Part 1 of a series by Craig Upton
@##=#<3,L>@##=#WARNING: Before embarking on any physical training program, you must get the approval of your primary health care provider. Blah blah blah….
A. Try to follow the program as closely as possible. If workouts are missed, do not try to make them up later on in the week, just get back into the program.
B. If two or three days of the program are missed, get back into by easing into the program, Take one or two days to easy back into training before going into the harder workouts.
C. Gains in athletic performance come from consistent training over a longer period of time. Its not how much you did last week, but how consistent you have been over a period of months.
D. Injuries and sickness, unfortunately do occur. If you take time as soon as the systems appear the healing process is much faster.
E. Perhaps the most crucial feature of your training is the recovery or regeneration days. These days will allow your body to rebuild stronger than before, and decrease the problems caused by over-training.
F. Learn to trust your own instincts in following the program. Nothing is etched in stone.
Throughout your training programs they will refer to varying levels of intensity to perform any workout. The three sources of evaluating and describing these intensities are Power (Watts), Heart Rate (HR) and Perceived Exertion (RPE).
While the heart rate monitor is the tool of the 90’s it is not the perfect training tool. It is important to understand what the heart rate monitor is telling you. Heart Rate Monitors show you how your body is reacting to the stimuli you are applying to your body (exercise). This is not showing you how hard you are training, instead how your body is reacting to training you are doing. Despite this a HRM is a good training tool, because the correlation between HR and exercise is generally linear, when intensity increases, HR increases.
It is important to note heart rate is also affected by many different variables from day to day. Things like weather conditions, dehydration, temperature, altitude, and caffeine all have an effect on heart rate, making some efforts feel easier than others while holding the same number on the monitor.
Powermeters, on the other hand, measure exactly your output at any given moment. Power is shown as Watts, which is the measure of force x frequency. Or in cycling, push on the pedals multiplied by cadence. Powermeters show how much work (power x time) you are doing at any moment. This is a valuable tool, and is not affected by any external conditions, the wattage you are reading is the wattage you are producing no matter the temperature, cooling, or dehydration.
But these tools are no good on their own. Your Perceived Exertion allows you to evaluate how difficult your training session is. Coupled with either HRM or Powermeter gives you a complete picture of your training day.
Dr Gunnar Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion
During the early 1970’s Dr Borg determined that athletes could predict accurately how hard they were exercising via a numbered scale. Some athletes become so aware of these intensities they are able to accurately predict their lactate threshold from their subjective feelings.
Now we are familiar with these determinants of intensity we can combine them for the purpose of communicating how hard or easy a workout should be.
On cannot ride on water and mightiness alone, and as I age, I find that I have to pay more attention to my nutritional needs, lest I become an empty husk of veiny gristle.
The fall is here and winter will soon be upon us.