Fit Recovery

Home » 2012 » February » 10

Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

Self Evident Truth #2

#2:  Enjoy the Great Outdoors as was intended;  Happily and heavily armed.

Bow Season 2010

Yes, that's a Tommy Gun - Rifle Season 2010

Home Protection Course Multiple Targets - 2009

Now that's a group, baby

Self Evident Truths #9 & #15

#15 Morality is many things, it is not voting to take money from someone else to pay for that which you believe to be morally right.

#9:  Be true to yourself, it’s too easy to despise a liar.

Big Daddy Jim’s Self Evident Truths – Numbers 62, 78, 95 and 123

62. It is suggested that human beings exercise. It is also suggested that one wears a parachute when one jumps out of an airplane. There isn’t a whole lot of room between the two.

78. The first third of your life is spent making a mess of things. The second third consists of cleaning up that mess, and then that of your children. The final third is spent cleaning up after your parents… If you can find time for noodle salad in there somewhere, you’re doing good.

95. The early bird does get the worm. Disliking this truth won’t change the fact that you were beat out the door in the morning. So go ahead, hit that snooze button one more time.

123. Wearing that new invention that allows you to clamp your cell phone to your head will result in your being laughed at behind your back.

This is not cool. I don't care.

An Interesting New Study – With Big Implications For Simple Matters

Christos over at christostriathlon1 posted an interesting study that has to do with the pros and a few cons associated with strength training for cyclists.  Being a weekend warrior, I didn’t think it would mean much to me – until I got to this part:

“Explosive leg training

A recent study in New Zealand looked at combining HIT with explosive leg exercises, in an attempt at using specific power exercises to improve mechanical efficiency and anaerobic power (6). This study took place within the cyclists’ competitive season, with the exercise protocols replacing 20% of their normal existing road training.

The cyclists were tested for 1km and 4km power as well as peak power and oxygen cost. After five weeks of training (12 sessions lasting 30 minutes each), all the power indicators had increased, and the oxygen cost of cycling had decreased. Remember that these improvements occurred in the competitive season, when the cyclists were already well-trained and supposed to be in peak form.

Not all the improvements can be due to an increase in central aerobic power; indeed, the 1km trial is mainly anaerobic in nature so an alternative explanation must be found. It is likely that the explosive leg exercises stimulated the neural system by rapidly activating the motor units within the muscles. This may have led to a quicker rate of peak force development when cycling, resulting in greater acceleration and sprint performance”.

Now, I have to face facts here.  When it comes to training, in a lot of cases, I’m simply too old for that shit.  Or more accurately, I’ve also got a real job and a real family, a mortgage – my days for chasing athletic glory have passed.  While not an excuse, it simply means that when setting my goals, I have to take the important things into account.  That notwithstanding, as a runner I found that the long slow miles (8-9 minute miles) made simple things like letting my kids chase me around difficult.  Not so much because I was sore and therefore weakened, but because those slower miles built up my “slow twitch” muscles.  Now, it is known that natural aging changes muscle development (to an extent, and this is highly technical – type IIB showed a decrease in studies on sprinters with a definite increase in sprint times with age).

When we train to the slow long miles, one would assume, we would build the slow twitch fibers and the fast twitch would decline or atrophy:  “Conversely, if you train for high rep muscular endurance, the fast-twitch fibers will atrophy while the slow-twitch fibers hypertrophy, causing a greater area of slow-twitch fibers.”

To break this down into simple terms, because I only trained for long slow miles, when it came time to move fast – say my kids were chasing me around the back yard, I would tire quickly and become short of breath – they’d eventually run me down.  It used to drive me nuts too, my seven-year old daughter chasing me down…I ran ten miles on Saturday’s for crying out loud!  Well, that’s why.  With the addition of cycling and adding intensive intervals my muscle make-up slowly began to change.  Were I to add some serious high intensity training the difference would be even more profound.  There is no doubt that I’m a lot faster now which is why I was able to beat my Crim 10 mile time the other day on a run that was longer than I’d run in quite some time (in fact, the Crim in August was the last time I’d even run 10 miles).

I realized that something was up because it’s so hard to get moving – it used to feel like I had to build up a head of steam to really get moving, a lot like a boat trying to get its plane.  Training faster and in interval bursts has made a big difference but I’ll have to evaluate a few things and maybe add a couple of items to my daily push ups.

UPDATE:  Holy Moses, I was just reading through this and realized that I may need to add a disclaimer here to protect myself from a very probable but very stupid law suit:

WARNING:  HIT and/or explosive leg training exercises have nothing to do with actual explosives.  If you are dumb enough to strap on a couple of bricks of fire crackers on your legs  and light the fuses to get fit, you are very stupid…or far too committed.