Sunday, February 10, 2008

California - Day Ten - R&R

Today I figured it'd be a day off. If some circumstance let me ride a bit, I'd take the opportunity, but I wasn't really expecting anything like that to happen. So when Julie asked if I was up for a picnic on the beach, I said yes.

We packed up the two kids and Rich and Julie and I went to the beach. We met another couple and their son (and a yet-to-be-born child).

And I did a very intense "active recovery" session.

It's critical to do such sessions after a period of hard days. One might think that just sitting on the couch and sipping some recovery drink would be okay.

But it really isn't. One really ought to do an "active recovery" workout.

Typically it should be carefully planned out, followed to a "T". For me it usually means 3 to 4 hours in a 39x17, spinning between 85 and 95 rpms. I'll make a couple high rpm bursts, hitting maybe 120-150 rpms. I also do one, sometimes two, "big gear rolls" where I push the pedals against higher resistance at a lower rpm. During the rolls I can feel my calves working just a bit harder than normal. This is a careful, methodical workout, much more so than the more sporadic "hard days".

Such sessions, after all, set the base for the next hard cycle.

To try and give you an idea of how it looks after the first two hours, I found a picture Rich took during the workout.

You can see the correct form to use if you've forgotten your sunglasses and cap. Note the last inch of a foot long sub in my left hand - fueling your body is key during a recovery workout.

I spent a couple hours on the beach, eating, drinking, and watching a pro surfer try to catch some waves while his camera man caught the action on digital film. It was a little like Baywatch, just different. Not everyone out there were swimsuit models but there were bikinis. No yellow truck, but the white truck did have a surfboard, a yellow stripe, and it even squawked its siren once. Surfers on the waves, one even weaving through the pier pilings. Blue skies, sun, warmth, a very slight breeze.


We then walked over the playground and kept an eye on the kids. With three adults we normally went to zone defense, but when dealing with elevation (i.e. climbing things), we went to one-on-one.

When we started back I did my big gear rolls. A laughing and insistent 2 year old makes for quite some inspiration to carry through my workouts.

The "big gear" workout. My temporary roommate helped me a bit.

The only question, one which I managed to vocalize halfway through my Luke and Yoda workout.

"I hope this is salt water I feel on my back and not a leaking diaper."

In all seriousness, I started fading really hard by the late afternoon, getting woozy whenever I stood up, lagging behind the shopping cart, and not rushing off to check out everything at Fry's (the last being particularly telling for someone like me).

I felt the need to actually do something today so I bought a couple barbells from a local big box sporting good store (and sponsored the 2 year old's 5 year old sister by buying her her t-ball helmet).

After eating a bit at dinner... (does three quarters of a pizza, followed by a spare rib - just one, we were polishing off some left overs, an orange due to Rich's prompting and I'll probably have a second later, and a few glasses of water count?)... I started feeling a bit better.

Fuel, as I stated before, is critical for training.

I felt so good that I did some light lifting with the new barbells, trying to get my upper body a little fatigued. The fact that I had a hard time getting the tags off the barbells indicated how weak I'd become after almost two weeks without lifting. It'll be rough when I get back to my "regular" workouts back at home. I figure it'll be easier to get a jump start here so that when I get back it'll take less to return to my normal workouts.

Tomorrow I'll do a couple hours easy, get semi-packed, do all the stuff I'll need to do to get ready to leave. Tuesday I'll do a hard ride, perhaps a Palomar attack, then pack up the bike. Wednesday I'll be leaving this fantasy land and return to the real world back at home.

1 comment:

JimmyNick said...

I really enjoy your blog. The thoughtfulness and crisp writing are uncommon in the bike-blog universe. And your YouTube vids are what I use to give my wife an idea of what a race looks like from the inside.
Keep up the great work.
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