Thursday, February 23, 2012

Short Bursts, Hard Hits

I was reading Macca’s book 'I'm Here to Win', where he relates his experience of a quick burst of energy after drinking a soft drink, during a low period of his marathon (a geographical location known as ‘Bonksville’). He learnt from a fellow competitor how he could defuse the ‘bonk’ (race-stopping fatigue) with a quick hit of plain sugar. Mind you, simple sugar in a soda is not the best choice of nutrition for your body, but it does just fine in delivering the punch when experiencing malaise and lethargy. When you subsist on the same nutritional product, like energy gels and the like, it can wreak gastric havoc because of tainted taste-buds and an exhausted body. The last thing during an intense session is for your body to shunt blood to your guts, to digest complex carbohydrates.

In my penultimate week to Ironman New Zealand, I am experiencing the symptoms of ‘exercise withdrawal. Not in the addictive sense, mind you, however it is a mixed bag of emotions and physical frustration from reduced mileage, high intensity, and anxiety born of the mindset ‘it may not be enough’. This sensations and feelings are natural, during the rest and recuperation stages prior to a race. A missed workout or two, due to work and a scattered schedule can further tease one’s temperament and temperature to its tether's end. This is a valid time to take stock and strategise one’s plans with a heightened sense of clarity and renewed commitment.

I am eating smaller but frequent, nutrient-dense meals. I am resting more to allow my body to recuperate from the weeks of demanding physical work, injury and illness. I am not fussed if my bodyweight and body-fat climbs as I would need all resources to fuel me through the 226K of challenges at lake Taupo. Hopefully, I can draw upon moments of short burst and harder hits to climb over mental and physical fatigue.

Leadership Lessons: How do you increase your effectiveness in the shortest time? What are the down sides when you accelerate your process of learning? How do you cope with changes, both physically and mentally?

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