80/20: Day Three


You only do three things to be good at a sport: train really diligently, eat really well and sleep lots. Consistently. For a very long time. Oh, and a good genetic inheritance, financial independence and some good luck probably help, but concentrate on the things you can change first.

Last night, La Serpiente Aquatica Negra did her best to sabotage the third pillar of my training formula. She waited until about 11:30, then started yelling. And yelling. And yelling. We’re trying not to feed her until at least midnight, but that makes her madder and madder, which results in more and more yelling. Fearing for my wife’s mental wellbeing, I ushered her out of the bedroom and tried to settle my daughter. Who kept yelling. And yelling. And yelling.

I picked her up, I put her down, I rubbed her back, I stopped rubbing her back, she sat up, she fell over, she sat up again, she fell over again, and all the time she kept on yelling. I took her out of her cot, I out her back in her cot, nothing satisfied her. Finally, I picked her up and laid her back down in her cot, and immediately she quietened down and went to sleep. After 45 minutes of full power baby rage. If only I’d known that rotating her to horizontal would have fixed her problems, the two of us could have had a much more relaxing night.

And 45 minutes after that, she woke up and started yelling again.

So when I peeled myself off the sofa this morning, I wasn’t in great shape. I’d actually had slightly more sleep then on Monday and Tuesday (up both mornings at 6 for an easy run, after staying up until midnight) but perhaps the cumulative effect is also bad. We had breakfast, then all went off to my office, stopping on the way for a second breakfast of scrambled eggs.

Eggs are of debatable nutritional value: there’s lots of good stuff in them, but they are also packed with delicious cholesterol. So to protect me from myself, the place where I have my eggs (SPeRMRacKeT, or whatever that disemvowelled sign connotes) is steadily reducing the size of the portions. That, or I ordered scrambled sparrow eggs without realising. Either way, breakfast numero dos wasn’t all I had hoped for.

To finish the day off, after drinking lots of coffee, you might expect the last pillar of successful athletic development to crash down too, with me sacking off the track in favour of a night in front of the television. But no: having chowed down on tofurkey and bathed La Serpiente Aquatica Negra, off I went to the track, for Wednesday Night Intervals.

This evening, we were back to 6×5 minutes, with a minute’s rest in between. This is a ghastly session; you’ve hardly walked back to the start line and drunk some water before it’s time to start running again. Still, I’d got all that slow running in my legs: would it make a difference compared to the last comparable session, back in https://www.cushtie.com/strangely-brutal late September?

6x5minute threshold consistency

6x5minute progression

As it turns out, this either was or wasn’t my best session to date. Looking at the graphs, you can see that although I was very consistent tonight, compared with the 27th of August, my median lap time has actually deteriorated somewhat. However, two months ago I didn’t manage to complete a full 6×5 minute set, so we’re comparing less laps run. Furthermore, there were two atrocious laps two months ago where I was ruined and could only manage to get round in 1:50; the worst tonight was a 1:45.4, and that was the very last lap when I was really beginning to tire.

So, pretty pleased with tonight’s performance. Still not quite where I want to be: consistent 1:36 laps continue to elude me, and I imagine will do so for at least this cycle. I’m also a bit worried about how I’ll cope with tomorrow’s spinning class, but we’ll see how that goes when we get to it.

93 minutes this week, easy pace. 35 minutes hard (38%).


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