As of late, my athletic life has started to resemble a video game. (My actual life resembles a version of "The Sims" with the special "dear God, how many hours can a person sit at a desk" add-on.) Since I’ve added the ithlete app to my layer cake of athletic obsession, I’ve modified my routine to include a daily check of my physical well-being. In my mind, I have turned this body check into a game. I wake up, put my heart rate strap on and wait patiently in my underwear (that vivid detail is for the ladies, and, you’re welcome) for my magic number to appear. After getting assessed by my phone, I can plan my bike day. I’ve come to think of my ithlete rating as the number of "hit points" I have for the day. A high rating means that my I have chomped the big dot, and I can Pac-Man away at Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde by doing intervals or other such nonsense. (Yes, that timely Pac-Man reference means that I am old.) A low hit point score turns me into Glass Joe (another elderly video game reference), and I must go to my corner and pant until I am again ready to chase the ghosts.
This gaming of my bike life has modified the way I train. I used to work according to a relatively strict weekly plan. Mondays I rode easy or rested, Tuesdays I did 20/10s (4 sets of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off), Wednesdays were for longer rides, Thursdays for 20 minutes intervals, and so on. I used this schedule because it was pretty traditional and I’m lazy, but since I’ve joined the matrix, I’ve found that I’m more physically inclined to work on a two days on, one day off format, with the off days being REALLY off—like three-toed sloth off. I barely push the pedals on these days. This has made my training schedule more fluid, and I’m still working out the effects of different interval types on my hit count. Longer intervals seem to have less effect that short, intense efforts, so I do longer stuff first then follow that with short intense efforts.
Of course, this is only the beginning of my video game. Future data may point to never riding a bike again, who knows? In the meantime, I’m in my underwear at first waking, waiting to see if I can chase imaginary ghosts.
Roman’s Beer Corner
This week Roman isn’t recommending a beer so much as he’s recommending that you get out into the world and go to the beer yourself. Roman recommends that you go to the Rushing Duck Brewing Company in Chester, NY. Once there, he recommends the Ded Moroz imperial Stout or the Tony’s Barleywine.