Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week 27 Update: December 14th, 2013 - the last day of my full week off. Can't wait to get back on the horse!

Week 27 Update: Dec 14, 2013

Rest Week! Yeah!!!! Well, not so yeah, actually. I learned a few things about taking a full week off from training. Here goes…

  • Rest is not always restful. Early in the week, I had a hard time sleeping. Too many non-training things on my mind and not being tired when going to bed makes for a bad combination.
  • I missed my swimming buddies (GMU Patriot masters rock!). Training is not always social but swimming is one exception. My social life tends to be restricted to my wife, son, and several colleagues these days; swim practice was the exception - save for my time teaching and chatting with students. If it were not for google hangouts, I might not see many humans outside my family at all. I missed my swimming pals last week and can't wait to get back into the pool. Tomorrow, we have a team brunch where I get to see all my swim buddies. See you soon….
  • Rest does not always lead to greater productivity. I found that I was most productive when I had my 10-15 hour training weeks. The longer weeks just squeezed me too much for time and the short weeks left me too energized to concentrate. Weird, eh? Well, I learned that free time does not always mean more productive time. I wish that were the case. Can't wait to get back to the grind where I can be more productive with less “free” time.
  • One really positive note from last week…..I had a great interview with Scott Sehon. Scott is an amazing guy; he ran across the US. Check out that link and read about Scott. Well, he somehow or another thinks climbing Everest is a worthwhile topic. I guess so but I was more interested hearing about his adventure. Maybe next week, we will sit down over a beer and chat about his run in 2003. You can listen to our discussion on his new website. Hopefully you find our discussion as entertaining as we both found it.
  • I finally had a full rest week to see how Restwise would advise me on my recovery. Of course, this week represents a bit of a trick because I am not training at all so I ought to be fully recovered….at least I hope. Below, I post some figures using the Restwise data. Check it out.
  • OK, last but not least…I gained about 8 pounds during my rest week. I really needed a little bulk. The rest was great for that goal. Now, time to burn it off.

Workout Progress

Not much going on below. I have a few other figures for this week. Look for more at the bottom.

plot of chunk WeekEx

Notice the flat line at the bottom? That was my rest week. Now I have a colorful frame to outline those squiggly lines. More lines to follow in the next few weeks. Also, I finished my training schedule for the next phase. For those interested in looking ahead, you can view the entire sheet of my training log here. Expect to see a bunch of Sunday spikes in total hours. Tomorrow, I have a 4-hour day but I build up to 9 hours in week 15 of phase 3. Should be fun….

plot of chunk DailyWL

Rest week….rest week. Again, not always restful.

plot of chunk CumWL

Weekly Summary

I enjoyed the rest but I am ready to climb back onto the horse. As much as the rest felt less than restful, I kept reminding myself that rest is as important as exercise. Exercise + Rest = Success. Well, I did my duty and rested as planned. Now, I'm ready. Get me back to training!


The rest did me some good. I started to feel less fatigued and more motivated - but not motivated to workout at the beginning of the week. I was thoroughly invested in rest. My problem was that I was not terribly excited about getting things done. I could not concentrate and had too many distractions; hency, I was less productive than I thought I might be with an entire week off. Oh well. The winter break is coming up and I will have more time to train, work, and rest.

plot of chunk Mood

Hypoxic Training

No hypoxic training other than sleeping in the tent. Kathy and I even took a night off (last night) to make sure we were both fully recovered. She felt a little low and I just needed more rest before I started pushing hard for another 15 weeks.

plot of chunk Hypoxia

Recovery (Restwise Data)

As I mentioned in previous posts, I started using the Restwise program at the end of August to track my recovery. The developers replied to my email questiosn by saying that the program was not designed for endurance training in hypoxic environments. Nevertheless, I decided to continue using the program to see if it offered me some useful feedback. The past few months showed me that this simple program does indeed offer me something above and beyond merely monitoring my morning resting HR and spO2. I find the overall recovery score (RWscore) coincides well with how I feel in the morning and it correlates pretty well with my motivation to train; the higher the scores, the higher my motivation. What it does not do well - consistent with the developer's reply - is appropriately weight the overtraining indicators. My best indicators for overtraining is resting HR and spO2. Sleep hours, however, also contribute a tremendous amount to the overall score and I feel the lack of sleep does affect my motivation but I doubt it affects me as much physically as the RWscore reflects. I feel less motivated with less sleep - for sure. I also feel more tired with less sleep. My workouts, however, are not affected by the amount I sleep. Yep, very strange but I have the data. The correlation between the two is almost zero.

plot of chunk RestwiseData

Updates for the week

Just thanks right now; I have a few more days of work before the holiday break. For now, I give thanks. Thank you all for following me during my preparation. I am so excited to start working out again tomorrow. Thanks to Stuart and Kirsten Williams for hosting a great party tonight (Army-Navy game). Kathy, Patrick, and I had a great time. Thanks also to Scott Sehon who took time out of his life to come chat with me. I can't wait to learn more about your run across the US. Finally, thanks to my GMU Patriot Masters swim team for cheering me on despite my grumpiness. I will thank you all in person tomorrow during our holiday brunch. See you all soon….

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