Monthly Archives: June 2008

Training HOT

Global warming is in full force this year. These last few weeks in Palo Alto have been in the 90s, which is really unusual as Palo Alto tends to be much cooler than San Jose. This morning, I got to Rancho San Antonio by 830a and it was already 82 degrees by my car’s thermometer. By the time I finished my run 1.5 hours later, it was showing 88!
In years past, I have avoided training in hot weather. I would go do treadmill runs in air conditioned comfort, or train in the early mornings when it was cooler. I’d almost never be out midday when the temps run much higher (California weather is very much like desert weather; it can be in the 50s in the early mornings and it shoots up to the 90s midday). It was just too hard to train then.
Lately I’ve changed my opinion about training in hot weather. I’ve done 4 Ironmans and numerous smaller races. The longer the race, the more likely us racers will experience the hot temps of the midday sun and that’s where our spirit and our bodies break down in the face of heat.
With global warming playing havoc with our weather systems, I think we’ll be forced to race in overly hot conditions more and more. Acclimatization will be key.
So now I skip the comfort of air conditioned gyms and early morning cool temps in favor of training midday under the blazing sun. The more I condition my body to produce effort in those temps, the better off I will be come race day. I have already had my body shut down due to high temps and high humidity. I’m not normally a person who can function well in those conditions. But I hope that this year, by training more in hot weather, I will be better prepared for a hot race day which will still be hard, but hopefully I’ll also be able to perform in case race day is cool.
No more air conditioning in my home – I just sit and swelter in my room to help continue the acclimatization outside of training (it saves on my electric bill anyways). And I schedule around training outdoors in the middle of the day.
I love to sweat now, and enjoy the pain of forcing my body to perform when it feels like collapsing. I risk heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Nice. All in the name of Ironman.

Compression Works Part II

This last week, after my long ride, I decided to try a pair of compression tights which cover my entire legs instead of just my calves. I was curious to see if they would work on my entire legs, versus just in my calves.
I had a pair of 2XU Tights which I hadn’t tried before and put them on now.
It was a warm day in Palo Alto and those tights were kind of warm to wear. I wonder about racing in them during hot climates, but perhaps I would just get used to them. I walked around all day with them and only took them off to go to sleep.
I think they definitely worked. My legs weren’t feeling as tight as on days that I didn’t wear those tights. The next morning, they were definitely less wiped out and felt fresher than without wearing those tights all day.
I think combining the tights with ice baths, which I will start to do once my ride times get longer, should help my recovery a great deal.

My Fascia, My Nemesis

Fascia is this connective sheath that surrounds and holds all of your muscles together. It can contract and relax and helps support the function of the muscles within.
As I train for Ironman, I find that this year, my fascia is creating some more interesting problems. It seems to be tightening up more this year than in previous years.
It’s been tightening down on my kneecaps in response to heavy training and causing some pain there during the morning after. My solution is to grab my trusty spoon and give spoonage to the area around the kneecap, which magically causes the fascia to relax and release its clamping down on the kneecap. I also experience the fascia just literally tightening up to a point where my legs are super stiff from running. I have to remember to loosen them up by accentuating my kick back during running, which seems to lessen its pressure. Also, in my calves, the fascia doesn’t relax fast enough in the next day; I often have to use my TP Massage Roller to loosen up the fascia around my calf muscles.
No matter what, I go each week to ART and Graston which helps my fascia to release after hard training and gets me going for the next workout. Without it, I would not be able to keep up with training day after day.