Category Archives: Problems
Today was one of my worst experiences. The past two days I did my training again.
- Today I went out.
- I warmed up.
- I started running.
- I stopped after like 100 m
- I returned to start.
- I started again.
- I stopped after like 80 m.
- I felt embarrassed.
- I went home for lunch.
- I could barely move, took a rest.
- Now I am reading comments and sitting here.
This was ugly to my mind. Today is tempo runs – that BPET and swimming. I have no idea what is holding me back. Maybe I am just about to become ill? Or… even worse (my personally best guess) – afraid to compete with myself. Simply since tempo runs are about competition, a statement you improved over the past week.
No clue, today I plain feel like a blob in some dark corner in regards to sports. The past week was difficult, the past few days sometimes a pain and it is increasingly difficult to go for running.
Why? Where is my motivation?
Weakness can mean a lot. A body, mind, bones,… a lot of things can be weak. My weakness is by times my sheer will to do it, to perform – my ego.
How does this turn out? Take the last few weeks. A lot of running training and I tried to always do it at the limit. At the limit while not realizing how much I am off the scheduled training. Somehow I really did not realize this, even though I knew. So the inevitable happened: I plain could not stand the pain in my muscles anymore. I plain could not get up to train according plan. Thursday and Friday were for an unscheduled rest.
Some time I looked after my mistakes and was down, criticizing myself. Rest of the time I was looking for running technique, training and especially my pain in my muscles. This is what I learned:
- Don’t train harder than planned.
- There is a lot of potential in running technique. Also running ABC does a lot if one actually applies it to running too.
- Stretching the correct muscles is important. I actually always stretched myself but I did not stretch enough and not all the muscles needed. The pain in my thigh is apparently due to a hard muscle, which I never really stretched. *OUCH*
- I need to learn a lot and train running technique specific muscles. Today running was the first time for close to a year, where my lower leg and feet muscles hurt. Simply since I trained a “good running style”.
Well I am here to learn, but did not expect it takes me so long in some departments. Then again it is probably like it is with Cowboys… A Cowboy’s work is never done…
My training plan for now is about running. Something which is very good since I need to improve running, while running helps me loose more weight easily. All that happens by now. Running slowly is by now always below 7:00 min/km (remember how I fought with myself to run less than 7:00 mins/km?) and weight is dropping still.
Also training wise I learned some important lessons – most important the saying of quality of training also applies to running. And quality of training is exactly what Coach Ralf is pushing for now. Let us see…
Also I am now used to running more and more. My joints feel 100% ok (never had issues with those) only my muscles complain by times. Since I am running a lot it is difficult or more like impossible to know how far I have come now. Therefore I am curious on my first tempo test after some days of relaxing. Let us see if I have such a time soon…
As a summary: I am still alive and kicking, while training daily. How do you fare?
Today I learned a few lessons:
- I know I am doomed to improve running, when my training plan offers me running on 5 days in a row.
- I know I am doomed to improve running, when my training plan offers me running on 4 weeks in a row.
- I know I am doomed to improve running, when my legs hurt and training plan tells me: tomorrow,… tomorrow we go? Running!
- I know I am doomed to improve running, when Coach Ralf tells me: “Don’t whine on tempo runs this months – what will you do next month?”
WTF? What did I get into? I see, I see… I have a vision of a lot of pain for me in the future…
Let’s hope it really improves running.
So yesterday, actually the day before yesterday already, Marathon training started for me. Marathon training on the training plan looks exhausting. Especially the part of tempo runs aka high pulse running. In times past I already had a name for this kind of training: BPET – borderline puke experience training. Sorry, but still nails it.
Yesterday evening was my first high pulse tempo run.
30 minutes running in 150 – 162 pulse plus warm-up and cool-down. Something I can do quite easily on the bike is… a whole different world for me when running…
So I set off to warm-up, preparing myself, my body and my mind for that run. Slowly I increased intensity in warm-up, then I dropped in some high-speed units and back… setting performance spikes only to slowly cool-down for a few minutes after the warm-up.
Warmed-up I hit my pulse wristwatch and went off. Pulse increased… 140, 145, 148, 150 (!!),… 154 (?!?),…. 153,… 156, 160 (!!!!!!), 156,… Minutes passed and I felt the high pulse and.. a muscle in my upper left leg becoming hard. How bad is that muscle? No excuses I went on and that muscle became a pain. To keep pulse and speed, I started to count steps. Counting steps, while listening to spinning music does it for me to keep running on a high pulse and speed. After 11 minutes I reached my first “checkpoint”. “I am fast!” (compared to my previous times on that course) and so I went on “Will I be able to keep that pulse? Will I be able to keep the pace?” Checking my pulse helps me to realize when my pulse drops low. So I push on and on. 16 minutes – I am far out of my comfort zone. “Is that even possible for me to go on?”. I continue.
The pain in my leg is omnipresent now. It is a different pain. A pain I did not feel before – ever. I decided it is a cramp. So I went on. “Control my breath! Control my breath! I can do this!”. 22 minutes passed – obviously I could keep up and go on. This time is good and will become a new PR if I keep going.
“I must stop, I can not anymore…” – “No PR if you stop now!” – damn, I go on. And I run on. Normally I get to this corner at 33 minutes, when I am running fast. We are below 30 minutes right now. “Damn, only 800 meters. You must do this – no PR if you don’t!”. I could not stick to the pace completely, but I could go on. This is the last part: it is all uphill except the last 100m. The first few meters uphill hurt, but suddenly I could go on. Apparently no pain and go on and on… The last 200 meter I could push even higher.
“Finish! I got it!”
No breath, far outside my comfort zone, body hurts but… a nice emotion of victory transcends my body, my mind,… and I am: happy just happy. Happy for being there.
No, this is not an Asics ad – the shoes on the left are those who did it with me…
Life – life is full of ups and downs. Same for me. A few days ago a fellow blogger blogged about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He referred to the part of one, who longs for order and sticking to a plan and to chaos, who longs for all the things one should not do.
Mr Hyde was strong for me the past few days. A lot of work and overall a “so and so” feeling did their part. Then again a long conversation with Coach Ralf helped and by today I started to completely stick again to my new training plan (yeaaah!). Considering my laziness of the past 5 days, the 2 hour run did hurt me a lot! I finished, I do not feel happy, but I finished.
Apart from that I had a long conversation with someone a lot into Triathlon and well-known. That was a few days ago. Basically we talked for 2 hours+ straight and she told me: “Let us see, what your Coach tells you about the past month training. Were it me I would have some serious words with you and make you change!” Well what shall I say…? Figure what Coach Ralf did? He told me that he totally disagrees with my last month…
Right now the thoughts to stop it all are quite strong once more. Just because,… sometimes feeling lazy and dizzy feels good. So sticking once more to my training plan was a good change for me. Let us see how this abides.
There is an issue close to everyone encounters when loosing weight. At first weight drops fast and suddenly it stops, one even gains weight, even though nothing (apparently?) changed. I got my very own experience and view on this issue…
I took the time to think about what you wrote up here – about not loosing weight while maintaining a diet and workouts. I am not an expert, but I do have that “dangerous” half-ok-knowledge. Well probably more than most fitness instructors or trainers anyway. But? What was it to me, what is my experience, how did I or how would I handle what you outline? Not loosing weight despite being disciplined?
The answer is: From your words I experienced some of it. So I answer in a list of options, where some options might apply simultaneously. I do not claim the list to be complete at all:
- Deception (love that word) – happy makers: Oftentimes I worked out, but did not lose weight. Most time I dropped me a “happy-maker” for working out that good. Loads of chocolate or similar. Other times I slacked with nutrition (which was ok alone), but I also increased the times of meals without really noticing it. An ok meal or a meal with a taste of sin (carbs) once a day is ok, but 2-3 times a day… not. Solution is to simply not take happy-makers. It is crucial to know it and be honest to oneself.
- Deception – drinks: On another occasion I was drinking too much juices like 2-3 litres a day. Juices make you fat, likewise for white wine and beer. Let us call them “fluid carbs” – they come in every form and kill your plans to lose weight dead cold. Solution: switch completely to water – go out and find the water that tastes best for you.
- Deception – healthy food: Similar applies to healthy food like yoghurt. Yes, a normal, unmodified healthy yoghurt. A small one might be ok, but once I did not have the times for meals, so I took the bigger yoghurt but dropped the proper meals instead. Yoghurt in larger amounts make you really fat. Solution: decrease amounts of healthy fat-making foods.
- Deception – fruits: And to top it off, let us assume you live healthy and good, nothing of the above applies and you take those healthy fruits, apples, oranges, bananas, like one each 3-4 times a day… Apples, oranges and especially bananas in excessive amounts make you… fat. It is simply due to the Fructose, a low chain carb in fruits and in case of banana the whole banana being made of a low chain carb. In fact a banana is the fruit which comes close to those dreaded chocolate bars or even brownies when it comes to calories. Solution: one apple, one orange is enough a day.
- Deception – lieing to oneself: This is unfortunately the most common in my case. I believe I do it ok, I somehow know I do not, but I can not confess to myself. That one hurts, it also hurts the ego. Since people around saw the effect that I lost a lot of weight already, I am unable to confess to myself that I fell back in past patterns. Yet people see I do. Realizing this one can be a bloodbath to your ego. It simply hurts that one almost needs to cry (or just does). Keep in mind – it is human and I have this one more often than I am able to confess. Solution is to me a bible verse (no, I am not very religious, yet this one is grand to me – my lie-to-me-mantra) – “And thou shall learn the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
- Changes due to workout: It is well-known that muscles weigh more than fat. So when someone works out while loosing weight and takes it serious – by then there comes a time, where the body suddenly (in my case over 2 month) heavily builds up muscles. In my case my shoulders grew drastically, my thighs lost in size, but still became much heavier. Despite my still existing fat I could see most single muscle strains below my skin and feel how stiff and hard my muscles became. It seemed to me that the structure of my muscles changed drastically. So I still lost weight, but gained excessive muscles. This is a much wanted effect to me, which I pushed by also taking BCAA. Solution: accept it.
- Changes due to fluid management: A major issue when loosing weight is drinking enough water. Coupled with heavy workouts the body might lose litres of sweat. If you forget to drink enough and only replace parts of the lost fluid… By then there can come a time where you workout less and the body gladly takes more fluid hence not loosing weight. Solution: always drink enough. It is for everyone at least 3 litres a day. In heavy workouts it is MUCH more. Days where I am spinning instructor and go running I drink up to 6 litres a day.
- Changes due to salt: Taking less water than needed and using salt is a dangerous issue. Salt increase tastes and is able to partially replace the “feel-good” feeling we had when we were fat and killed that Schnitzel with french fries or cakes or or or (yes, I exaggerated – you know your own poison much better than I do). Not drinking enough keeps salt in your body. Salt is binding water in your tissue especially. Hence you gain weight. Solution: reduce salt input. Keep in mind that there is a lot of salt in food you buy.
- Reaction of your body – jojo-effect: That one is well-known too. When you lose weight your body starts with energy management. This comes in positive and unwanted aka negative forms. One of the worst forms is your body shutting down operations. Eg. you feel lazy, tired,… quite often. When you need long rest after workouts. When you tend to sleep more than 9 hours a day. Sex drive is less or stops almost completely. This one is quite obvious for men, but can be much less obvious for women. One or all of those and much more can be signs of a beginning jojo-effect. This can and will – if you don’t fight it – stop your workouts or reduce them and make you gain weight sooner or later. Solution: start immediately with a proper super-meal, the meal you love most and commit your sins, make sure you are sated but not full, then push yourself the day after, increase workout amount heavily, force yourself to not be lazy, while actively listening what your body wants. Be extremely narrow-minded on your diet, but make sure to eat a lot, especially salad and meat (proteins).
- Reaction of your body – rest: Loosing weight comes in steps to me. It seems the body has a lot to do. Especially when workout amount increases, the body drives crazy. Suddenly loads of vitamins and minerals are missing. Special forms of salt are needed. Special food is needed (eg. for me it was loads of lamb and sea fish, which I needed). In those times the body either rests with loosing weight or does overall weird things. Some of those things were actually funny, some frightening. Having shaking cramps was on the more frightening side. The phase where I was farting extremely for almost a week was funny to me (and frightening to others 😉 ). In this option you just go on and ignore that you don’t lose weight. Solution: accept this phase.
- Reaction of your body – health: There are a lot of health issues. And of course since I am not a doctor I do not know all of those. Yet I know that eg. issues with ones thyroid can heavily contribute to weight issues too. Solution: see a doctor for a proper check-up. Yep, I did that too.
The most positive effect, when pursuing the path of weight loss with diet and workout comes after some time. The time, when the body is used to both. By then your body looses weight from itself. That one is really cool – even if you are out and do nothing for a day or two, you lose weight. It is just that you are hyperactive during that time (I am told that a “normal” partner loves that – or aspects of it). This effect seems to last for close to 2 weeks without too much workout. Yet this effect needs heavy workouts before and after so that it goes on. Once the body is used to this and all fluid, vitamin, calory management,… is settled, by then it is really cool and every day is a happy day.
So far my experience. I hope it helps someone.
More and more people approach me, telling me on how inspiring they consider my discipline. They ask me how I do it to never stop. How I can go on. Of course my ego likes those questions, but…
The truth is: after last race I trained a lot but I didn’t care on my eating and when I returned home last Saturday I had to realize that I gained weight 5kg (=10lbs). Yikes! Of course I did not like to post about it, instead… I had to lose it asap – keep in mind that in my weight class 5kg is like 3% that is like 2-2.5kg (5 lbs.) for a 75kg (150 lbs.) person . Yet my discipline paid off: Since today in the morning am again at my last race weight and lost those 5kg within 7 days. Lucky me – training pays off and I am very proud :).
So the truth is: I am only human too.
The difference to some people is merely: when I realize such and think about racing in Triathlon I panick and can push myself to extremes at once – every single time. But believe me: only human, sometimes with too much ego, which also pushes me. Actually more things did not go according plan:
- Preparation: I am preparing for next year with a lot of ideas to make it perfect – a lot of secrets I won’t share yet 🙂 – but a great surprise to all involved if some work out. Next year won’t be perfect, but it is fair that I try to make it. One part of this did not go too well yesterday, much more difficult than anticipated for my ideas.
- Swimming yesterday: I thought I feel good, yet yesterday’s swim unit with Coach X was… futile. My worst training – probably ever. I tried to do everything right, thought about my last units and instead I had to stop each time. I was close to shout, become angry and cry – all at once. Nothing went according plan. To top it off, when Coach X left, a woman approached me: “That is nice – did you just learn freestyle?” – ok, I thought I need to cry for real. Yet she topped it off: “Do not lose your fun in doing so – you seem so… dedicated – too dedicated to keep your fun.” One may argue about her first statement, but the second hit me really deep since there was truth to it. A lot. Too much truth. I so want to, that I start to lose my fun – this is dangerous it could stop me cold.
- Running yesterday: So I had that swimming experience, felt frustrated, was angry and so I went running later on. I did not expect much, I just wanted to lose my anger. Instead I had my best run – ever. Due to a neighbour talking when I had left, I forgot to continue taking the time. Yet if my estimations are close to correct, then I was definitely below 6min/km – easily. Yet I don’t know for sure. What happened? I somehow could run, not jogging, but controlled running. Paired with my anger and frustration this apparently worked well.
- Weigh-In today: So with all that stuff from yesterday I was for my weigh-in today, since I got a scale here in Bad Homburg. My whole excess weight is gone – I am back to my last race weight already.
Bottom line: good and bad news are bathing me hot and cold.
Nothing special, but only human with one exception to most people: I have a dream and I am willing to pursue it, no matter how unrealistic or far away. Sometimes it really seems that only the road leading there counts – not necessarily achieving the goal.
Yet again I adjusted my training. It seems as if I am still learning. Let s start from the beginning to give you an idea…
It all started, when I read an article about the trainer Touretski and his swimmers Popov and Kim. His main idea is technique, making his swimmer “go with the flow” instead of fighting the water. Apparently he asks for quality training – preferably even slow, but make the training count by perfect technique. Also learn to adjust one’s technique to one’s body and its specifics.
Interesting concept that is.
“I against me”
So those thoughts were deep inside my head over the night and the next day (yesterday). There is ample reason, which made me think of myself:
- Biking: I know I am good on the bike, yet it is all about power. When having pain, running low on mental strength or power I figure how people laugh at me for my size and sitting on a TT bike. Sometimes I figure being a mighty bear. Yet it already shows that it is about raw power on the bike for me. There is some technique, yet it is a real fight for me. I don’t go with the flow on the bike.
- Running: It is no secret that running is always painful for me. It always hurts. Going out running I am always aware of pain, by now only afterwards yet pain is always present. When running I don’t really feel emotions it is more mathematical: sometimes I count steps, sometimes I concentrate on my feet pushing,… It’s not even a fight.
- Swimming: I love swimming, but swim training is always outside my comfort zone. Somehow I always feel a lack of air, unable to breathe completely, somehow always drowning. Swimming is a fight against the water for me. A fight I always lose. Yet contrary to my bike I easily give up in swimming units.
Bottom line: somehow all three disciplines are to me a constant struggle or fight. Or to quote the current favorite Triathlon CD: “I against me”.
part 1: running is addictive
Touretski’s concept sounds different – interesting. So I decided to give it a shot and start it. The first part yesterday to me was running – a 15 km run. I got my spinning music with me and just went out. I had to concentrate on myself to not push speed too much, but stay calm. I started to run to the rhythm of my music – of course spinning music… It started after like 8-9 km: a fast rhythm and I tried to run by that rhythm – I could and it felt good. I experimented more and more with steps, speed, rhythm, pushing forward,… and suddenly I realized… “I am actually running for the first time the last few years!”. I could only run like 50 steps in a row (counted it later on), but I did and I felt the difference of walking, jogging and running for the first time (yes, I was sprinting in the past too but sprinting was not the purpose this time).
when I started with running:
- I was actually walking – No, not like a pedestrian, but walking style with one foot always on the ground. My weight didn’t allow for more. A heel-walker.
- Later on I was jogging – Overall short step length, lack of control of my feet, no real push forward. Still most of the times a heel- sometimes a mid-foot jogger.
- Yesterday I was running – controlled feet movement, push up- and forward, controlled mid-foot running.
Yesterday I did 15km.
Walking and jogging is uncool, but… yesterday I was really running – running is addictive!
part 2: swimming is cool
My whole body hurt from running. Yet I directly went out for swimming… My plan was easy: make it slow and make every moment high quality and count! So I did. I remembered everything about style and technique, always concentrated and went on. It was…
- very different – I felt one with the water for brief moments,
- feel for the water – I felt the water moving, felt the waves, felt the flow, experimented with the flow and how it changed when I changed the speed of my arm movement in certain moments.
- controlled – normally, when I try 3-breath freestyle, I have to change to 2-breath soon. This time I concentrated to stay 3-breath the whole session. Even when I panicked with lack of air I could concentrate and go on in 3-breath. 3-breath is extremely difficult to me, but… I could.
- technique – I believe I was good technique-wise.
Let us see – I will go on like this and I should see results in 2-3 weeks once I completed those 2,000 – 10,000 repetitions one needs to save it into one’s brain and muscle memory.
Butterfly this way was GRAND only 100m total in butterfly over the whole session, but it felt fluid, dynamic – it was grand.
Until next time.
So what happened since Frankfurt City Triathlon?
Considering my plans, I am really burning for 2012 already. Coach said I can do base endurance units. I added the part of: only units I have fun with 🙂
So I succumb to my need to move (it really exists no kidding):
- running almost daily – had my fastest run split today – ever.
- spinning – I am needed as instructor and I gladly do since I love being spinning instructor.
- muscle fitness training – I have a specific training for my swimming muscles to improve strength for swimming, improving my power and endurance.
- Frankfurt City Triathlon – I decided I am not willing to live with the result. I asked the sports jury, outlined my issues and complaints and requested a final sports decision as well.
Seriously: I payed for an olympic distance under rules of the responsible Triathlon division. There were referees as well – I consider it my minimum right to ask for a correct race under existing rules. No matter how I look at it: were the race 1500 m swim or 40 km bike I would have won my wager. Were both at 1500 m swim and 40km bike I would be below to 2:55:00 finish time. Anyways I looked up the rules and checked it all: to me it is definite – this was not an olympic distance. I got a lot of people who by now confirm this – including Pro Triathletes. *grrrr*
There will be a decision about Frankfurt City Triathlon within this month. I am curious – let us see what the sports jury tells.
I am still upset about my pictures and my belly (those are actually the first pictures I willingly look at). 49 kg to go…. (was 50 kg two days ago).