This morning I’m sore, tired, and starting to ‘get slow’. Getting slow is a term a friend and I used to use to denote the early stage of a training process when your body is in breakdown, particularly your fast-twitch fibers, and you are litterally slower than you were before. It’s hard to get out of bed, hard to walk around, and even harder to do anything quickly.
I often get mail from people complaining about their exercise program making them hungry, weak, tired, or leading to unwanted weight gain in the early stages. They are upset because the program promised to do just the opposite. But that’s how exercise works. Your body breaks down in order to re-build. It’s a process, part of which is a negative effect that leads to a positive. So before you get fast, you get slow. Before you get strong, you get weak. And so on.
So I’ve been very busy this year. Exercising, but with no plans or focus–just trying not to atrophy. This week I, completely serendipitously, rode my bike hard the last three days. Last night I woke up a bunch during the night and this morning I’m sore, and slow. I’m about to go back on the road. It’s a working trip but my bikes are coming, so I’ll try and stay on it and work through this point. Because it gets better, and rather quickly too. But if you don’t stay with a program you could wind up in a perpetual state of breakdown, never realizing any more. This is why exercise programs are called ‘programs;’ you’ve got to see them to their end if you want to find out what they will do for you.