S l o w D o w n

So, I’ve been reading “Lance Armstrong’s War” by Daniel Coyle. Great book, pretty even-handed on the whole Lance subject.

But the phenomenal part are his details of the training regimens and strategies of the ProTour riders. The #1 concern? Weight.

Which kind of meshes with one of the bugbears I’ve been wrestling with lately, and kind of cemented in my strategy for the year: Get thin. Not cyclist thin, or even triathelete thin. But to hit target weight before really cranking up the training. Or at least get down to below my thinnest from last year.

Last year, I think I made a pretty big mistake in leaping into racing. Dunno what it is, but it seems to me that there’s mechanisms in the body that go into protective mode as soon as you start really stressing the aerobic system. Which is why regular folks in marathon training can fail loose weight when mileage gets too high. Every extra pound puts extra stress on the body for every extra step, so if you’re up in the higher BMI, the effect is multiplied. Just my opinion, but what is life if not a big sandbox in which to play?

Where I’m going with this is to a strong appreciation of the idea of heart rate training, and keeping the rate way, way down to encourage fat burning (say 65-70% of max) instead of going fully aerobic to build capacity. After a week, it seems to be working – the scales have shown the beginnings of a steady decline again. Plus, in talking to my skinny wife, it’s what she did over the last year after she stopped nursing – moderate pace, at least 30 minutes a day.

So – Tuesday was another 30 minutes at lunch. Measured it in the car, and it’s not much more than 3 miles.

Wednesday was back to the pool – 5 laps breast, 30 laps free, 5 laps free – standard 2000 yard workout.

It’s kind of tough to focus on slowness after so long of going out and letting it rip, but I can feel something distinctly different going on with my body. But it’s kind of nice, and relaxing in its own way.


Am I nuts?

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5 thoughts on “S l o w D o w n”

  1. Billy-Your wife’s pattern is mine–do something for at least 30 minutes a day…don’t push too, too hard.(My reason is to avoid injury.) Also, I gained 5 pounds of winter weight, which I’ve now taken off by eating a big breakfast and lunch and small dinner–lots of vegetables, protein, and carbs mostly in the morning. I’m not hungry, and I feel good. (Lovin’ this weekend’s forecast, too!!)

  2. there is so much wisdom in this post. after the oc marathon, the coach and i rehashed my last training cycle and had determined that i went into the race tired. not tired like, “crap, i didn’t sleep well last night”, but tired in the sense that i was hammering too hard on most of my runs. slowing down for this cycle has been hard, but i’ve found renewed strength on those hard workouts. not only is going slow good for weight loss, but it’s essential for rest and recovery.

  3. i don’t think it’s nuts…

    (but this is from the non-runner who decided to run an ultra on a lark)

  4. I read that book too. It’s some small comfort to know that Jan Ullrich obsesses about his weight more than I do. :-O

    I’m doing the long & slow thing myself – 2 30 minute WALKS a day, plus weight training. The scale is beginning to budge…

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