Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New job - new commute - new opportunities - new challenges

Life is interesting.

I started a new job back in August ... three days after Pikes Peak and two days before I turned 40.

It is a contract job and I am back doing straight web development in the C#, ASP.NET, CSS, HTML, JavaScript world. At my previous job I was a design architect focused on the usability of the website(s) we ran. I think I was burned out as a developer and the break from it has proven outstanding. I am renewed. I am doing things with technology for which I previously had mental roadblocks.

The mileage in my commute tripled with my new job. It has been an adjustment to say the least. My training is different. My routine is different. Change can be good.

The rowing team is geling nicely. It's a fun group. Rowing is right down my alley as far as discipline and endurance.

The new challenge is to maintain the fitness I have earned over the past three years. So far, so good.

Get out and change something. A little fear and unknown is stimulating.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's official. Rowing is a workout.

So we are still VERY remedial crew members but I can already tell that this sport is a heck of a workout. It's both mentally and physically a challenge. It reminds me a lot of swimming. Not from the physical part. It's the mental part that makes me work extra hard. Even bits of the terminology are similar. There is a catch in rowing just like in swimming. Last night was our second night on the water and it was much better than the first night.

Speaking of swimming, I had a really good swim (for me) on Monday morning. I managed to eek out 1.85 miles in 56 minutes. Last year, that same distance took me about 1:08 in the same pool.

Last week was a very strong week of training. I had more time on the bike than I have had all year. It is hilarious to think that I might be faster in the shorter distances than ever before. It goes to show how unique and specific it is to train for 112+ miles on the bike versus a normal 25 - 30 miler.

Bartlett Lake Olympic is a little over two weeks away. I did this race in 2011. It was my first Olympic distance race. I have still only done one other Olympic (Marquee - 2hr. 36m). Bartlett is a whale of a course with 12 of the 24 miles on the bike being well over 6% grade and over 2 miles of the run being over 8% uphill.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A valuable lesson in exercise: The Brick Workout

I have learned so many things in my life that I get stoked when I think of how little I know. There's so much more to be had.

One thing that I have found valuable in my training is the concept of brick workouts. I had flirted with this concept before ... way back in 2007 when I took my first ever spin class. I began going from spin and immediately going into a core class. I didn't think anything about how much benefit that was to my fitness and endurance.

A brick workout refers to the stacking of two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal to no interruption in between. As you switch modes of exercise, your body needs to effectively and efficiently prepare for the next demand while recovering from the previous exercise demand. Your heart rate increases significantly as your body tries to shift the blood flow from the muscles of the first exercise to the demands of the muscles of the next. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event.

source: http://breakingmuscle.com

In the above article, they go on to talk more about traithlon / multi-sport.

I don't think brick workouts are just for multi-sport athletes. Brick workouts will benefit anyone!

I have done some very strange brick combinations over the past few years. I have simulated full triathlons as part of a single workout (which most people think is overkill). Nowadays, I rarely do a workout with a single focus - unless it is a long run. Even after a long bike or swim, I like to walk or run.

My favorite combo workouts are:

Spin / Yoga
Spin / Run
Run / Swim (that one is tough)
Swim / Run (also tough)
Weights / Run
Run / Weights
Weights / Swim (can be a burner)

I cannot recommend the Yoga / Run brick. I really did a number on my achilles (both) upon doing a run immediately following Yoga.

So whatever sport / exercise you are into - consider combining it with another discipline.