Training, Racing & LCHF Fueling For Skating And Endurance Sports
There is something about winter training that I just absolutely love. Perhaps it is the slow, relaxing, methodological pace at which all of my workouts are being conducted at this time; perhaps it is the cooler temperature that keeps you fresh and comfortable as you ponder the multitude of different thoughts that flitter in and out of the mind, or perhaps it just is the satisfaction you find in doing something in solitude… whatever it is, it ticks a particular and peculiar box for me.
Regular readers will be not be surprised to read that lofty fitness goals and crazy endurance events have not been my #1 priority in the last 12 months, as the lack of racing and training has shown. However, thing usually come full circle; the stuff that has most captured my attention in recent times is gradually finding a more sustainable place in the pecking order, and so the other things that I love but can’t always fit in are slowly coming back to the fore. I suspect that I have even found ways to combine old and new interests… perhaps more on that in another post, but for now I want to get down to a bit of nitty gritty and talk about..
Boy, I almost forgot what it was like to run slowly. You know.. where have to actually force yourself to slow down so much that it feels weirdly unnatural and a more than a little uncomfortable. Yet, that is what I have been forcing myself to adhere to since I recently strapped a heart rate monitor on for the first time in months. At this stage I’m not even interested in recording pace, and only slightly interested in recording time. For the most part, I just go out, run for a while and do my best to keep at or below my aerobic limit, which, for better or worse, for now I’m calling out at..
…140bpm, or about 70% of max heart rate.. whatever zonal system you care to use, that’s very easy going. I’m sure some people hit that just checking their post in the morning! Nonetheless, I’m committed to respecting this threshold because I am all-in for the long term, as cliched as it sounds. Maybe it’s just because I’m an old fart now, but I find that in all aspects of life, I’m less and less concerned with instant gratification, and everything I do is with a view to the long term.
I do have plans for some races next year, but I’m far less a slave to the training log and volume goals than perhaps I was in 2014-2015. Don’t get me wrong, volume is and always will be a key factor if you want to keep improving and getting better (see here for irrefutable proof). But far more of my training this year is going to be ultra-relaxed, steady, sustainable miles that I can fit around work and life, because ultimately we all have to find a balance between training and the other things we do that we (and our spouses) can live with.
I don’t plan to do much skating over winter, because – let’s face it – skating when the roads are slippery & twiggy is just not much fun or productive, and mentally not that rewarding, so I’ll save my powder for better times. And yes, I’m pretty sure that I’ll have to rename this blog soon, because the lack of skating related content has not been lost on me. Instead, I’ve been looking at…
Yes, for a couple of months now, I have incorporated a regular weekly yoga class into my routine. The first class I ever did I thought would definitely be the end of me. I sweated more buckets than in my last ultra-marathon.. and this was just standard vinyasa, not any of those hot-yoga varieties. I completely admit that it’s totally not an alpha-male type of activity, but I have to say that as someone who previously had trouble reaching my toes, the improvement in flexibility and mobility that I felt after just a couple of weeks was amazing.. and I know I still have a lot of improvement to make! As athletes we are usually limited by our weakest link, and I now old and ugly enough to know that flexibility and range of motion has certainly been part of my own performance limiters.
So until next time, Namaste amigos… and remember that PRs Are Made In Winter. 🙂