Friday, February 16, 2018

51 Days Remain: Rest days are not always restful

As promised, today's post includes multimedia amusement.  I recorded some video (unedited but brief) documenting what I do on a regular rest day.  Some of what I documented is my usual routine (movement prep, core, and stretching) whereas other bits are typical of my rest days.  Since today is a rest day, you now have a good idea about what I do during my 74 minutes of training.  On these rest days, I don't run, lift, or do any strenuous cardio training.  Instead, I focus on recovery and do a little hypoxic training so my brain is ready for the strange sensation of exerting an effort with little oxygen.  So, let me walk you through the videos.

First, I begin my day - every day in fact - with movement prep(aration).  The objective with these exercises is to warm up my body and get ready for the real deal.  Movement prep is every bit as important as any other aspect of my training.  Here I am demonstrating a typical movement prep routine:

Once my body is ready for more strenuous activity, I do my core exercise routine.  My back is rather fragile.  Too many years of skiing and training without proper care left my back susceptible to all sorts of nasty things...including sciatica (not recommended at all).  So my core routine varies from day-to-day but this one is a typical one when I just need to do it!

On a typical workout day, I follow up the core workout with a strength or resistance training routine.  I use the same tabata timer as I used in the video above but I do legs on the 1st and 3rd days of my 3 days on, 1 day off cycles; on the middle or 2nd day of the 3 day on cycle, I lift with my upper body.  Since today is a rest day, I didn't lift.  Later, I intend to take some video of my lifting routines but today I don't lift.  Also, once I am done with movement prep, core, and lifting, I typically run outdoors.  My runs are short but often high intensity so I can feel a little discomfort but also spare my knees of the added pain and suffering they don't deserve.

My rest day includes hypoxic training.  I provide a quick overview of my approach during the following video:

That elliptical workout often ends with me gasping for breath.  See...

Oh, but wait; there is more!  Once I finish my huge 10 minute workout on the elliptical, I then make a quick transition (note, I don't put on cycling shorts when I move from the elliptical to the bike - too long for too little gain).  

Finishing off the bike workout (again, another whopping 10 minutes), I stumble off the bike....

Now that I am done with the bulk of my day off, I finally get to stretch my muscles and gear up for the rest of my day....of work.  Ah, but first, I stretch:

My rest days do not consist solely of rest.  These are active rest days.  Some people do not take rest days when they are training for endurance events.  Many people find that rest days leave them flat.  Complete rest days make me feel flat and unmotivated.  I found that if I skipped the rest days to fully recover, I soon burned out and lost interest in training.  Striking a balance between too restful and not restful enough requires fine tuning on every athlete's part.  

Thanks again for following me during my preparation.  I realize you have plenty of other distractions on the internet and appreciate the fact that you distract yourself with my ramblings.  My next post will take you for a tour of my sleeping setup so you can see how my hypoxic sleep training unfolds every night.  See you in 4 days....

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