouts. I am finally in the last few days starting to have two-a-days and here is what I have found. 

I am good for one solid, hard workout per day or two easy to moderate training sessions per day. When I do any training over 90 minutes at one time I am done for the day. Sometimes I am in that bonkie, sort of not there realm for the rest of the day or my legs simply have not recovered. When I do two easy to moderate workouts separated by several hours I can typical recover just fine. So in the interest of burning calories am logging longer distances to build base, I am going for two workouts a day when I can. 

As with most people, regardless of training, I am partaking in the 'sweet' benefits of the holiday season and kicking myself for it each time I get on the scale. I have drawn my line in the sand and reversing that trend today. I am not going to deny myself the enjoyment of celebratory drinks and foods while with my friends but I certainly will when I am by myself. It is not what I do the three hours I am at a party, its what I do the other 21 hours that defines my strategy for fitness. And every 24 hour period after that till the next time. 

Gotta be safe, be strong, be consistent and be vigilant. But have fun while doing, otherwise why do it. Right?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taking the (COLD) plunge

The more I read about it, the more I am convinced that I hamper my day to day recovery from endurance pursuits because of my love for my hot tub. I will easily spend 20-40 minutes every couple days soaking in a 104* hot tub, sweat pouring off my face, a good book or magazine article helping me unwind from the day. 

An unfortunate consequence of my current quest for quicker recovery is leading me to sacrifice my beloved hot tub by cutting my immersion by 50-75% a week. In fact I am going to go in the exact opposite direction and begin taking cold showers and using my pool as a cold plunge especially as a post workout recovery. 

You see it is not so much that the additional heat  from my soaks is harming my recovery as it is the lack of ice baths, cold plunges and the like that actually have verifiable restorative property's post activity. Rather than put myself in a position to have the hot tub suck more vital metabolic energy from me when I need it most, in recovery, and potentially increasing muscle fiber tear down I will be instead constricting blood flow, halting tissue breakdown and decreasing swelling. If this cyrotherapy does as it should, it would halt muscle fiber breakdown which lessens my naturally occurring Rhabdo and therefore help my blood recover and clear itself faster through my kidneys.

Not looking forward to adding cold showers to my routine. Not sure I can do it daily. I do believe that after all home based training I can cold plunge in my pool. I know this is not going to be easy. In fact for all my nuances for gear and my Shiny Things, I expect the next few months to be a very Spartan, hardcore living style.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Testing the battery

After two and half years of recovery, I realize that while I am miraculously still alive, I have limitations that I must abide by in order to maintain a balance of health and endurance. I purposely chose those words as my polar opposites as it is quite clear the more I increase my endurance workload the more stress I place on my body, specifically those formally failed internal organs. The best analogy I can provide today to describe my life is that I can still reach levels beyond mere exercise yet it takes significantly longer for my body to recover and part of that is my kidneys clearing out the Rhabdo blood. A very novice way of stating a complicated process. 

There are benefits and consequences to everything but I have decided, and have the luxury right now, of taking a significant amount of time from work. I have cleared my schedule for the next two months at least and plan to invest that time in my relationship with my family and my relationship with my body. Physically and mentally. 

My plan, despite all applicable Murphy Laws to the contrary, is to start ramping up my running, cycling and strength workouts using accelerated periodization to maintain a level of continual growth in speed and distance without pushing into exhaustion and over training. This is over course very touchy ground for me as I tend to train harder, not smarter. 

I already accept that what used to be an eight to twelve hour recovery from a moderate to intense training session is now twenty-four to thirty-six hours.  Meaning that any training in recovery has had to be active rest at most. To change this process will apply stress to me physically which I must monitor in order for me to build into two or three a day sessions once more. 

My hypothesis is that by steady, consistent, focused application of physical stress (aka being in The Zone), along with proper physical, mental and emotional recovery with little distraction, I can make significant recovery gains. I can retrain my body to recovery closer to my pre-injury form. I wish it was the same as throwing out the bad batteries and inserting new ones and if anyone can figure that out, you'll be a gozillioniare, but alas our human bodies run on rechargables and mine have just been drained to zero too many times and are slow to recharge. 

Swimming will take a part in this plan as recovery option only, for now. I don't have a pool and I can swim in the lake but it will be a mighty chilly option. Plus I will need a partner with lake swims which may not be all that inviting an offer. I am honest enough to appreciate Master's swim programs but I have no illusions of ever getting out of the slow lane and holding those people up with me there.

The next couple months will be interesting to say the least. My sole focus is family and fitness. Lets see what happens. A little work to stay sharp.

It's not enough to exist. I am going to live.