Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 15 Update: September 21st, 2013

Week 15 Update: Sep 21, 2013

What a great week! I mean it. I had a great week. It all started after I posted my week 14 update. Wednesday was a well-deserved day off. Wednesday evening we even decided to sleep at sea-level to get a full rest period. Kathy felt like she was getting sick (averted thankfully) and I just needed the break. Well all of it paid off. The rest, the additional oxygen while sleeping, and the talk I gave on Wednesday night reinvigorated me for the rest of the week. So I sit here on Saturday afternoon and feel great. We head off for southwestern Virginia in a few hours to do an open water mile swim tomorrow morning. The whole family is swimming so it should be a fun outing. Here are my updates for this week:

  • Good talk; Great audience; Fantastic discussions: The quantified self group was spectacular! I cannot thank them enough for hosting the meetup. There was a great showing and plenty of discussion before and after my talk. Thanks to John Carney and CarneyLabs for hosting a wonderful evening. You can find out more about the talk and watch a video of my presentation here. The discussion about training gave me the extra boost I needed to finish out the week of training.
  • Great support from friends: My friend Dave Roskelley - who I met on Denali in 2011 and who successfully climbed Everest this past spring - gave me some tips about oxygen masks and such. Those tips lead me to some great articles and further motivation to prepare well for this climb. I tend to be an over-preparer so any time I can find information that helps me guard against foreseeable problems, I seize the opportunity. Dave set me up well with his advice. I have a blog post with those details just about finished and ready to post.
  • Productivity upswing: I feel like I am in the groove. The day off from hypoxic sleeping and a full 24 hours of rest gave me an added boost in energy. I almost felt restless with all the extra energy. It was a great feeling but one I put to good use by finishing up several projects that were long overdue.

Workout Progress

I figured out my asthma problem. If I do not warm-up a ton before I swim, my asthma severely limits my workload. On Thursday and Saturday I tested two pre-swim preparations. Thursday, I swam without working out before-hand; Saturday, I worked out for 1.5 hours before I swam. Thursday was tough while Saturday was a breeze. Now this is not a strong test but it does shed some light on my problem and I intend to test it several times over the next few weeks. My asthma appears to dissipate with more exercise. I even experience this during swim practice. Warm-ups are hell whereas the end of the workout tends to get easier to breathe.

The figure below shows my workouts this week. Note that I rode my bike the same duration as I worked out on the elliptical machine; thus, you cannot discern the two exercises in the figure. Also, I am sticking to a strict routine of dividing my total run time evenly throughout the week. I found that longer runs were too difficult for me to recover from so I decided to keep my running to shorter times spread across the week. So far, that tactic really paid off. I feel as if I recover much faster and I do not experience any leg soreness like I did after 1 hour runs in my previous 15-week training cycle.

plot of chunk WeekEx

The Friday through Monday routine seems to suit my schedule and allows me to fully recover. Like I said in the previous week update, the figure below will slowly shift to a more even distribution or rather a “V” like curve throughout the week.

plot of chunk DailyWL

More days, more hours behind me. I'm slowly approaching 300 hours.

plot of chunk CumWL

Weekly Summary

Early part of the week was rough but the latter half more than made up for that first half. These changes mid-week get masked in the figures below. I figure I would just comment on them and maybe go back later to see how they affected me overall.


Like I said in my opening, my productivity is really beginning to pick up. I have more time to write and work on projects than I did when I was constantly tired. After this week, I was thinking I might start varying my tent altitude with every Wednesday being a day off from the hypoxic sleep. I need to get Kathy to buy into the idea first. That plan would start next Thursday if she agrees. Adjusting the hypoxic levels might affect our moods and recovery so this figure might change. Stay tuned for an update on that front.

plot of chunk Mood

Hypoxic Training

I mentioned several times that we took a day off and that really reinvigorated us. This morning, we had a major breakthrough on the temperature problem. We have no air return in our bedroom so the room gets really hot and, as a result, the tent stays hot. Last night, we left the bedroom door open and instead of mid-80's to low 90's temperatures inside the tent this morning, the temperature was 74 degrees. Yes, 10 degrees cooler. The dogs may keep us awake but no more so than the sweltering temperatures inside the tent.

Notice the downswing in my sleep quality over the past two weeks. Yep. Heat. It is awful. Today or at least last night, we had a breakthrough. Expect that green line below to start pointing upward….I hope.

plot of chunk Hypoxia

Updates for the week

  1. Still using restwise. I find it useful enough to monitor a few vital overtraining indicators, however, I might just monitor them myself and adjust my training levels to address any recovery concerns. I'm on the fence. Any thoughts?

  2. I am starting to nail down more details for my climb. This week, I got the last of my equipment sorted out and I plan to rent some equipment (e.g., oxygen mask, regulator, etc.) in Kathmandu. Also, based upon some of my recent discussions, I might change my travel plans. It is still too early but every suggestion is to leave earlier than April 15th. An earlier departure might put some pressure on me and those who offered to cover my courses for the last two weeks of the semester. Hopefully, I can stick to my current departure plans.

  3. IHT starts next week. I think it is an important aspect of my acclimation process and I can easily weave it into my training plans without adversely affecting my recovery. We shall see. Tomorrow, I begin IHT for 30 minutes.

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