07 March 2014

The end of the Big 21

That was a beating. I've never been less enthusiastic to lift than before today's and Wednesday's sessions. I've never questioned my ability to complete a program as written so early in the day's work as I did today.

But I just matched my best ever barbell press on the last press rep of the last day of the program.

And I just power snatched 5lb less than my best competition snatch on the last snatch rep of the last day of the program.

And I did every damn day of the Big 21 with track practice each morning I trained. Despite the huge volume, I set PRs on the track on 3 of 9 days, including one today over 30m.

So, presumably, this was good for me. Apparently, working really hard - intolerably hard - isn't such a bad thing.

I'm a believer in "earning" rest days. With my first track meet of 2014 just 9 days away, I think I've earned a whole week of rest, at least from lifting.

Because right now, I am beat up, my hands are torn up, and I just want to sleep at my dinner table...

Heavy lifting, week 3

I am a firm believer in "Less is more" for training. Sometimes my adherence to that philosophy even hinders my progress because I am literally not doing enough.

Dan John has noted many times that, in order to peak, one must "back off" from training and let it happen. He has also noted, however, that you must have something significant to back off from!

Maybe you can see the issue here, already, dear reader.

Today will be my last day on the Big 21. I've only missed 4 reps during the entire process, 3 of which were due to technical errors during my snatch or clean. 1 was most definitely a lack of focus.

I'm finding it difficult to get my brain into this final session later today, because I generally find it difficult to get my brain into things that suck and I know will make me feel awful afterward. (This is probably also why I don't take any advantage of living so close to the legendary 6th Street...)

The main point is this: I have never been so excited to return to a "gentle" program of lifting, perhaps Easy Strength or doing just one lift a day or even just squatting so heavy that my head spins...once a week. Of course, I finish my heavy lifting phase today, have a week to re-energize, and then have my first early season meet, which probably means I will run better than I ever have and will only have the Big 21 to thank.

Whatever. Regardless of how it plays out, this program is a bully. I liked it and disliked it all at once. Try it out yourself. As David Neville said at the 2008 Olympic Trials, "anyone who has run the 400m will know how I felt."

Wait...Dan John said I would know all I needed to know about the program AFTER I did it. It pains me - literally - when that man is right. I did more for 3 weeks and now I am so very much ready to do less.

* Help support Funemployment on Kickstarter, my first-ever acting appearance!

26 February 2014

3 hard weeks, 1 light

Pretty frequently, I am reminded that the things I know rarely translate into things I do.

I know that to really own a diet, you have to put time aside to planning, shopping, and preparing the foods on that diet. You need a little social support, and a little enthusiasm, and a little focus, sure, but mostly you need a strategy. I don't have any composition goals but it *is* alarming how much I spend eating out.

Friday was a peak performance day for me at the end of 3 weeks of hard track & weights work. I *know* that 3 hard weeks of training should be followed by 1 light one, at least for most bodies, mine included.

I *know* that "it is better to be undertrained than even a bit overtrained" (Kono).

I *know* that after setting a PR in a drill or lift, it is smart to backcycle, off-load, or move to a different drill.

Yet I showed up at the track Monday and couldn't get going and today don't even want to run. I'm very slowly learning to listen to my body...and it's telling me that I should do what I know is correct.

So I'm off the track this week, then building back up starting Monday.

As I think of it, my training log shows that I perform best on my 7th training day during a hard phase. And 7 training days from next Monday marks Sunday March 16.

So I *know* I should be in top form on meet day if I just rest this week and start hard again on Monday.

...maybe, just maybe, that's exactly what I'll do.

25 February 2014

Heavy Lifting - week 2

Working my way through Dan John's Big 21 and at the end of the first week, I noticed the workouts were getting easier. (I started at 85lb, 90lb, and 115lb in the clean & press, power snatch, and power clean & jerk, respectively. Those were all 51% of my bests in each lift.)

I've continued doing track practices thrice weekly during this program and Friday was a rockstar day all-around. Guess my nervous system was amped up.

But my initial positive response to the volume was a definite peak...meaning the weekend I just came off plus yesterday's session was the crash.

After running 4 personal bests in the 20m block start on Friday, I struggled to warm-up yesterday. After throwing Day 3 weights around like toys on Friday, taking just 40:15 to finish with a smile, I barely completed the work yesterday after 60:12.

Saturday and Sunday were also marred by a battle with food poisoning (or possibly a stomach bug).

Some days you just show up. Yesterday was one of those.

Looking forward to tomorrow and having even just an "okay" day. March 16 is coming soon!

05 February 2014

The first 2014 meet is coming!

I have delusions of grandeur. My subconscious is convinced that my objective over the next 3 years is to *WIN* at the National Championships.

In the last three nights, I have had two separate dreams involving (1) running in the finals at Nationals and (2) being on the podium thereafter.

Regardless of this crazy idea - being a full-time fitness professional, full-time spouse & father, and having no coach or regular training partner behind me as a sprinter, winning against some of the best sprinters in the world seems unlikely - I am excited to test myself for 2014.

My chance will come early: March 16, 2014, at the 24th Lions' Relays, right here in Austin. I'll find out exactly where I am and assign some overdue structure to my training, as it will help me identify weaknesses.

Running the 60m, 100m, and 200m. Should be telling.


I've been attacking hill sprints. Got a session in Monday by myself on a 20%, 30m hill; managed 7 repeats before I could feel it was over. Suffered yesterday, accordingly.

Took my foam roller time, eating, and hydration seriously, then got after it again today with a (very fast, former professional football player) buddy - managed 8 repeats. Even raced him for the last one.

Tomorrow will probably hurt.

I've missed this feeling.