Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Curves Are Moving In The Right Direction

Getting back in shape is a difficult thing to do. I wish I had never let myself go. I was just looking back at some of the workouts I was doing 3 years ago and find it hard to believe I will never be there again. I have to keep reminding myself that it happens one interval, one workout, one training block at a time. It took me a long time to get to the shape I’m in now it will take me a while to get back to the shape I used to be in then. The benefit I have is that I know how to get there and what it feels like once you’re there. Looking at my performance curve over the last six weeks helps me stay motivated.

Just before my major personal catastrophe, I was doing most of my bicycle training indoors on the trainer. For the time spent, there is no better way to get the work done. I look back on some of my bike workouts done in 2009 on the road and see some the efforts put in. I would do 2200 kj rides in 4 and a half hours. I would follow that up with a track/tempo half marathon the next day. Today, I’m getting 900-1000kj rides done in 1:30 on the trainer. I’m thinking if I can build my fitness to be able to do 4 of these a week I’m well on my way. Then maybe I can throw in some hard runs following these once I adapt.

I came across this video of how Andy Potts describes his training. I’m like Andy. I don’t mind putting in painful time on the trainer. It must be a swimmer thing. I don’t think everybody can train like this. It’s not a pleasant social thing.

I’m to the point now that instead of taking the entire day off to recover between workouts, I’m doing light workouts. It’s just another step forward. To facilitate further recovery I’m taking branched chain amino acids which contain glutamine. I feel this helps. I think many people get caught up in how much work you do and forget about the most important component... recovery. That’s where the adaptations take place.

The belly fat has been difficult to get rid of despite increased activity. I want to lose the pudge. I have started taking conjugated linoleic acid. There is some evidence that this can help in the trimming process. I have lost 13 pounds since I started this comeback endeavor so I’m also sure there is a bit of reorganization going on in my body composition as well.

Below are my latest performance curves for cycling and running. I have built some nice training models with almost perfect test/training correlations. Again, the red line is the negative effect of training, blue positive and green is projected performance improvements. I use this as a guide but I listen to what my body is telling me. My job often has me working 24 hours straight so that variable needs to be factored in. If I can’t do the workout like I’m supposed to. I either rest or take the day easy no matter what the computer tells me. I don’t have a pre-programed workout or coach so the pressure to get prescribed workouts in is absent. I just try to tweak the each weeks hard workouts to get just a little bit more progressively. I haven’t swam in three weeks but I’m going to crank that up once I get the cycling and running up to speed.

Above is my run and below is my cycling curve

I’m headed out to Palm Springs, CA to hang with the kids and my family next week. I should get in some good workouts done out there plus some good family time.