Sleep Deprivation Is The New Altitude Training
One of the better things about being an 'old' 'new' dad is that my body theoretically needs less sleep as my cells are not renewing like a younger mans. So there is less work to be done overnight in terms of life-renewal so I can cope with less sleep? Discuss? As a Gemini I can even put a positive spin on slow death. But am I onto something here? Are these frequent trips up and down stairs to change nappies, replace dummies…etc actually quality training?
Like many people I know my days are micro-scripted by events and responsibilities. The alarm goes off at 6:00am and if snooze more than seven minutes then the day won't work, starting with the terrier not getting a run-out. Normally a 'chaotic' type this puts me on the backfoot with training. So now I am on the WICWIC Plan. Or the 'What I Can, When I Can' - Plan. In my mind now any commute on my folder, any jog up the stairs, any brisk walk with the dog or baby is in fact legitimate training that deserves a place with hill-reps and aerobic threshold. See weight-training example below - getting a pump there on both thumbs.
So my theory goes that all these fragmented exercises have a heightened effect precisely because my body is depleted, in much the same way that altitude works with a reduction of oxygen in the body?
Old fashioned training - ie. riding has been a little scarce and mainly limited to an occasional 5.6 mile time-trial from Warren Row to Maidenhead Station. The A4 is a bit busy so I have found a cycle-route that avoids major roads. Also avoids streetlights and tarmac so punctures are inevitable and fixed by braille. What is it with town-planners and organisations like Sustrans? Yes on a sunny day on the right bike riding on these rough farm tracks might be pleasant but on a rainy night in February in the dark it is challenging.I keep running off the track into the ploughed field. The only landmarks I have are the bright blue 'Cycle-Lane' signs telling me that I am going in the right direction and using the paths as the designers intended. Genius.
I have also started to ride to work once a week from Maidenhead - always get a tailwind and it is a pan-flat run up the A4 through Slough, a place so grim even the Thames loops away to avoid it. I think the attitude towards cyclists is about the poorest I have experienced around Slough. The drivers are all in a hurry to get to work at O2 or HTC and cyclists are frankly expendable as they download another app at 50mph.
Had the pleasant surprise of riding into London with another rider last week. It reminded me of how lonely all of my riding is. Lee from Evans in Sky caught up with each other at Maidenhead Bridge and rode all the way in together at a much faster pace than either of us would normally ride. The difference in terms of respect and space from most drivers was palpable. Other than one skip driver who made verbal and signed reference to all cyclists onanistic tenencies.
It was a great ride and we swapped details at the end so we can team up and ride in again.
The plan must be now to gradually increase all activity and mark it unconsciously as 'training'. I will try and ride in a couple of times a week from Warren Row and cling onto this regime until the clocks go forwards and then even try and ride against the prevailing wind home?
The new jig has energised us all at CycleFit. Not just us but even our support crew of physios and Dr's are showing renewed interst. It is the complete fitting tool. It is not like Retul in the sense that it tries to execute the fitting for you - the former spits reams of data back at the the fitter and fittee - some of it useful and some of it not. But all of it needing skilled and experienced interpretation. No the new SICI jig empowers and rewards the skilled and knowledgeable fitter with the ideal platform to review and adjust the perfect rider position and experience. It is the single biggest leap forwards in the discipline of fitting we have experienced in ten years!