Friday, August 29, 2008

Feel the Need

I've felt the need to write on my blog but it hasn't outweighed the desire I have to say something of importance. So here goes.

It's amazing to me how quickly life can get busy and out of control. We are really good at keeping the RPM's just above the redline. Enough to be unhealthy but not enough for anybody to notice. Why is that? Are we really all that insecure? I don't buy that's it's just that we're all driven because that's just an excuse really, or at least I think it is.

I found out in my training this year that one of the foundational mistakes that athletes make is that they train too hard too often. For example if you use your Heart Rate (HR) to set training zones, which by the way is a pretty easy, cheap way to do it, than you set up 5 zones. You should train most of the time in zones 2 and 3 which is below your lactate threshold and no matter what try to keep your heart out of the no fly zone which is between zone 3 and 4 and pretty much just is some weird concoction of aerobic and anaerobic..effectively not really training either well. Zones 4/5 are for intervals and really hard Max Heart Rate workouts where you know it's going to hurt but it's where the growth happens. You just barrell forward through the pain and do it. I love these workouts. But done effectively they hurt! Alot.

The problem is that most people, driven, with the need to "get ahead" and train hard, all motivated by good stuff, train in Zone 4. Not hard enough to really hurt but harder than they need to. The issue is that the body doesn't get to rest and therefore there is NO foundation being built for sustainability. And...get this. When you train in Zone 4 most of the time, when you really need to do a hard interval workout or push to expand and grow your physiology, you CAN'T. Your heart literally will not do it because it's too tired. It's pretty amazing, but when you track this stuff and watch it, the body is very very good at regulating what it will and will not let you do to it.

See where I'm going with this.

As a normal functioning human in this busy world, I need to remember that going above Zone 3 is not going to do me much good in building a foundation for a sustainable future. My schedule, my level of busyness should stay in Zones 2 and 3 almost all the time, allowing for a bit of overload but nothing more. I should be BELOW the red line and actually watch that I stay out of the "NO-FLY" Zone. This will allow me once or twice a week to live in a Zone 4/5 world. With the knowledge that I have to not only give my mind and body time to recover but my spirit, my relationships...everything. (Is this making sense?) It's okay to have 1 or 2 days of pretty locked up busyness in life but that should in no way be the norm. We've got to create carefree timelessness to build community, relationships and have time to just ponder and grow.

So, as Anna and I look to the fall and all the segments (workouts) of life we need to schedule and make time for we are going to keep a keen eye to making sure that we don't overload so that when we need to bust out a Max Effort we can go all out. We have the deposit physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally and spiritually to make it happen.

I guess that would be my challenge to you.

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