well, we finished up week 6 feeling pretty good about everything.
didnt really start out that way though.
I did some reading on various websites about increasing VO2Max. seems like that is my biggest problem, i breath a bit too hard versus what i am doing. so i figured to do some looking around and see if there were some exercises or breathing somethings or maybe some magic pills i could take to help me out with my weakest part. so after a lot of looking around i came up with three big things. 1 - do a lot of sprint workouts - where you go to max and your body gets better at it. this is kinda what the last few workouts have been like so thats a good start. got on a website with a ton of people writing up their experiences. the two biggest things pill wise are Cordyceps - a fungus from china ( gads ) and beta-alanine - an amino acid.
the cordyceps is supposed to help carry oxygen through your bloodstream more efficiently and the beta is something that keeps your muscles from getting tired while you run/bike/swim - allowing you to go farther and faster. if you combine them you should be able to go both faster and farther and not be out of breath. PERFECT!
At first I decided to try just one pill type for a week or 2 before adding the other, but when the Resa took both – I decided to try it. both pills are simple, not full of 54 different things that’s could be bad for you. also i got an email from the Canadian national champion guy saying what he does to train - not the workouts - but the stuff he takes. he highly recommends green tea and beta-alanine. other than that he just listed a few recovery protein drinks. actually about 5 different ones based on long workout - short, fast, day time, weekend. it was pretty funny, the different recovery drink list was pretty long. i just drink a gatoraide or sometimes - once a month i get a protein shake. so the two biggies are green tea before a workout - gives you a caffeine hit and also it burns more fat if you do it.
and Beta Alanine. i looked at these for a bit on the web. i didnt want something like half beta-alanine and half 53 other things like caffeine - which i dont like or ginseng or superblaster plus or what ever. so i picked Carnage - goofy name, but it was only beta-alanine plus some vit B. also i picked up a bottle of cordygen - the cordyseps stuff. again just that without any extra surprise bonuses.
Carnage: For soreness. This is the pill the Canadian guy suggested. After the first day of Carnage I felt really well. And my first bike on it I felt that my legs were not lagging at all. We did 9 one minute hard sprints and also rode for about 1:20 minutes. Afterwards my legs felt about as they always do from that amount of effort. Kinda ballooned and tired. But not worse than normal. I think the stuff lets you work harder, but you still pay for it later. ;-) During the workout I rode in one gear higher than I usually do. It was as easy and I felt no burning. During the sprints I got out of breath – as I usually do, but my legs felt stronger the whole time. The run wed night I also felt really strong in my legs. I also felt no side effects after the first day of carnage. I feel that the carnage stuff is going to be very good. But that’s just the first few days worth. Right now I wish I had kept to the plan of only doing one for a week, but really my main reason to try both was not to keep up with resa, but that our marathon was planned for Sunday and I wanted to get the breathing one ( Cordyceps ) up to speed by then. I had no symptoms from the carnage that I noticed – the one they talk about is the tingles. Resa said she felt it running last night. but she took a lot more than i did.
Cordyceps: for breathing. Hmm… I have a different opinion on this stuff. We havnt done anything hard enough yet to know if it works. I did some more reading this morning on people who logged what they did and how they felt using cordyceps: one guy said it helped his breathing on biking and running. But that he had to take a week off because he got the flu. Which I would have thought nothing of except that I got the flu wednesday myself. It started about 3 hours after taking my first pill. Resa and I both woke up in the middle of the night feeling that it was 90 degrees in the room. I sat in the bathroom for about an hour and felt better. ( nasty bathroom stuff – like I had food poisoning ). That was tue night. Did some more reading on different web pages and the stuff *can* make you think you have an infection. It’s a fungus/mushroom type of thing. The guy in the original writeup said it lasted about 5 days really bad and another 10 lingering. But that he kept taking it. maybe your body stops fighting it after a while. He didn’t say he was sick from the cordy – but… I am thinking it might have been and he didn’t know it. wednesday just before running I took another cordy and felt pretty crappy on the run, my stomach was bloated and I felt like I had a cold going. wednesday night I took another and again woke up in the middle of the night with another nasty 1 hour bathroom break. Again 3 hours after the pill. Thursday morning I still felt sick. Headache like flu. A little dizzy. Achey knees and shoulder joints. Kinda fuzzy. Just all around yucky like flu. Light hurt my eyes and my ears felt clogged. Also a bit of the shiveries. My heart rate is also down a bunch beating about 48 per minute which seems *way* too slow – It probably has to do with not needing so much oxygen. But it gave me a headache I think. Also eating seems to make me feel better ( weird eh? ). Another item on cordy is the bowel movements can be nasty – got that for sure. Also the Canadian guy didn’t mention it and he said he has done in his words EXTENSIVE research and experimenting. I am guessing he has tried this for sure and doesn’t suggest it.
So…. I am stopping the cordyceps. never taking one of them again. i think it would be good for people maybe making a living at a sport - i could see if you could save 30 minutes on an ironman you might put up with feeling sick for 3 months. but not me...
the carnage... well, i think i will keep on with that to see how it goes. i am taking about 1/3 of what they suggest. but i certainly, without any doubt feel stronger than i would without it. resa also has taken that and stopped the cordy. the marathon looked like a rain out so we decided not to drive the 8 hours to do the race. it rained all day and the trail would be a mudpit so we ran around here instead. we went 12 miles and cut 30 seconds per mile off. which is pretty huge. just ran along and in the end we pretty much have a new PR for the half marathon now about 6 minutes better than ever. and we were never out of breath, went about as hard as we could - but i would think we could have gone a bit faster if we had tried to.
so. one for sure loss and a probable win. will see if it causes any side effects. the cordy stuff is just now getting out of my system. took about 4 days feeling better each day to get mostly back to normal.
in other news swam 2.3 k today in 51 minutes. wasnt trying all that hard, but that pace will get us done in about 1:30ish...
was a tough week. but next week is even harder. hopefully its easier because i wont be sick from chinese fungus and the beta-alanine turns out to be a winner.
mentally i was at a 4 on wednesday, but feel tons better today. i will give myself a 7 for the week.
physically i give me a 7 also. really tired, spent 5 days sick - we need to up the distance on the running or we are going to be in big trouble. the book called for about 7 miles on the weekend and we did 12, and we both feel we need to be doing at least 20 on weekends.
workouts: 9 did them all and did them very fast. felt like puking when on the cordy and that ruined a 10 week.
learning stuff. bit bummed about the marathon miss. but no real big deal. :-)