Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yesterday afternoon I took Moana to gymnastics... we were there a few minutes early so we were just watching some of the older girls training. I am always so impressed watching girls aged 12-16 working so diligently like that. They were doing elite level combination moves on the beam and just practicing the same thing over and over and over... If they fell off, they'd get right back up and try again. And if they nailed it, they'd get right back up and do it again. They were striving for perfection but clearly not just once. They wanted to be perfect every time. I just love that work ethic.

Some of the girls were taking time to stretch... Moana assumed that meant they were tired, which sort of made me laugh. Sometimes while she is playing in the bath tub in the evenings she knows that Mommy is tired so Mommy spends time on her bedroom floor stretching... so of course upon seeing one of those girls stretching she asked me, "Mommy is she tired?" Lol.

I was just on the living room floor stretching which made me think of that scene from yesterday. I am fairly sore today- mostly calves and glutes. Calves don't surprise me- my calves get tight and sore sometimes so I tend to micromanage them to avoid actually hurting myself- but the glutes thing was new. Interestingly Nalani commented this morning at swimming that her glutes were sore too so it must have been the run we did together yesterday morning. I actually didn't know short steep hill repeats could make glutes sore like this? It's not a 'bad' sore... just a normal muscular reaction to a new workload, and evenly spread to both sides. In all honesty I sort of like the feeling because it shows me that I have stretched myself beyond where I have gone before. Amazing how we can do that to ourselves with a grand total of 6' of actual work!

So that also got me to thinking... about adaptation and how our bodies adapt so well to the stresses that we regularly put ourselves through... So for example, I can go run 15-16 miles up and down mountains and not even be slightly sore the next day. That would be because I've done that stuff so much that my body has already adapted to it. So while it sounds like a big stress, for me right now, it's not really that big of a stress. Which means that kind of workout is no longer giving my body a huge reason to adapt. Yet a grand total of 6' of power sprinting up steep hills and my body goes WTF was that? Um, that was a stimulus that I expect to adapt to! Pretty cool, huh? (Clearly my problem is not going long. It's going fast!)

I think the lesson there is that we need to find ways to be creative and shock our bodies a bit because if we keep doing the same training over and over all the time without providing new/increasing stimulus, then our bodies have no reason to adapt and change. And interestingly, that does not always look like increasing the volume. Sometimes, it means decreasing it! But then, I guess that would depend on the type of training you're used to doing (and therefore already adapted to). And then of course you must consider the type of event you're training for... though when you're fairly far away from your big races that you actually care about, there's not so much danger in doing workouts that are, say, the opposite of Ironman.

Stretch yourself!


Angela and David said...

I wish I could see my toes, much less stretch to touch them! I can't wait until I am out there adapting and trying all new kinds of training to get some running results.

Kiet said...

Totally agree, every sport/action is muscle specific. I've gone out and played a round of golf and been sore. Hill repeats are definitely gonna get your glutes, I always tell my female athletes if they want more junk in the trunk, hike or run uphill while sticking out your butt.

GoBigGreen said...

In the PT world jury is out on the benefits of stretching.
I usually say " if it feels good, do it." but don't overdo it!

Ange said...

agree 100%!

Sara McLarty said...

Thanks for referring people over to my swim workout blog:)
Happy Training

Teresa said...

Funny you mention this. I am at my lowest volume ever but doing some over the top intense work, alwasy different and it is working!

you are on to something ;)