Thursday, May 18, 2006

Getting Slow

This morning I'm sore, tired, and starting to 'get slow'. Getting slow is a term a friend and I used to use to denote the early stage of a training process when your body is in breakdown, particularly your fast-twitch fibers, and you are litterally slower than you were before. It's hard to get out of bed, hard to walk around, and even harder to do anything quickly.

I often get mail from people complaining about their exercise program making them hungry, weak, tired, or leading to unwanted weight gain in the early stages. They are upset because the program promised to do just the opposite. But that's how exercise works. Your body breaks down in order to re-build. It's a process, part of which is a negative effect that leads to a positive. So before you get fast, you get slow. Before you get strong, you get weak. And so on.

So I've been very busy this year. Exercising, but with no plans or focus--just trying not to atrophy. This week I, completely serendipitously, rode my bike hard the last three days. Last night I woke up a bunch during the night and this morning I'm sore, and slow. I'm about to go back on the road. It's a working trip but my bikes are coming, so I'll try and stay on it and work through this point. Because it gets better, and rather quickly too. But if you don't stay with a program you could wind up in a perpetual state of breakdown, never realizing any more. This is why exercise programs are called 'programs;' you've got to see them to their end if you want to find out what they will do for you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lactic acid as a fuel source?

Some interesting research out of Berkeley:

Lactic acid as fuel?

From what I can tell, so far, this doesn't change much in the world of training too much. You still need to train in the aerobic realm to enable oxygen transport and in the glycolytic pathways for anaerobic endurance, which will come down to your Kreb's Cycle efficiency. It's just that now, perhaps, we've got different terminology for what is actually happening in the body. But perhaps this understanding will somehow revolutionize training once it's fully understood. Anyway, it's always great when new research--especially stuff that breaks the mold of what we 'know'--comes out.

What could be more fascinating? Truly. Don't you just love science?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Crazy Advertising

This morning, my friend Isabelle sent me that latest on Xenical being approved for over the counter. Check this out:

GlaxoSmithKline has received conditional approval from the FDA to sell the weight-loss drug Xenical over-the-counter. It would be sold under the brand name Alli.

The pill blocks fat from being absorbed by the body. If it wins final approval, it will be the only FDA-approved weight-loss drug available without a prescription.

Sounds all well and good, huh? But wait, there's more!

However, the drug can cause excess gas and oily discharge, and can lead to hepatitis, gallstones and kidney stones. Recent studies have also linked the drug to precancerous colon lesions and a heightened risk of breast cancer, prompting consumer groups such as Public Citizen to petition the FDA to reject GlaxoSmithKline's request for over-the-counter sales and pull Xenical from the U.S. market.

How does something like this even get on to the legalization radar of the FDA? These guys must have some seriously talented lobbyists, is all that comes to mind.

So now you have a choice. Eat better, exercise, lose weight and feel better, or take a pill, lose weight, and get sick and go to the hospital. Who would take this stuff?

I guess a lot of people.

I'm confused, almost daily, by all of the drug company ads for stuff that's supposed to fix and ailment (many brought on by unhealthy living habits) that end with a long running list of possible side effects. And these aren't along the lines of "may cause drowsiness" but often put you at risk for something far more dangerous than what you are suffering from in the first place. I mean, sheesh, looking pudgy at the beach may be bad for my self image but it sure beats a case of hepatitis, which people die from every year.

Are we ever going to wake up?