Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Time Off

The changing status of my health care forced me to undergo a minor procedure prior to the end of the month, which will cause another set-back in the program. This offers up a few interesting challenges, the primary being that Speedgoat is now less than three months away and I'll probably have no real training for the event until its two months away. Matching last year's effort could be a little tricky. So I've got about a week of nothing, followed by a week of creeping back towards X intensity. Two weeks will require a little planning.

In a week off or less you don't actually lose fitness. In fact, you gain fitness as your fast-twitch muscle fibers heal up. This is why athletes taper prior to competition. After a week you need to be careful jumping back into full blown workouts because of this because you do have the ability (with no lost fitness and a full store of fast-twitch and "emergency" muscle fiber to play with) to cause a ridiculous amount of breakdown. Once back in college (before I knew this; or the way I learned it, really) I had a week off and hit the gym. I couldn't believe how strong I felt--one of the exercises I remember doing was calf raises with a full stack and a 200 plus pound guy standing on the bar. I think I broke down every type II a and b (fast twitch) muscle fiber I had. For two weeks I could barely walk around campus and that over-exuberant workout definitely slowed my overall progress a lot more than than the time off. So the rule is that after close to a week off you should begin easing back into things and, certainly, should not be attempting records unless you're in a competition. And, btw, the reason why you don't usually finish a competition totally broken down is that a comp is only about max intensity and not volume, intensity, and progressive overload as a training session would be.

Anyways, I don't have that option. After a week I can ease back in depending on how my recovery is going. In general, it takes about as much time as you've had off to get back to where you were. My goal will be to do enough volume of stretching, yoga, and stabilizer muscle exercises that I don't lose much at all. I'm hoping for barely a blip in my overall progress.

However, a week lost is still a week lost and it's hard to make up with an event on the calendar. I'm going to be going into Speedgoat so undertrained that most experts would probably advise against it. I look at it as just another physical experiment--another way to alter the template, understand the body, and prove those wrong who dish out words like "impossible".

pic: last year's title in serious jeopardy

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