Monday, April 25, 2011

And on the 47th Day- He Rested

It's been 48 days since I started the 40 Days of Working out. I took Easter Sunday off as a recovery day and an opportunity to eat a week's worth of calories and burn them off by beating up my nieces and nephews. You can find the initial post and self-imposed rules here.

My original plan for the 40 DOWO was simple, I needed to ensure motivation during the month of April to continue training. April has a history of greatness. There's a few things that have historically occurred during the glorious 4th month.
  • The Revolutionary War started
  • George Washington was elected president
  • Hank Aaron tied then broke Babe Ruth's home run record
  • The Apollo space missions got started
  • The Boston Marathon
  • Earth Day (which has multiple meanings for some)
  • Opening Day of Baseball (go Cubs!)
  • Tax Day (glorious does not necessarily mean good)
  • Track Season/ Coaching starts
It's that last one that really eats into my time. I like coaching and would not give it up. The rewards far outweigh the burden. Plus, the extra money helps pay for my triathlon fetish, including financing extra gear, toys, etc. I will keep coaching, despite the impact on my training.

In April, 2010, I logged just over 36 hours of work (ignoring the final week on April). Not fantastic by any means. See chart below, click to enlarge...

As you can see, I was a pathetic swimmer, getting in the water a grand total of 5 times, then nothing for the next 2 weeks.

The week of the 19th-25th marked a big bike week as it was Spring Break and the weather was as perfect as you could expect from the New England area in April.

Notice the lack of consistency. Up and down in my training hours. I took a total of 9 days off in that month (6 during the comparison time)

Now, let's gander at April, 2011. Comparison disclaimer- the 2010 data table includes one additional week than the 2011.

Notice that my laziness has increased in that I stopped naming and defining workouts. The total number of training hours had dropped compared to a year ago from ~36- ~30. If I were to apply causation to this, I'd probably blame the colder than average temperatures for this season keeping me on the trainer, limiting my motivation to get outside and put forth the really big miles on the bike. Either that or I'm a big pansy. I suspect both actually apply.

But, I was more consistent in the weekly distribution of training (still not perfect though). I took less days off (1 as compared to 6).  My long runs were longer. And, what's not shown on these graphs is my average running pace, which is drastically faster in 2011.

Pros for the 40 DOWO
  • Total number of workouts
  • Long runs
  • Run/ bike speed
Cons for the 40 DOWO
  • Total training hours
  • Hours on the bike
  • Stress created when tired and not yet worked out
  • Long ride endurance
As I reflect on the experience of exercising a total of 45 out of 47 days during the Lenten season, I would probably not do it again next year. I now fully understand why God rested on the 7th day. It was a superior recovery plan. I believe that there were several times when my body was saying, "Skip it," but the mind was droning, "must meet 30 min criteria". In the long run (no pun intended), I might have been better served by taking a day off and really attacking my workout versus stringing together a few of mandated sessions that my body wasn't interested in.

However, I am enjoying the additional running speed I have incurred. I also suspect that my biking is actually faster this year as compared to last year, despite my obvious lowered level of endurance. Since the forecast continues to be bleak, I might not know until sometime in August.

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