Tuesday, September 6, 2011
No more free pass!
The conclusions of my own personal fitness experiment are now in. After 2 full months of almost no consistent exercise, I have come to the conclusion that you can get one free month of fitness but not two! Let me explain.
When I retired from competition after the Buffalo Springs 70.3 in late June, I pretty much stopped training completely. I figure I have done 10-12 workouts in 2+ months. Why? Well, many reasons, but, in a nut shell, I just did not feel like it. I was tired and completely worn out from the effort I put in to trying to come back to a competitive level. The effort both mentally and physically was so hard that once it was over, I was just done!
I often have read about what level of training it would take to maintain some level of fitness. When I say "some" I mean "not mean sucking ASS!" I would often talk to John Howard about this. John believes that a lifetime of base training full on -- can help in withstanding a level of fitness that is pretty good even with cutting his hours of work from 20 to 10 or more. So in the past 2 months as I have been getting fat and soft, I have been doing my own experiment.
Post Lubbock: After 2-3 weeks of doing nothing, I went out for an epic mountain bike ride at the Bangtail Trail. Conclusion: I felt good and it was fun and not painful!-- Another week or so and I did the Beartooth Burn (a 22 mile climb TT up the Beartooth Pass). Conclusion: I did pretty good going 1:51 and placing 3rd in the 40-49 age group. And again I felt ok even though I went out too hot! The next week I did another epic mtn bike ride at Curly Lake. Conclusion: Felt good and even put in a better time than pre-heart surgery! Keep in mind, that I am doing no exercise during the weekdays -- at all!
I thought OK -- This no training thing seems to work! This is great, I will have so much more time for other things if I only have to workout once a week! Next up the Dakota five- o mtn bike race in Spearfish, SD. A couple of weeks before the race, I thought to myself, "Damn, I need to do some training for this thing" -- since it is hard as hell (7 km of climbing and very competitve). But then I thought to myself --- let's experiment a bit further. So I didn't get on my bike even once for 2+ weeks before. Instead I went to Chicago with my kids and played golf with the old man. By the way, I played much better than my club championship debacle, scoring all 3 rounds in the 70s with a low of 73 at Shoreacres. And by the by, thanks to my mom and dad for a great time and to Kevin Cox, Mike Harrigan, and Mr. Burke for some fun games.
So, last weekend was the Dakota Five-0. This event is just awesome! The course, the town, the campground, the organization, the swag--everything. For the 2nd year in a row, we rented an RV and headed to Spearfish, SD, with other friends from Billings,(this year we had the Dueys, the Galls, Steve M, Don R, Chris J, Don cole, Tina and Ed, Chris J, the Sekora's. Brian J). The vibe is great and the race is very hard! The campground in Spearfish is really great and a total cool family experience. If you want to join us next year for the event sign up early for the race, it sells out, registration starts april 1 and reserve at the campground soon since RV hookups also sell out quick. Congrats to all that finished this very hard and fun event Spearfish city campground
I don't think I should of rode some of the course the day before -- this may have skewed my experiment of no training. But I can tell you that on race day there was certainly a big jump with a lack of legs and fitness. I started in the first wave and found my HR pretty much through the roof in the first 4 miles of climbing to the single track. That was not a smart plan for sure. I managed to do ok through the first 10 miles but, now unlike the previous 8 weeks, my legs were already cooked! This is not good with 4 hrs to go. Needless to say - it was a survival the rest of the way. I began cramping in my VMO at about 3 hrs and that hurts when you have a bunch of serious climbs to go. Today it still feels like I am bruised in the inside of my quads. I ended up finishing with a 5:26 result which was 1hr 10min faster than last year( however, last year I was pretty much the walking dead).
At the finish I was totally worked but at least my experiment was over---conclusion: If you are in solid shape -- you get a one month free pass but not two!I will now find some level of consistency in exercise that I can live with, be happy with and find the balance with my family and work. So my goal for the coming year is to find that balance and work toward feeling better at next years Dakota Five-0. I would like to give breaking 5 hrs a shot. But this time without the experiment of no training.