Exercise

Recovery

Nature for Recovery

A walk in the woods is an excellent way to support recovery from a myriad of life events. Recently, I strolled through the woods after finishing a long run and three days of back-to-back larger training volume. Fresh air, sunshine, forest terpenes, nature’s quietness mixed with soothing sounds of wind in the trees and bird song, and a distinctly grounding energy are very supportive. One of the reasons the best athletes in the world can absorb a lot of training is that they rest between sessions like the best in the world. Not everybody has that opportunity. We devote time

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Z1 Training

Slow Cook It

When you crank the thermostat the room heats quickly. On an already warm day, it takes quite a while for the temperature to reach liveable levels again. The human body works in a similar fashion. With intense exercise, the system throws fast burning fuels into the furnace to meet and maintain required energy levels. In then takes time to recover and replace the resources consumed. In other words, once you burn your britches you have to stitch a new pair, walking around exposed in the meantime. The smarter move is to nudge the thermostat, letting the tissues and processes heat

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Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway

Settled

<< Settled >>That was the feeling after my recent 8 hour, 52km jog while crewing for an Ultraman World Championship athlete. The sense arose immediately after crossing the finish line. Maybe it was endorphin saturation, or mental fatigue from extended focus on another person. Or perhaps it was the completion of a journey that I’ve deliberated with mixture of curiosity and fear for a long time—travelling by foot from the north end of the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway to the old Kailua airport. It’s said that life is not sprint, it’s a marathon.I’m seeing it now as an ultra. Always check

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Training Intensities

Smart Training

Most of your training should be Low Intensity Training (LIT); 90-100% in fact! The remaining amount ought be High Intensity Training (HIT). All work over the moderate intensity zone is decreasingly economical because the rate of oxygen consumption versus power output is disproportionally high (compared with low intensity). A small amount of severe intensity training is beneficial for stimulating neuromuscular pathways, some improvements in cardiac response, as well as to strengthen connective tissue (assuming type and amount of load is appropriate for the individual). The reason we stay out of the middle is that “heavy” training creates a high burden for

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Simplicity

A Simple Life

I’m learning that the simpler my life is the happier I am. Yet, there is renitent energy. Even while acknowledging my happiness-simplicity experience, there’s something inside me that is resistant to living increasingly simply. What is that element? I can hear the addictive patterns scream out in fear of answering the question. Fear/Addiction: Don’t look closer, don’t inquire. And, God forbid, don’t even think about asking the question about what it means to live a simple life? Me: Why not? Fear/Addiction: Because you might have to give up something? Me: Um, well, isn’t that kind of the point? (In order

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Consistency

Consistency

That hurt. …And I loved it! After two months of fluctuation it’s time to dig in again and get some solid, steady training done. Today, I FINALLY got back on a trainer! It’s been fabulous to live in a splendorous (new) location, journey to two races, build new friendships, and revisit an intriguing city. But between unstable weather, a few body tissue issues, recovery time, and travel days I’ve become increasingly uneasy with the lack of consistency. For the next two months I’ll be in one location, and hopefully with limited distractions. Some will consider me a nutcase for saying

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Stress + Rest

Jedi Force, Jedi Rest

Perhaps the placebo effect so often talked about is actually psychosomatic medicine. A research article entitled Chronic Psychological Stress Impairs Recovery of Muscular Function and Somatic Sensations points to this. There are physiological *AND* psychological costs to training. Stress is a disruption from the homeostatic state, regardless of the type of stimulus. We break ourselves down with the plan, and goal, of building ourselves back up––stronger than before. However, I often see athletes and coaches emphasise the first part of the improvement equation: Stress + Rest = Progress Rest is where ALL the adaptations, the advancements, occur. Without recovery progress

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Sleep

Recovery

Why are some athletes OK with training 7 days/week (1 day being just movement, without any actual physical stress) and others, like me, need a day off? In a Science of Ultra podcast with Dr. Shawn Bearden, Dr. Shona Halson, Senior Recovery Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport, clued me in. …It depends on one’s own psychological landscape. There are athletes who have trouble taking a day off. They feel stressed if not engaged. Then there are those, like me, whose mind is quietened and strengthened by regularly turning off sport specific focus. I found through experience that just

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Yes

Yes!

Yes! Today was my official return to structured training after some time off. It feels Grrrreeeeeat! I’m a big believer in the importance of taking time away from one’s primary sport (or career) to allow for regeneration of physical tissues, to provide time for the mind to absorb all that has happened, and to grant the spirit space to charge our batteries. Room is required in order for growth to occur, and when that gap is mindfully provided it fosters cultivation of positive change. Development doesn’t always happen exactly as–or when–desired, but we can arrange our environment in a way

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Heat

It’s been a week since IM Los Cabos. My inclination is still to avoid sun and heat which tells me a lot about how stressed my internal systems were by racing in 30-36 Celsius air temperature, very intense sun, and radiating heat off the asphalt. I felt that I did everything possible on the bike, nonetheless, my heart rate was abnormally high as the body attempted to cool itself. Let’s take a closer look at this. The body attempts to rid itself of excess heat by increasing blood flow to the skin. In order to facilitate this process, the heart

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Enjoy Yourself

Content & Motion

My swim today brought something interesting, and a bit new. I’ve been struggling these last few days with listlessness in the body. So, slipping into the lake, caressed by a wetsuit, I wasn’t sure how long the session would last. On schedule was a 3500 metre steady distance build, but the system would dictate whether it would be a 15 minute splash, or a longer cruise. For me, relaxation while swimming usually only lasts for the first 50-100 metres. It’s not that I get uptight about being in the water; quite the contrary, I’m comfortable in that environment (equally as

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Flow vs Resistance

Resistance

The hardest part of working out is overcoming resistance–more so in the mind than the body. Even when the body is protesting for legitimate reasons, I still find that it’s in the mind that most of the combat is waged. Sometimes–actually, fairly often–in the morning there’s reluctance to doing yoga. My approach is to key into the fact that I know I’ll feel better in body, mind, and spirit afterwards. That’s not always enough of an impetus to get me on the mat, so I invite myself to just sit down, start breathing, and begin simple seated movements. I know

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Data & Spirit

Data & Spirit

During the last three months of spring training I’ve focused on building resiliency and durability in body and mind, while maintaining balance in spirit. I’ll discuss some data first, then dive into spirit. Data 96% of my workout time has been in zone 1 & zone 2. 4% of the workload was in intensity zones. * NOTE: This will actually be more like 2% when I eventually increase the total duration of Aerobic Capacity/Basic Endurance work. In other words, total volume does not directly correlate to a definitive percentage of intensity volume. We all know this from daily life: you

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Sunrise

Today’s workouts followed yesterday’s Sacred Rest Day. Time for spirit is a regular part of everything I do because it instills energy into mind and body. Simply, it allows me to get more out of the easy, endurance, and intensity work with the body, while maintaining a strong mind in order to support the consistent work. Being at peace and connected to spirit helps me explore aspects of mind and body that would otherwise go unnoticed or undiscovered. Today: * Run: endurance + intensity. * Strength conditioning. * Bike: endurance watts on the flats & climbing. Yesterday: * A sunrise

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