Our oldest turns 13 this summer and our youngest turns 9. So we have ~5 years until our kids are fairly independent.
Additionally, I’m 52 => so I have 5-10 years until my next physical transition will begin. I noticed a shift at 45 yo and suspect I’ll see another in my late-50s.
Optimizing For Life
Peloton recently added heart rate tracking to their platform. As a result, I see how y’all are training when we’re on the same workout. 2-3 zones above me.
I want you to know there is HUGE upside from learning to train against your impulses – particularly your urge to maximize your numbers, any numbers!
At some point in the future, all we will care about is the CAPACITY to do fun stuff with friends, (grand)kids and spouses. Spending mojo to temporarily pop our 20-minute bests gives us nothing in our larger lives.
But it’s worse than wasting time. Focusing on athletic top-end generates fatigue that prevents us from creating something useful: relationships, career, a home or sub-max capacity.
What is sub-max capacity? I have two main constraints I place on myself:
- No impact on my larger life.
- Feed myself with real food (outside of training) and water (inside of training)
I spent my pandemic being very consistent and got my performance to 3 watts / kilo in my comfortable zone (<122 bpm, my HR max is low-170s). Good enough.
Push a bit and I can generate 900KJ in a hour. Much above that output I need to start adding sugar to my diet.
Pay attention to the habits that nudge you towards adding sugar (or alcohol, edibles, sleeping pills, pizza… you get the drift).
I have made a decision to LEAVE MYSELF NUTRITIONALLY UNDERTRAINED FOR SPORT. This is tough to do.
I used to be a Jedi-Master of oxidation and carbohydrate uptake. It’s tough not to use a key strength, especially as I really, really like to eat! 🙂
Why? Choosing a higher-sugar lifestyle does nothing for my health, life and body composition.
Also, enabling a higher-output lifestyle reduces the energy I have available for my strength training.
Since I turned 50, the bulk of my fatigue comes from strength training.
Efficiency. Strength training is the best fatigue generator for minute invested – better than running, with no range-of-motion cost. I can keep my aerobics “good enough,” ride everyday and maintain my capacity to do fun stuff.
Invert! If I don’t challenge myself with strength training then a weaker future will happen sooner.
Error avoidance. If I challenge myself with strength training then the urge to “maximize the short” is held at bay. The “short” being short-duration and short-term.
Finally, if three hours of my week generates most my training fatigue that leaves a ton of time for working on key relationships, writing, reading => things that might be useful tomorrow.
Ask older friends, and the oldest members of your family, what they value (and what they lack).
Choosing certain race goals implies certain training protocols.
Certain training protocols imply certain lifestyles.
Goal => Protocol => Lifestyle
Metabolic and work-rate training // beyond an hour, beyond comfortable tempo efforts… imply nutritional habits that prevent me from optimizing my health. Something to consider.
Related, look around at the causes for “things going wrong” => injuries, burnout, chronic fatigue… basically anything that causes us to lose consistency.
The Pandemic forced us to be reasonable. Sanity worked way better than I would have expected.
1/. Consider your 1,000-day protocol.
2/. Understand the lifestyle implied by your goals.