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Daily Archives: January 8, 2013

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Exercise Doesn’t Hurt As Much As NOT Exercising – Case In Point…

I write often about cycling after I run to feel better, so here’s a perfect addendum to this post and a great case in point:

I went for just under a six mile run in the snow on Sunday, averaging about 9-1/2 minute miles – slow by normal standards, but I just couldn’t go much faster in the slippy conditions.  Now, when I run in the snow I have a tendency to “dig in” to the snow with my big toe for balance – not wise, of course – you’re supposed to run on the outside of your feet.  By the time I was done, the tendons in my plantar fascia were screaming.  My calves were tight, as were my hamstrings…  Yesterday, still sore, I rode a nice active recovery ride – 20 minutes at about 24 miles per hour.  Trainer to ground, that translates to about 17 mph, maybe a little more.  Starting out I was feeling rough.  My legs hurt, my hammies were barking and my feet were tight.  By the time I was ten minutes in I had loosened up nicely and felt like I could go for hours.  After getting home yesterday evening I’d tightened up a little bit but I still felt a lot better than I did before I rode.

Today, feeling better but still a little sore (not stiff anymore) I rode my normal half hour at about 30 mph (I’m on the low side there) and within five minutes, almost as soon as I broke a sweat, I felt right as rain…  Back to my old loose self again.

Of course, had the weather been nicer I’d have gone out for a ride on Sunday afternoon and been fine…  But then I’d only have been able to squeeze one post out of the day – this way, I milked it for three.  😉

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How Stuff Works…

I just heard a commercial for an online legal document website.  Here’s the line:

[The Commercial Announcer is “busting myths” associated with “needing to incorporate”]

Myth:  Incorporating is complicated and I’ll need a lawyer

Announcer:  It isn’t complicated and you won’t need a lawyer with [buffmya$$] dot com, and [buffmya$$] dot com doesn’t give legal advice.

Ok, that’s enough.  So, the website doesn’t give legal advice?  What is “you won’t need a lawyer”?

Legal advice.  I almost laughed out loud when I heard the commercial.

How that works in court when you screw up trying to incorporate with their website:  Well we said we don’t give legal advice and “you don’t need a lawyer” is legal advice.  You’re pooched..

That’s today’s example of How Stuff Works.

Exercise Doesn’t Hurt As Much As NOT Exercising Does…

I used to believe in the idea that exercising was painful and to an extent it is, but there’s more to it than that.  There is muscle soreness from a good hard workout sure, there are injuries that can occur from pushing too far or fast, too soon, of that, there’s no doubt (or ‘doot’ if you read my last post).  I’ve been through muscle pulls, tight hamstrings, cramps, plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles, but none of that compares to the pain associated with taking a few weeks off from my normal exercise.

I really don’t know what the science is behind it, I just know that I hurt less if I exercise wisely and regularly – and all of the fellas I hang with go through the same thing when they take too much time off.  In fact, when I look at this phenomenon objectively, I can’t believe that I used to live in that much pain (though all I need to do is take a couple of weeks off to remember).  The purpose of this post is not to get into some big, long, drawn-out scientific escapade into the science of exercise – it’s to pass on my experience to fitness noobs, who one week into resolution season, are feeling it right now.

It doesn’t always hurt like that.

First of all, I used to live with chronic back pain – a lot of it.  I would have flare-ups a couple of times a week where my back hurt so much that it was hard to concentrate.  Then I started running and before long the flare-ups were down to once a week, then every other week.  Today, with a daily exercise regimen of cycling and running those occurrences are down to once a month or more.  In fact, more often than not, back pain today is an indication that I need my hips cracked back into place by my Godsend of a doctor.  I still go through DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) when I push a long run out (and that is always remedied with a nice easy bike ride) but I don’t have the nagging back pain anymore.

More importantly, here’s how the pain phases work – at least as I’ve experienced them.

1.  Initial muscle soreness from getting moving for the first time in [insert number of years here].  There’s no way around this – it hurts for a few weeks while you get used to moving again.  LiveStrong has a few recommendations on how to deal with that here.  For me, I pushed through this pain – the main thing to remember is “This Too Shall Pass”.

2.  After the initial soreness or pain phase you will begin to “get used” to working out.  Your muscles will adapt to the exercise and you’ll feel much better unless you’re going for a new personal best every time you exercise…  In that case, fear not – you’ll burn out soon enough (or injure yourself) and you’ll have more rest than you’ll want.

3.  DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).  I’m an avid cyclist and a runner.  Cycling isn’t supposed to hurt all that much.  If you’re in pain on a bicycle, 90% of the time it’s one of two things:  You need more saddle time or your bike setup is off.  Otherwise, I’ve jumped some serious mileage over the last year and only experienced DOMS once or twice (and we’re talking 100 – 200 km rides where my longest last year was just over 50 km).  Running, on the the hand,is a little different for me – mostly because I don’t run as much as I ride so I tend to push as hard as I can every time I go out which leads to quite a bit of DOMS…but there are two remedies that I use all of the time to beat it:  (1) The sooner I can get on a bike after a long run, the faster I will recover – this is not a workout per se, it’s more an “active recovery” ride, slow speed, low on the exertion, quick cadence – 10 miles works great, just to get the legs moving.  (2) A 10-20 minute swim in a cool lake or pool or even a cold shower helps considerably.  UPDATE:  The blogger known as CultFit made an excellent point for a (3) How much water did you drink before, during and after your workout?  You would be amazed at how drinking the proper amounts of fluids will help with little aches and pains.  Technically we could add to that a (4) Did you eat properly after your workout?  That’s another big one – maximum 1 hour after, closer to 1/2 hour after works well, carbs and protein.

4.  The more used to working out that I’ve become, the more I rely on continuing it – now that I’m well beyond the initial shock, it’s one of the few things that really keeps me from hurting.

So go get ’em.

Hockey’s Back… Excuse the lack of backflips

So, the players and owners of NHL hockey teams have finally come to an agreement and will get back to playing hockey in the next week or so.

A note to players and owners: You’re about three months late. The season starts in October. So forgive me if I’m not doing backflips about you dopes figuring your contract out. My nine and six year-old daughters take their spelling tests without month-long extensions. I get my work done without extensions. What makes you so special?

Maybe, maybe I’ll be back next fall. I hope you all pay (financially folks, it ain’t like that) for your silliness.

To put this into rant into “fan status” context, look at the header photo… Yeah, that’s my favorite hockey team on the right arm. There are two Stanley Cups that wrap around my arm also – it hurt so bad I damn near went into shock and passed out. I’ve kissed the Cup, three times. I’ve gone seasons without missing a game (watching or attending)… I own dozens of caps, four sweaters (one signed) – hell, I know the difference between a sweater and a jersey. My wife and I share playoff superstitions. When the team dyed their hair blonde for the playoffs, so did I. Beard (or goatee)? Yeah, every year. I know more about my team and what they’re doing on the ice during a game than Darren Pang or any of the other National Commentators (with the exceptions of Barry Melrose and Don Cherry [bows]). I met Mr. Hockey – at the airport, in civvies – and knew who he was, and knew enough to be quick and respectful about my effusiveness. I own a pair of the same skates Sergei Federov wore (hell, I know how to spell Sergei Federov without looking it up). I know that Vladimir Konstaninov is was arguably one of the toughest hitters ever. I know that the Russian Five is not a Communist plot – and that that was the second greatest line in the last 30 years. I even support those who sponsor the team…and those who run commercials on the local network during games. I still have a VCR copy of the team response to the cheap playoff hit on Cris Draper that absolutely busted his mug – arguably the best (and most lopsided) fight in hockey history. How’s the head Patrick? Claude (pronounced ‘Cloud’ or ‘Cload’ depending on where in Canada you live)? I also know that doubt and about are not pronounced doubt and about – it’s ‘doot’ and ‘aboot’.

And you lost me. Nice work boys. Welcome back, you’re three months late.