MAF Experiment- Week 19

Snapshot of this week’s ideas:  Workout highlight: Days off.  Food highlight: Plant Preferred.  Words of Wisdom highlight: Be a coffee bean

Click here for the video recap for the blog.

MAF Update:

Still loving the switch to the 80/20 rule for the bike training, and most rides this week were about the same.  Some a tiny bit slower and some a bit faster.  I feel like it was a good decision to get past the slide I was on.  There is another month and a half left of the base training before the speed work phase. As of now, I have four races on the calendar for next summer.  The Graniteman Series of three races and the Hopkins Royal Triathlon are the staple events.  My hope is to add one more, Heart of the Lakes in Annandale, to my calendar and I can’t wait to see how the new training will pan out.

This week’s work:

Tuesday- 30-minute ride for 13.79 virtual miles

Wednesday- 30-minute ride for 16.02 virtual miles. (6 x 4 minutes in the biggest gear, 1 minute easy spin)

Friday- 30-minute ride for 13.91 virtual miles.

Saturday- 60-minute ride for 28.06 virtual miles.

Sunday- 30-minute ride of speed work. 3 x (5 min. of 20 sec. on and 10 sec. easy followed by 5 minutes at MAF)

Nutrition Highlight:

Diets come, and diets go.  I wrote about my choice of diets in a previous blog.  I don’t think I could survive as a complete vegetarian, and there is no way I could hack it as a vegan.  When thinking about this diet box, I believe I have come up with a new term…plant preferred.  I Googled the term and found nothing, leaving me to believe nobody else has thought of this.  There is “plant based,” but I feel that has a silly stigma almost like being a vegetarian or vegan is a bad thing.

I “prefer” a whole lot of plants in my diet

For me, plant preferred follows the idea from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: “Eat food. Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  Burgers are not bad, and nachos are delicious.  Eating a variety of foods is easier on my brain.  For me, I like having the choice, but I always make sure that I am getting mostly plants in my diet.

Workout Highlight:

It may seem counterintuitive, but this week’s highlight is taking time off of working out.  I used to be a 7-days-a-week guy.  I “needed” to work out every day.  It was who I was.  Then my brilliant wife suggested taking a day or two off during a week.  My first reaction was shock at the absurd suggestion.   Looking back, boy was I dumb.  Days off are so important

On the scientific side, your muscles need time to repair after a workout.  That is how they get bigger and stronger.  Yes, I would alter my workouts to work different body parts on different days, but that is not enough.  All muscles are doing some work, even if they are not the focus of that day’s workout.  By adding in days where I am only doing some mobility work, my muscles are more able to handle the training I put it through.

On the mental side, days off are a nice break from the planning and preparation.  I don’t need to make sure I have everything laid out and ready for my early morning workout.  I don’t have to get my sleep routine started early to make sure I am getting adequate amounts of sleep.  My brain can rest and my muscles can too.

Wisdom of the Week:

I have talked about Jon Gordon and The Energy Bus, but there is another great book from him that drives my thinking.  The Coffee Bean is a great book for how to deal with life.  Jon and Damon West teach this lesson through a story.  The main takeaway is “are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” 

A great message for a positive life

Life’s stress is like a pot of boiling water.  When the carrot is placed in the stress of the boiling water, it becomes soft and wilts.  The egg will become hard.  The coffee bean will spread out and effect the water around it.  If you are a carrot, you will cave in to the pressures of life and feel disappointed or depressed.  If you are an egg, you will become hardened, frustrated, and not a happy person.  As a coffee bean, you find ways to positively impact the world around you.  The pressure does not change you, you make the world better. 

I know this is not always possible in the heat of the moment, but I do like to think about how I am dealing with life. These days, it gets easy to be frustrated with people who do not follow rules and recommendations.  There have been days when I have come home from school and feel mentally defeated because people take advantage of any little thing to force their beliefs on the world, with very little regard to those they hurt.  On these days, I realize that I am being a carrot.  Thinking about the book’s message helps me to get out of my carrot mindset faster.  I can’t control others actions, but I can control what I do about it.  Find ways to make the world around you better and be a coffee bean.

That’s just a bit of my experience.  Have a great week.

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