Great start and snow angels to cool down.
Week 1 of 2022 was like the beginning of any new hobby or initiative. A lot of energy and tons of “I’ve got this” feelings and making working out a priority. Having been there, done that sooo many times I take no credit for the really good start to the long journey I’ve embarked upon. Adrenaline and this social accountability I’ve created played a great role. Having said all this, the week is in the books and it is a solid accomplishment. Here are the stats which I’ll detail down below.
|This snow angel was explained later|
First is Yoga. I was introduced to Yoga With Adriene while at a friend’s beach house a couple of years ago. I’ve followed her YouTube channel ever since and must admit I’m closer to touching my toes than I ever was before but I never fully committed. With the new year she has released a new 30 day challenge like she often does (in additional to countless other free sessions) and I’m proud to say I’m 8 for 8 so far. Go to YouTube and search on “Yoga with Adriene Move”. Move is just the theme of this 30 day challenge. Start with Day 1 and take if from there. Thank me later.
Second is breathing and ice baths/cold showers. If you’ve never heard of Wim Hof you must read his book, The Wim Hof Method – Activating Your Full Human Potential. Two main takeaways for me: Cold/Ice showers or baths and breathing. After finishing your warm or hot morning shower turn the dial fully to cold. At first you’ll only be able to last a few to 10 seconds. Do this daily and work your way up to 2 minutes. The science behind the benefits is indisputable. Read the book!
On the breathing part there were two experiments I want to share. Take a full breath in, then exhale fully. At the end of the exhale, hold your breath as long as possible. I lasted only 30 seconds. Now start a breathing exercise of inhaling fully and exhaling fully 30 to 40 times. On the last exhale hold your breath. I held my breath for a full 2 minutes!
The other exercise that blew my mind was pushups. For this you have to know your benchmark and how many pushup you can do at one time. My total was 35. Now follow the 30-40 deep breathing in/out routine and upon your last exhale start your pushups while holding your breath. When you need to start breathing do so but continue the pushups. I went to 50! That’s nearly a 50% increase!
There are incredible things that happen physiologically when you practice breath work and Wim Hof’s book and the exercises turned me into a believer. The cold shower is now a new ritual for me. So much so that I’ve had a plumber fix my shower because it wasn’t cold enough. True story. He’s also known as the Ice Man. See video below for my Ice Man imitation.
Lastly, intermittent fasting. I’ve heard a lot about this and have tried it half heartedly before. When I did, it worked but I was never consistent. Nor did I do the full 16/8 which is 16 hours of fasting followed by an 8 hour eating window. In real life it means finishing your last meal at 7 PM or 8 PM and not eating again until 1 PM or 2 PM. Its not that hard to skip breakfast, try it!
I also read a book by Dave Asprey this week called Fast This Way. It goes into the gory detail of why the above is so incredibly good for you. I was skeptical when I read that you can exercise during the fasting window and if you have a vigorous workout planned do it at the very end of the 16 hour window before your first meal of the day. Check out my Thursday workout below to see the result of this attempt.
Hopefully you’ll check out the one, two or three things above. Any of which will go a long away to a healthier you. Or go for the trifecta and let me know how you feel in 4 weeks.
So now for the week in training. Eager to get going but still recovering from Covid, yep I’ve joined the club, I decided to get some easy laps in. Prior to hitting the pool I started Day 1 of Yoga with Adriene followed by some weight training. The swim was slow but it felt good to get the cob webs off and got 1,000 yards/40 laps in.
Tuesday it was time to start getting some miles in. 8 on the treadmill to be exact following of course day 2 of pre dawn Yoga with Adriene.
Wednesday’s plan was 6 miles of speed work. The day started with some yoga followed by weight training and I finally got a chance to break in my gym in Manhattan by sweating all over the new equipment. My version of speed work was 1/2 a mile at 10:30/mile followed by 1/2 a mile at 9:00/mile. Not sure why the pace in the pic doesn’t reflect that.
Thursday called for another 8 mile run and I wanted to take advantage of the balmy 40* weather. After Yoga and weights in the AM (on an empty stomach) I got out to the Tow Path not far from my house in NJ for a bone chilling run starting at 2 PM. Not sure if I was going to bonk or not by doing this while still fasting since 7 PM last night I was never more than 2 miles away from the car. I completed the full 8 miles and felt totally fine. Apparently, the body learns how to burn fat for fuel instead of the sugary gels and bars we have become accustomed to.
Recovery on Wednesday and Thursday was aided by my favorite in home massage gadget. Normatec’s dynamic air compression sleeves. I love this product! Back to back Ironman races last year would not be possible without this recovery tool.
I also took full advantage of my remaining membership at Life Time Fitness by hitting the sauna several times this week. Followed by an ice cold shower. If you haven’t experienced the incredible sensation you get of heating your body up followed by cold immersion then you’re missing out on many of the health benefits this brings.
Saturday is typically the long workout day. I got in a half marathon. Wasn’t thrilled about the pace but happy to get the first long run of the year in. I started while still fasting but then had a Stroopwafel with a banana just in case at mile 6. One you have sugar and carbs your body starts craving more. So this was followed by another one with an orange at mile 10.
After completing this run my body was super heated up. The fresh snow outside looked so inviting that I couldn’t resist the most natural muscle recovery routine in the world. Thank you Wim Hof for the idea!
Rounding out the week, I got in 5 more miles on Sunday. Running on tired legs is key in an ultra marathon preparation.
I’m very happy with getting in 40 miles for week 1. Keeping this up for week 2 will be tough with travel coming up but will give it my best. Have a great week everyone!