Fitness

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 »

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 »
Cabin in the Woods

Workload

In athletics, there’s a term called Heart Rate Drift. It indicates our body’s response to work over time. In everyday life we might call this running out of steam. In either case, the effect may not be initially obvious. In the graph you can see how my heart rate increased over the course of 5 high-intensity intervals (no.’s 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10). Notice that my run pace increased during the first three intervals as I ramped up the effort. (I held back a bit on the first couple because I didn’t want to flash burn and have nothing

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 »
Skog

Chop Wood, Carry Water

If you’re seeking balance in your life, I submit that developing and nurturing consistent, healthy practices will provide what you’re looking for. Often advocated as an optimal state, perpetual balance can become stagnant. Far more important is steadiness; durability that bestows a degree of internal calm, or stability in the midst of disorder, noise, turmoil, chaos and stress. Through consistency, we promote dependability, firmness, and perseverance that provide the ability to act clearly, perhaps even with wisdom, and to do so from the perspective of personal care and wellbeing. The human body does not seek balance; instead, it pursues homeostasis—the

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 »
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 »
Always Becoming

Always Becoming

That’s a wrap for this maintenance week (a lower volume week that followed a build cycle). There were still some very solid workouts in the disciplines–swim bike run, but with enough room for the body and mind to recharge ang repair for the next cycle. Five weeks to IM Los Cabos where I’ll give ‘er all to qualify for Ironman World Championship, Kona 2018. I’m in the best health and fitness of my 51 years–mind, body & spirit. What’s more, I’m happy. Sure, there are aspects of my life that aren’t exactly as I want them to be, but I’m

Read More »
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

Read More »
Process

Unfolding

Ten trail runners were recently asked about the best advice they’d been given. What I find interesting is the common thread among their answers–to allow for process. Progression, unfolding, development, growth. These are characteristics of movement. Even rest–a type of stillness–is part of shifting that happens within the whole. An underlying message in each of the quotes below is integrity. We need downtime in which to allow energy to strengthen our mind and body. Creating space in my life for rest and reflection allows me to move more fluidly and with more intention and energy in the rest of my

Read More »
Inner Fire

The Inner Fire

My entire life has been about connecting to, or perhaps the search for, the inner fire. What drives me? What sustains me? What keeps me going? Since early childhood I’ve felt drawn to superheroes. Spiderman was my favourite. I also identified with the Hulk’s internal rage, although I’ve never achieved the raw strength he embodied–maybe that’s a good thing. Included in the metaphor was most definitely a desire for escape from my environment. (Notice the transformation theme in both of these heroes.) But there was also the yearning to connect with my internal strength, energy, awareness, clarity, balance and wisdom.

Read More »
Close Menu