Final weeks preparation!

This is our plan for the final week in preparation for the race on Saturday

Final week:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Am Push pattern circuit – C- Fast fit H Pull pattern circuit – C Arrive in aus Active recovery Active recoveryTriggers and pres Releases and switch ons
Pm Spartan simulation Arrive in aus Triggers & prep Massage Triggers and prep Preparation workRace 12pm

This is how it actually went:

On Monday I had a push pattern resistance training routine in the morning and I felt strong and ready for this session. It was still circuit based with a combination of weight training and good body weight functional movement patterns. Here is the workout so you get a taste of what we do.

Exercise Setsxreps Tempo Rest Notes

Circuit 1

Suspension cable flyes 3×8 1.1.1 0 Alternate foot lift
Suspension cable press ups 3×8 1.1.1 0 Alternate foot lift
Press up block walk overs 3×8 1.1.1 0
Press up arm raises 3×8 1.1.1 60s

Circuit 2

SB DB chest press 3×8 1.1.1 0 Single each arm then double
Alternating arm DB shoulder press 3×8 1.1.1 0 Standing
Lizard crawls 3x20m 1.1.1 60s With press ups

Heading towards the end of our high intensity training week we were both feeling a little over reached and a tad inflammatory, although we had both broken some barriers – Helen especially with our 4-5km hill run ending in undulating hill climb. This had a physical and emotional reaction as she had pushed herself harder than she had before and it was truly inspiring for me to be a part of.

Helen after the bush run breakthrough
Helen after the bush run breakthrough

Leading into the Spartan simulation session we were a little overcooked and a little jaded but we both wanted to complete it as it was a measure of our progress as well as our last high intensity training session before we leave.

We had an ambitious goal of completing the simulation in under one hour (our previous time was 1:16). I did think to myself we may be asking too much after only 3 weeks of training but was a good driving force to take it up a notch and push a bit harder.

The simulation went well, completing it in 57 minutes!! Fitness wise we both felt great but unfortunately we were both in a bit of pain and inflammation – Helen with her right leg and myself with my ankle. We both knew we probably needed a low intensity day but wanted to complete this for many reasons – perhaps to our own detriment.

One thing I always do with my clients from session to session is do a quick profile of all of the stressors in their life. I ask how are you feeling today? How has your sleep been? How are you feeling physically? What exercise have you done this week? How stressed are you feeling and how are you doing emotionally? All of these questions give me an insight into the state of the Autonomic nervous system and the readiness of the client for any given training session. This helps me make a decision on whether to prescribe a working out (energy expending) or working in (energy building) session or even a hybrid of both. I think if I had addressed this we would have been doing a ‘working in’ session.

Pool recovery session :)
Pool recovery session 🙂

A working out session can contain some of the following elements:

  • High load intense lifting session
  • Circuit training
  • Interval training
This was a work-out! (more on this in the next blog)
This was a work-out! (more on this in the next blog)

A working in session may contain some of these elements:

  • Belly breathing exercises
  • Slow breathing – if you can slow your breathing to 6 breaths per minute you illicit an anti-inflammatory and anabolic response (tissue repair)
  • Body awareness, massage
  • SMR, stretching – prescribed by Willis Street Physiotherapy and myself
  • Meditation

So as we were a little inflammatory and over worked we will be employing many of the working in elements and other recovery techniques.

The issues with our recovery days are:

a)    Disrupted sleep – circadian rythym

b)   Travel – on the move the whole trip

c)    Postural stress from the travel and sitting

d)   Unpredictable environment – food, stress etc

e)    Working as we travel

f)     Climate change – thermal stress

What we will need to do is control the controllables.

a)    Eating – this will be Helens domain

  1. Healthy travel snacks
  2. Healthy dining options
  3. Keep hydrated
  4. Recovery superfoods and supplements
  5. Keep organic, grain free, sugar free, alcohol free, caffeine free
  6. Making sure we are eating enough and also not too much
Recover fuel - Fresh figs at Appin Homestay
Recover fuel – Fresh figs at Appin Homestay

b)   Follow the recovery plan

  1. Daily stretches & switch on’s
  2. Massage for each other
  3. Breathing exercise – working in

c)    Control the sleep patterns best we can

Employing all of this should have us on the right track for the Spartan race on Saturday!

For more on stress and ANS balancing please read this article.

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