Monday, October 17, 2011

Leading with Discomfort: When Push Goes To Shove

There is innovation in desperation. They say that ‘invention is the mother of necessity’.

Today, I join many of the TNF100 runners that hobbled down steps, or anything with a sheer drop of more than 10 centimetres. Eccentric action, or movement with the muscles stretching under load, is painful for me. This pain is caused by several physical and physiological responses:

1)    Landing on the slopes (eccentric action)
2)    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – most severe 48-72 hours after cessation of the activity
3)    Buildup of inflammation (as a response to strenuous muscular activity)

So, the last 48 hours (the NorthFace100 event was on Saturday, 8.00am-3pm for me) was spent reducing the inflammatory response of my body (as a natural response to healing) to a minimum. I resorted to the following active and passive methods of recovery and recuperation:

a)    Consumption of carbohydrates and protein from a wide variety of natural food and supplements (whey protein from Tiger Milk – which Chrissy Wellington uses)
b)    Increased consumption of antioxidant-laden foods (vegetables, berries, pomegranate juice, ginger); 100% pomegranate juice has the highest antioxidant/phytochemical value compared to berries, cherries and red wine
c)    Walking (low intensity for at least 20 minutes), cycling and water-jogging
d)    Deep stretching poses (hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, soles)
I am still sore in my thighs, however the pain is bearable. I walk with knees partly extended so as to provide temporary relief when walking. I know that the pain will subside fully in another day or two, as it has in the past. Stiff muscles in masters-class athletes are expected, so there is more work involved to stay in the game for a longer time. Two books address this in interesting perspective: Roy M. Wallack’s Run For Life (which focuses on the aging athlete), and Dr Phil Maffetone’s The Big Book of Endurance Training & Racing. I recommend that you read them for more interesting training and recovery choices.
I am glad that my online conversations with members of the running community have yielded their shared solutions for managing their post-exercise pain? We share much in common, yet there is uncommon sense that prevails and that works! Our personal discoveries when shared can reveal a wider net of affirmation and confirmation.

Leadership Lessons: How do you work past your discomfort? What are doing to stay ahead in your game? How creative do you get when you face challenges and difficulty? How do you seek solutions to problems that have plagued you? How much do you read and ask, and apply to practice?

No comments: