August 27, 2015 posted by

Ballistics, Blood & Biomechanics

Ballistics, Blood & Biomechanics

Patience. It’s not my favorite word. While I work very hard at it when it comes to how I treat others, that interests wanes when it comes to myself. This is especially true when it comes to activity. I want to be back where I was, or improving, all the time. Forget cancer, as that’s a given, I don’t even want to acknowledge age. It doesn’t matter that I’m in my 50’s, in my world I’m still competing against 20 year olds. Improve or die, or at least attempt to improve, is my motto. So this whole patience thing, as my body deals with the after effects of being thoroughly nuked, isn’t sitting too well.

I just had a biomechanical assessment at P3. It started much better than expected. I scored very high on mobility and muscular balance. That’s good, because that’s about all I’d been training. Then I hit the stuff I hadn’t been training, due to the combo of chemo recovery, knee surgery, and trying to be patient and, boom, straight into the red.

Red, in this test, means “at risk for injury”, and as you can see from the image I’ve got trouble with my feet. This stems from my knee, which I knew already. In fact, the week before taking this test I’d assessed that my knee was ready to begin ballistic training again. The lateral skaters I did for the P3 assessments were the first sideways ballistic movements I’d done since before surgery. To say I sucked would be an understatement. They were scary. I was wobbly. But I survived without incident. I was, however, extremely sore for days from ONE AND A HALF MINUTES of full-out explosive activity. Sad.

So just what does this have to do with patience? It’s a matter of blood, or lack there of. My blood numbers are still not coming back very quickly. And nobody knows why. I feel pretty good most of the time but, when it comes to training, I’m lacking, especially when it comes to recovery.


As you can see above, I’m not in the optimal state for going all out. This makes the balance between training and recovery more subtle than normal, and it’s tricky to figure out when you’re 100%. And that’s where the patience  comes in. I’ve got to constantly remind myself to stay patient, from one day to the next, allowing all training/exercise/fun to get based on how I feel, not what’s on the schedule.

But I need some ballistics. To get my feet out of the red I need to begin explosive power training, which is key for muscular efficiency that’s important to everyone, even endurance athletes like myself. It’s much harder to recover from than any other style of training, so it’s going to skewer my template even more. But I’m registered for a 50-mile ultra, I’m on the waiting list for a 100, and I’d like to do a decent Birthday Challenge late this fall. None are going to happen in my current state, so I’ve got a two-fold training plan to combat it.

Step 1Carl Daikeler’s BODathon. My friend (and boss) had me create a crazy fitness challenge for him to get into peak shape before the holidays, that you can read about here. Since he didn’t give me fitness parameters he wanted to improve on, I used the one that I needed to improve upon (incidentally which are also what most people need to improve upon–note triple emphasis). So I wrote this 2-month training plan that I’m going to do with him, modified slightly for my outdoor fitness pursuits.

Step 2 – Crest Training. If you’ve never heard of Crest Training it’s because I made it up. It’s a metaphor for riding the crest of a wave. The models for periodizational training look like waves. The point is to reduce the size of the swells between each wave. However, due to the laws of progressive overload and reality, there is always some up and down. Crest Training is designed to ride the peak. Since it’s impossible to peak all the time, there must be some give and take with traditional periodizational approaches. These will be both peak fitness, and speed of advancement, which require occasionally biting off more than you can chew. My goal to eliminate this should be interesting. I might find a better cadence for training people who are already fit, and/or avoiding overtraining, or it might not work at all. Regardless of what I learn, it should minimize the risks of going too deep, and that’s my paramount concern at the moment. Ugh, sounds a lot like patience.

In closing, here are some strong chicas power training at Cafe Kraft. As we all know from this rad training facility in Germany, “power is like an eternal river.” I have no idea what that means but Stefan Glowacz said it so it’s gotta be true. Perhaps also worth noting is the movement being done is the vid cap is the one that unveiled my cancer in its early stages. Eternal river = early cancer detection exercises? Perhaps. Enjoy.

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