Ludicrous speed

23 Aug

I daydreamed all day at work about rollerskiing. Was itching to fly, to feel the burn, to beat up some pavement.

Sometimes I have to force myself to train. But my recent holiday rest got my motivation back up. During that time I rollerskied almost everyday, sometimes for long distances, but mostly at a lower pace without timing or worrying. Drank, ate what I wanted and generally relaxed.

Right after I got back, I could feel myself peaking. Did my previous fastest time on the Gamle Maridalsveien route just 4 days after my return. That was 3:41 min/km.

There’s surely a lesson here about over-training. A worn down body doesn’t go fast. But rest alone can’t be the secret to improvement.

Last week I was back to feeling worn out, but not so much as before my holiday.

This week, on the other hand, has been better.

Maybe being more careful at the gym and doing more varied work has helped. I’ve mollycoddled my knees in spinning classes, keeping the rpm’s low. But to help me do that, I’ve been piling on resistance. I’ve also been doing a core strength group class.

I’ve also been focusing a lot on good skating technique. My goal for training today was just to maintain good technique. But my body said go. I was committing my weight and riding out the glide. Especially on the climbs. So after a few km of unintentional speed I decided to push it even more. It felt good to fly. My pulse got high but it was sustainable and much more pleasure than pain. My cardio felt powerful. Today’s new record was 3:36  km/min.

Watching some cool rollerski videos lately on the Net might have inspired me. I’d realized I’d need to crank things up a notch to stick anywhere near the competitors in the Lysebotn Opp race.

But I think another factor might be all the forest berries I’ve been eating. I’ve been picking lots of wild blueberries and raspberries and putting them in smoothies. I’ve read that in addition to all the other good stuff, blueberries contain a potent anti-inflammatory agent. And that may well be helping eliminate residual muscle aches from previous day’s training.

I’ve also read that the leaves contain the same compound and can be used to make tea. The blueberry season has been pretty poor this year but since the bushes are the dominant forest ground cover around here, there’s no shortage of leaves. I’ll have to give them a try.

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