Tweet In an earlier post, I linked to an article on recovery-based training. Here is a more accessible version from the same swimming and triathlon coach and leading authority Wayne Goldsmith. At coaches’ infoservice, golfers will even find out how core stability training will get them driving further. Goldsmith highlights some of the complex variables […]

Tweet More from knackered downunder A campaign by the Australian cycle industry to show that cycling is not dangerous – in fact, fairly safe – can’t be easily dismissed as a simple exercise in self-interest and it quotes some interesting academic proof. According to the Cycling Promotion Fund’s website, choosing not to cycle because of […]

Hot from Flora London Marathon headquarters is news that reigning Olympic women’s champion Mizuki Noguchi has withdrawn from this year’s race. Noguchi famously beat Paula Radcliffe, the favourite, in Athen’s 2004 when Paula dropped out.

Noguchi suffered an inflamed Achilles tendon earlier in the year, and lost a month’s training. Me too! The difference is that Noguchi is pulling out because she does not expect to do her best, having lost such time. Should that be a rational response for anyone? The lower down the food chain, the less likely you are to quit in such circumstances.

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Although this blog’s initial raison d’etre is to chronicle my marathon preparations and issues that seem to touch on an injury-free progress to Apr 22, the wider purpose is to explore how to safely increase workload to a sustainable higher level. This is a major issue in our culture, given arguments about work-life balance, educational achievement, and even income inequality. Why can some succeed and others struggle? What can we do if we are among the also-rans – at least to improve our personal best?

There was a tragic case of a City lawyer reported last week, where the cause of death was attributed to a long-hours culture in so-called “magic-circle” law firms. Unfortunately, it is one of those cases where the reader is left with lots of suggestion but insufficient information to draw any fair conclusions. But that should not prevent us from asking hypothetical questions as to how we should work, and expect others we employ to behave.

An ability to sustain a high work-rate is implicit in much success, and is part of what David Shenk is documenting on his blog, The Genius in All of US. The assumption of what I’ve seen of this literature is that success in more complex careers or elite sport requires an appropriate support structure (family, friends, coaches, colleagues, teachers), and a work methodology that avoids exhaustion, burnout and injury. There are other factors of course, like a facility for understanding and taking risk, and resilience in the face of failure. But not all of us are likely to start out with those support structures, or have thought about how we establish them for ourselves or for others – whether family, friends, colleagues or employees.

Continue reading ‘undulating route to higher performance’

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Interesting research from London’s Portland Hospital reported yesterday by the BBC, indicates that some women are more vulnerable to ligament injury as part of their menstrual cycle:-

“Midway through the cycle, the level of the female sex hormone oestrogen, which gives strength to muscles and ligaments, drops dramatically, resulting in sudden weakness.”

There must be myriad under-researched possibilities such as these that mitigate against a work-based training programme. The question would be: to what extent can a recovery-based approach to training counteract this hormonal effect? Heart-rate monitor makers have shown that a lot of body function is correlated with heart rate. Would a sophisticated enough monitor point up whether you are more prone to such weakness?

Today I did not use the bike to warm up, nor did I stretch. I didn’t have time and used my run to recover the car from the garage in town. I could not stretch afterwards either (which I don’t normally do anyway.) My left thigh feels weaker than for a long while, and I feel much stiffer. Who says stretching doesn’t matter?

Resting heart rate 48

Weight 72 kg

Mood :-)

Exercise energy consumed 399 kcal (34 mins run)

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