Exercise

2nd Place Overall

Endurance Insights

One of the overarching reflections I have of racing Ultraman Canada 2019 can be summarised as, “Where did that performance output come from?!” In one regard, I wouldn’t have extrapolated my prior data and experience to predict the achieved results. On the other hand, there are clues to be found in the methodology and mindset. I entered the event believing in the possibility of achieving excellence. This is fundamental because without a positive mental attitude a low ceiling is already cemented into place. Removing perceived boundaries provides room for potential to express itself in extraordinary ways. Keep in mind, however,

Read More »

Alignment

“Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.”~William James In October 2012 I suffered a pylon fracture of my right ankle, an injury that two surgeons said was the end of impact sports for me. Fortunately, in the dark and painful moments in the ER, my best friend was there to help turn on the light switch. A mantra began to sprout, Always Believe. Before surgery, I spoke with the surgeon and

Read More »

Messy

You’ve probably heard it before.Perhaps, like me, you’ve resisted the message.Even so, it’s true;equally as much for athletics as for recovery. “Progress is not linear.” The look of joy as health returns. AthleticsThis year has been far less about my physical fitness progression and much more about spiritual and mental development. This was not by design. For the first time, I’ve struggled with a physical injury and blood markers that have hampered my training. Fortunately, I’ve also been living much closer to nature thereby supporting inquiry. I’ve spent a lot of time getting clear about my ikigai (reason for being)

Read More »

Dark Night

I’ve made it through another dark night. While I can’t say for certain that it’s over, it does feel like I’ve stepped through a door. And on this side of the threshold, I can see two things that have helped me reach this point. Consistent, healthy routinesDuring this difficult time, I’ve relied on practices that support my wellbeing. Over time I’ve learned that there are six keystones to my health: sleep, good nutrition, community (support and connection**), time in nature, regular exercise, and daily meditation. I’m constantly tuning each of these but they have all proven to be essential. Thanks

Read More »

Injury

It’s taken me four days to acknowledge my situation enough to write about it. Injury isn’t easy for anyone to accept. As an athlete in preparation for scheduled races, being side-lined in any way causes frustration on at least two levels. I want to exercise because it’s a big part of my physical and mental health. Also, I’m not moving forward as planned or as desired. Put another way, I’m not meeting my expectations. Anyone who has done relationship work may recognise the keyword—expectations—as a major hindrance to conversation and connection. It is equally destructive in athletics. First, what did

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »

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

Read More »