Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday leg violence + central governor ramble

 Am) ~1:00 lift. Solid loaded box jumps holding 20# kettlebells. I told myself I would stop jumping. I didn't. 30 meter prowler sprints. Lots of other weight lifting thingies. I also tried the Concept II rower for the first time and think it may be something to include in future sessions. Seems an adequate modality for suffering.

Pm) I headed out to jog easy for 4 miles. Ended up seeing that the soccer field had a strip of dry turf and did 6 x 40 meter max speed sprints. Then on the way home I spotted a dry-ish stretch of road. It's a stretch I've scouted previously thinking it would be good for downhill, over speed work. A very gentle ~1%-2% grade. Today it happened to also have a 20-30mph tail wind. So I did 3 X (maybe) 80 meter assisted sprints. Holy crap. Once you get up to speed, and I was sprinting at max, it becomes an exercise in trying not to eat pavement. I ended up being able to control it better but it never wasn't violent and on the edge of out of control. I called it after 3 when I realized I might be getting lucky that I wasn't breaking or tearing something. Or hadn't tripped and left half my skin on the road.
 Then I jogged 1 mile.
 Then finished with 4 X 200 meter hill intervals dodging patches of ice and snow. Since this entire workout wasn't planned I didn't really have a goal. So I just ran hard. #3 was finishing at max effort and I ended up with tunnel vision at the end. #4 was pushing to max effort from the start and needing to sit, rather than fall at the end. The recoveries were walk/ jog back down so only maybe ~2:00 or so which is about 8:00 shy of proper recovery and being at 8200+ ft altitude and going well into the red, I couldn't breath after #4. I don't have asthma but I'm thinking this is probably what it's like having an attack. Gasping and struggling for air realizing you aren't getting it and then realizing you aren't going to get enough to keep standing.
  I've talked about this hypoxic state previously on the ATC podcast, and not to sound too masochistic, but this place or this state is a pretty amazing and interesting place to be. To get there is very difficult and the reason for that is because our bodies have a hard wired mechanism to prevent it. It's sort of a fight or flight mechanism but more what Noakes called the Central Governor Theory.  It's something that has fascinated me ever since I learned of it and I've long sought out ways to experience it. I've sat in dry saunas for upwards of an hour which I still feel is the best way to experience it in a controlled environment. The sauna also allows you to feel the various stages of distress or intensity starting gently, more a whispered warning, up to extreme, more a scream deep in the lizard brain. It may sound hokey but if you get a chance, just go and sit in a dry sauna until you feel the need to get out... then stay for another 30:00. Anyway, today was all central governor and I love being in that place. I feel that the only way to understand it, and thereby learn to override (?) or at the very least become comfortable with it, is to be there. Then when you're there to recognize it and then try to understand what you're feeling and thinking. The beginning is largely just basic pain management. Pain is a signal that tells your brain to knock off whatever the hell it is making your body do. Most people listen to the signals. But what if you don't? You head into another stage and I suspect that it feels different for everyone. It probably also has something to do with, or changes based on, oxygen levels and body core temps. Today it was 25 degrees so my body core temps weren't a factor but had it been 100 degrees I imagine what I felt would have been different. Ultimately though the only way to find out what happens if you ignore the first warning signals is to ignore the first warning signals. No different than becoming familiar with various paces or efforts I think its important to also experience various stages of the central governor.

 And here's a bit of what I'm currently listening to whilst trying to hurt myself.

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