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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easing into an Interval Session


Today I needed to get the endorphins flowing to end the old year on a high note, what better way than to do a strength endurance interval session (or drink some beer). I could not make it to the gym (car buried under snow). Below is the protocol I used from the Carmichael Training series of videos for the iPod:

http://www.trainright.com/


Class 3: Pedaling Power with Chris Carmichael: This workout focuses on minimizing "dead spots" in your pedal stroke, so you can deliver more of your power directly to the road or trail. $9.99
WarmUp10:00
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
Recovery03:00
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
Recovery03:00
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
Recovery03:00
Power Interval03:00
Recovery03:00
Power Interval03:00
Recovery03:00
Stomp00:08
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:10
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:12
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:16
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:18
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:16
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:12
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:10
Recovery02:00
Stomp00:08
Recovery02:00
CoolDown10:00
Total Video Time1:05:59

Below are the stats from the workout:



Legs felt like jello after the workout and heart rate refused to come down, even after a ten minute cool down.

The Challenge

The snow is here and it’s not even January, global warming they say. I am trying to stick to my training program, but it is becoming increasingly difficult as the days delve deeper into the cold and dreary months. I need to keep asking myself - why am I doing this? Why am I spending time and money in pursuit of a few tenths of a second in some obscure unpopular track event with only a cult following around the world? The answer is – I don’t know, probably ingrained stupidity.

I am approaching forty six and I'm starting to see a pattern, always looking for the next challenge, typically it has taken me about five years to exhaust my enthusiasm for each challenge. Started racing bicycles in 85 and left the sport in 91, returned to the sport in 2006 and I am at the tail end of another five year period, with enthusiasm slowly waining. I wonder what the next challenge would be, a return to cricket perhaps or flying or soccer or martial arts or how about actually making money at something worthwhile (my dad's favorite line)? I am still trying to stay focused, although the sport of track cycling is becoming time consuming, and too expensive to stay current and competitive.

Strength Training:

I am currently in the Strength Training phase of my weight lifting program. Three days per week alternating between upper body and lower body workouts and tying it all together with core exercises. This phase will last up until the end of January 2011 after which the Power Training phase will begin using Plyometrics and Powerlifting exercises.

Aerobic Training:

Concurrently I am accumulating my base miles mostly indoors , riding in Zones 1 & 2 to build up an endurance base of about 2,500 miles using pedaling cadences over 100 rpm, before entering the interval training phase in February 2011 to peak for opening day, which is at the end of April 2011.

Until then I am awaiting the next challenge.............

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New York Times - If you are fit, you can take it easy

New Year’s resolutions tend to war with wintertime malaise. Resolution urges you to work out. Malaise suggests that you linger in bed. But there’s good news for those of us torn between these impulses. A number of newly published studies offer compelling reasons to get out and exercise on the one hand, as well as new estimates of just how little we can do and still benefit on the other.

The most sobering of the recent studies, published last month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at a large group of retired elite male athletes, most now in their 50s. Some had remained physically active, although they were no longer competing. Others had taken fully to sloth, avoiding almost all exercise. When the researchers examined the health profiles of the two groups, they found, to no one’s surprise, that the sedentary ex-athletes had a much higher risk of metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, than their more active counterparts. Training hard and often in their youth had not conferred lifelong health benefits on the athletes as they aged, not if they now sat around all day..... more

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NY Times - Excercise and Masters Athletes

.....EXERCISE HAS BEEN shown to add between six and seven years to a life span (and improve the quality of life in countless ways). Any doctor who didn’t recommend exercise would be immediately suspect. But for most seniors, that prescription is likely to be something like a daily walk or Aquafit. It’s not quarter-mile timed intervals or lung-busting fartleks. There’s more than a little suffering in the difference.

Here, though, is the radical proposition that’s starting to gain currency among researchers studying masters athletes: what if intense training does something that allows the body to regenerate itself? Two recent studies involving middle-aged runners suggest that the serious mileage they were putting in, over years and years, had protected them at the chromosomal level. It appears that exercise may stimulate the production of telomerase, an enzyme that maintains and repairs the little caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep genetic information intact when cells divide. That may explain why older athletes aren’t just more cardiovascularly fit than their sedentary counterparts — they are more free of age-related illness in general.

Exactly how exercise affects older people is complicated. On one level, exercise is a flat-out insult to the body. Downhill running tears quadriceps muscles as reliably as an injection of snake venom. All kinds of free radicals and other toxins are let loose. But the damage also triggers the production of antioxidants that boost the health of the body generally. So when you see a track athlete who looks as if that last 1,500-meter race damn near killed him, you’re right. It might have made him stronger in the deal.

Exercise training helps stop muscle strength and endurance from slipping away. But it seems to also do something else, maintains Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (who also happens to be a top-ranked trail runner). Resistance exercise in particular seems to activate a muscle stem cell called a satellite cell. With the infusion of these squeaky-clean cells into the system, the mitochondria seem to rejuvenate. (The phenomenon has been called “gene shifting.”) If Tarnopolsky is right, exercise in older adults can roll back the odometer. After six months of twice weekly strength exercise training, he has shown, the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscle is “turned back” nearly 15 or 20 years......  more

1980s old school wind trainers

Wonder why these types of indoor wind trainers were discontinued? I had one of these made by Vetta parked in the basement with my Atalla road bike mounted - felt like a propeller plane taking off when pedalling fast. The idea was that the fans in the back created the resistance as you pedal and at the same time generate a cooling wind