11/11/11 challenge
November 12, 2011 posted by

In The Wake…

In The Wake…

This week’s Psyche offers some reflection in the wake of part II of my November trilogy of pain, along with a couple of short videos that are follow-ups to earlier posts. First, I’ve cancelled this weekend’s trip south because moving is such a chore that I doubt its training effects would have been positive. In the last 7 days I’ve completed two big days that offered up completely different experiences. Here’s a little comparison.

The 25 Hours of Frog Hollow – Spending 12.5 on the bike in a day in every-other-lap fashion is a strange lesson in suffering. The down time between each lap is mainly spent refueling and arranging things for your next lap. You end up with about 15 minutes to relax before you need to get moving again. While it’s less painful than soloing, because you get some rest, you also can’t cash it in and nap when you’re tired because you know you’ve got a partner counting on you to show up every hour and ten minutes or so. Sitting on a bike for this long is simply painful, especially for your butt, feet, and hands. The latter got so pounded on the rocky descents that Jeff, my partner, switched to his suspension bike during the last few laps. And while you’re very tired at the end recovery is quick. I was back on my bike feeling decent (though not strong) in a few days.

11 Beachbody workouts – I’d stacked Beachbody workouts together before but nothing like this. The first four felt good but all of our workouts (unless you only chose recovery workout which wouldn’t be very interesting) break you down. I was slightly surprised that Power 90 and Slim in 6 still felt like exercise at their easiest level even though I’m fairly fit at the moment. These workouts shouldn’t be discounted. They’re the real deal. Reversing the order would have made sense but I was also after a chronological experience and, unfortunately, our workouts have been getting harder over the years.

And so Asylum Game Day (and last-minute addition Overtime) at the end were a fantastic trip to the pain exchange. Not surprising, since these workouts are extremely difficult and painful when done fresh, it was simply a bizarre experience to be screaming to keep up after many hours of training featuring workouts designed to be your only activity of the day. And while my explosiveness was kaput I managed to hit Shaun’s number benchmarks for “winning” (I think it’s 40 jump shots and 50 home runs) meaning that I never slacked off. In Overtime I hit a wall, big time, struggled mightily not to puke but this didn’t surprise me at all since that is certainly the hardest 12 minutes of exercise ever put on video.

By comparison the gym training is somewhat easier in that it’s got no outside elements such as cold and wind and no single points of overuse where your skin becomes a limiting factor. You can always turn down the intensity a notch and minimize the pain. However, because the workouts (by my designed line up of choice) systematically targeted all elements of body movement and fitness the overall breakdown factor was far more complete. Last night, trying to sit through a symphony, I could feel every muscle competing for limited resources for recovery and it was a struggle to stay awake. This morning, with the healing process still in its infancy, it took a big commitment to force my body out of bed. And while, in contrast to the 24 hour race when I had hot spots of pain, nothing really hurts; it just refuses to work. Translation (which should not be a surprise): the home training is better for you than playing a sport. Also, because the breakdown is specific the process of replenishing full body strength is going to take a lot longer.

And with that, here’s your weekend entertainment, both in the form of trailers. First (top), we have a video on the El Cap races. I’ve written about this a lot but this year, Hans again got himself fit enough (at 47 with a full time job) to have a go. In three tries with young hot shot Alex Honnald he’s come within 45 seconds of the record set last year by Sean O’Leary and Dean Potter. He says he’s now got the fitness to break it but the duo is waiting for the weather to improve and may not get another attmept ’til spring.

I’m saving my Wideboyz follow up for a training Psyche in the depths of winter but those interested know what they’ve done. Here is another trailer for what promises to be a cracking good time at the movies (silly pun not intended. I’m tired). And you want to take about pain? Well nothing I’ve described in the post comes close to this.

Wide Boys climb Century Crack from chris Alstrin on Vimeo.


  • So when you do long days or multiple workouts, do you or would you take a recovery drink after each; or would that be too much sugar to have 3 or 4 rest and recovery packets?

  • Results and Recovery. Not rest and recovery.

  • I will use recovery protocols (that can be a simple as taking Recovery Formula) after each hour or so of hard work. During long days I try to average 300-400 cals/hour. If that day is very long then you need more than glycogen replenishment as all of your nutritional needs are being taxed. If were just doing these 11 workouts back to back I would sip RF throughout, making sure I had about 300 cals of it every hour. During this challenge I broke things up with work and 111 minutes of hiking/rock throwing so I was able to eat a normal lunch that could digest while I was hiking. I only used RF at the end of each block of workouts, which was generally 2-4 in a row, depending on what they were. I did them like this:4 RF – break3 lunch – break with hiking2 RF – break with hiking1 break1 RF

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