Oh, hello there, 3 regular readers! Long time no see!
Last time on As The Triathlete Flails…
Blah blah blah training blah blah blah half ironman blah blah blah hip flexor blah blah blah vegetarianism blah blah blah 8 weeks left.
See, there. You’re all caught up. Moving on to story time. Everyone likes story time.
Back in my first year of triathlon, lo those 3 years ago, I remember experiencing that usual accumulating fatigue and training stress that all triathletes get when they start really getting into their training season. You know what I’m talking about. I fell asleep in odd places, I ate like a horse (and would have consumed an actual horse if presented to me, I’m sure), and something minor would ache for a few hours before ceding its place to a different part of my body that needed to protest its lot in life.
In my fuzzy, sepia colored recollection, these were good days. I was getting better! I could bike farther! Run faster (by which I mean something faster than a walk)! And swim…more consistently. Anyway. Despite the everyday sort of grinding fatigue, I felt strong. Moreover, if I took a rest day, the fatigue would go away and I would just plain feel good. Great, even, if I took a glorious 2 rest days. If memory serves, I’m pretty sure I trained all the time with rainbows streaming out of my ass.
A lot has happened since that first beautiful initiation year–broken feet, a return to the office proper instead of my lovely work from home schedule, weak hips of doom–but in many ways I’m still trying to get back to that first year feeling of being tired but all together healthy and strong. Sadly, I haven’t really found it again since then. I train, as much if not more than I did that initial year, but instead of walking around feeling 10 feet tall and running 13 min/miles at a cruising pace, I feel broken and slow. Something always hurts in a warning sort of way rather than an I Worked it Hard way. When I back off with a rest day or two, I don’t get that rejuvenated feeling of recovery. I just feel more tired and run down.
One of the missing links of Triathlon: Golden Year 1 is that when I started the sport I’d just come off of a full year of yoga. I practiced vinyasa flow (aka not your gentle restorative be-kind-to-yourself yoga) for over an hour a day 4-5 times a week. I never got good at it precisely, but I got decent. I think, without realizing it, that year gave me a bit of flexibility and strength that would carry with me into triathlon.
Of course, as triathlon ramped up that year, yoga ramped down. Going to a studio nearly every day is a huge money and time commitment. One that I didn’t have time for once I started devoting my exercise hours to swim/bike/run. Also, if I’m honest, I’d been growing bored with the particular studio I practiced at and finding a new one that I liked seemed a bit daunting. So yoga stopped completely, and after about a year, so did all the strength & flexibility I gained, i.e., the strength & flexibility that was keeping me uninjured as I abused my body in new and different ways.
This is obviously not a happily ever after trip down memory lane. But it is my exceptionally wordy way of saying I’ve started a new experiment. I keep saying that yoga should be more of a priority for me, keep whining on and on about the time and cost of it, and ultimately doing nothing about it. That stops now.
There are lots of little slush hours in my day that I can use to unroll my mat and get a little yoga action in with the cost and effort of going to a studio. With my lingering injuries and niggles, I have all the reasons to do something every chance I can.
Experiment: 100 Days of Daily Yoga
Ideally, a successful experiment won’t stop with 100 days. It’ll just be a thing I do every day from now on, but I like counting and 100 is a nice round number so it seems appropriate to get me going. The rules for the yoga challenge are thus:
- Any yoga counts. Classes, podcasts, videos, 5 minutes of alternating down dog and child’s pose; it all counts. Hopefully, I’ll switch it up enough that I won’t get bored and I will be able to pick the right thing to do on the day I need it.
- Yoga is not a substitute for triathlon workouts. That shit still needs to get done because girlfriend can’t race for 8 hours on sun salutations alone.
- For the time being, I am letting yoga be a substitute for strength training, though I reserve the right to modify that requirement at any time if it looks like I spend more time stretching and meditating than I do hefting my body weight around the mat.
- I will blog about it. You do not even want to know the amount of angsting I did about whether or not to put yoga into TrainingPeaks. I’ve decided against it, since it makes it look like I’ve been training more than I have, but blogging is my compromise. Plus I get to talk to you 3 lovely readers. It won’t be much and it probably won’t get recorded every day, but I’ll at least let you know that it got done.
Of course, me being me, Days 1-3 are already in the bag. I like to start things off right. In future posts, I’ll post links and stuff to the practices I’m doing. And, hey, if anyone wants to join in, I’m happy to have company. We can bitch about the horribleness of shoulder stands together.