For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Conversations with God

Years ago (when i was a teenager) i read a series of books called 'Conversations With God' by Neal Walsh.  They were quite interesting at the time and perhaps even formative for me in some ways.  For unknown reasons i thought of the books yesterday and read through a few summaries of them, reminding myself of many of the messages they contain. 

The spirituality in the book contains many ideas common in self-help literature and positivism based psychology, as well as many traditional spiritual disciplines such as buddhism.  One thought that i like -that applies well to many aspects of life including high intensity training - is that of the sponsoring thought.  Here are Neal's words:

The Sponsoring Thought – the thought behind the thought – is the controlling thought.  
If therefore, you beg and supplicate, you lower your chances of experiencing what you are choosing because the Sponsoring Thought behind every supplication is that you do not have now what you wish. 
That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality.The only Sponsoring Thought which could override this thought is the thought held in faith that God will grant whatever is asked, WITHOUT FAIL.

When training or racing if your efforts come from a supplicating desire to succeed - a hope that one can achieve a certain outcome - then your 'sponsoring thought' is that you are not now succeeding.  It is subtle but in reflecting on my own mindset as i approach both difficult intervals and difficult moments in long races i realize that when sponsoring thought is one of wanting to succeed, i often don't.  Most of the time, however, i'm able to pursue my course of action with a determination and confidence - rising to the challenge of success with a sense of certainty in the outcome.  It's not a hope that the outcome will come to be, but rather a firm belief in it.  And in my own regular "Conversations with Gov", that seems to make all the difference.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Death Row Workouts

My rowing workouts have been pretty fantastic lately as i'm managed to get the intensity nearly equivalent with what i'm able to do on the bike.  I'm currently operating on a three week schedule (one row workout each week) which is pretty much a requirement for me when i reach a certain level of effort - it is just too hard to try exceeding my previous performance each week, which is something i, for whatever reason, feel compelled to do.

Here are my current three workouts - which, at least for a few minutes near their end, have me feeling like a condemned man.

Note - i use a concept2 rower (which seems to be standard fare at many health clubs) on resistance level 5, and my metric of  choice is time/500meters. All workouts are 8 minutes long.

Workout 1:  pyramids.  30 sec warm up @ 2:15, then 3 pyramids with 30 sec each at 2:15, 2:00, 1:45, 2:00, and 2:15.  

Workout 2: progressive.  1 minute segments, starting at 2:20, decreasing time/500meters by 5 seconds each minute.  If reaching a level that feels to be a max effort before the 8 minutes are up - try to stay at that level until the end.  My last workout I started at 2:20 and spend minutes 7 and 8 at 1:50/500 meters, unable to hit 1:45 and hanging on to 1:50 for dear life.

Workout 3: double push.  2 minutes @ 2:05, 1 @ 1:45, 2 @ 2:05, 1 @ 1:45, 2 @ 2:05.  My goal is to progress until my base effort is @ 2:00 and my harder intervals are at 1:45 but i'm not really that close yet - my last workout the second interval was @ 1:50 and 2:05 felt awfully hard.  

I try to keep my stroke rate around 30 and increase my power per stroke as a way of recovering during the easier segments of these workouts.  The only way i can hit 1:45-1:50 is to put everything i have into it and increase my stroke rate to 40+ and it feels very brutal and is definitely anaerobic - i'm usually strongly focused inwardly - eyes closed to limit any/all distractions and get all i can out of my body.  i'll flit my eyes open every 3 strokes or so to make sure I'm at or under pace and count down my strokes towards the end of the interval, willing myself desperately toward it's successful completion.  Fun stuff.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I need a little help

I like to think of myself as a pretty savvy search string constructionist.  Typically I can find my way into the dusty and less travelled corridors of the web to glean whatever obscure knowledge i'm seeking - fine tuning my search queries over a couple iterations to get an answer to anything that is vexing me.

Recently though i've struck out.  Maybe the fault isn't mine though.  Maybe it is that the information i'm looking for just doesn't exist.  Maybe these hyper intense short workouts have led me to break new ground - experiencing things never before experienced.  Occum's razor though, suggests otherwise.  While i suppose it is theoretically possible that i'm boldly going where no man has gone before it is rather more likely that i'm just not all i thought i was cracked up to be, google-wise.

Alright - lets get to the point (this is where i need your help).  My stationary bike workouts are so debilitating that i feel crippled afterwords.  Immediately after finishing my last interval i usually slam the resistance down to zero, spinning for 30-45 seconds as my heart rate drops from just shy of 200 back to more sustainable levels.  I usually think i'm going to be ok, even though i should know better by now.

How it feels those first minutes...
But as soon as i get off the bike the pain sets in.  And this isn't just normal pain - this is hot aches quality pain (as i mentioned in the last post).  It is difficult to describe.  The pain cannot be redirected or eased.  there is no position i can take - sitting, prone, etc that will reduce it's intensity.  I usually resort to walking (or hobbling rather) around the basketball courts - head clouded by the immediacy of the sensation for probably as long as - or what feels like it anyway - i was on the bike to begin with (8 minutes).  And when i walk i feel like an invalid. I try to keep my legs locked straight  - but when through my uncoordinated movement one takes a bit of weight even with a slight bend at the knee i feel as though i will surely collapse involuntarily - it's as if the muscles have been shut off or something.

10 minutes later all is well - the pain is gone, strength has returned.  the next day there is never any soreness (it's an 8 minute workout after all) or negative effects.

All the info i seem to find is related to DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness, which i'm familiar with but is something very different.

So i'm asking for help.  Thoughts?  anyone else have similar experiences?