One week has passed. I’ve managed to hit everything in 2REW except a second row. A thick bank of white fog blocked us from rowing Wednesday. The halo from the car lights down the ramp was very cool, but hitting a marker or an oyster bed would not have been that cool. I’ve seen the damage on the quad.
I picked back up with tracking calories again. I seem to naturally be hitting around 2,000. That’s the good news, I guess. However, my breakfasts have been woefully small and my dinners gargantuan. When I was trying to drop a few pounds, it worked better when dinners were smaller. I also switched to eating salads at lunch and trying to bring fruit or cucumbers for a midday snack. My weight has been very steady, but it usually seems to be in the third week of the infamous four week cycle. 😉 I tend to put on anywhere from 2-4 pounds just ahead of the big day, then the fourth day or so in, my weight will drop back down. The second week will be my lightest, then it will creep up 1-2 pounds and stay stable again until the a few days before the big day.
To accompany the training, I’ve been doing more research into nutrition and training. Mostly, I’ve done some cursory research. While reading about triathlons, I came across this article about Meredith Kessler, IronMan Champion. It mentions how important training her to recover was as part of her evolution. Then, a few days later, I purchased the book “The Feed Zone” after reading through samples online. It’s written with a clear slant for cyclists. Regardless, it appears to have merit for rowing and it, too, brought up this concept of “recovery.” Somewhere buried in the text and graphic is a great line about how for the average amateur, it’s all “train really hard, then jump into a business suit and go,” which made me laugh. Hello Wednesday mornings!
Another website, coreperformance.com, says this about recovery:
“Regeneration increases your energy, boosts your immune system, and helps you get the most out of each training session, which ultimately will improve your performance. Regeneration improves your hormone profile, decreases inflammation, and improves tissue quality, thus decreasing the number of overuse injuries you may experience.”
And all those ice baths featured on Olympic profiles and behind-the-scenes look at athletes’ quarters? It’s part of recovery.
So what should be happening during this mysterious stage? I’m not fortunate enough to be a professional athlete or to work from home. I plan on doing more research, but here’s what I’ve ascertained thus far as a common theme:
- Eat within 30 minutes of a workout to replace muscle glycogen and speed up the recovery process. And it shouldn’t always be the chocolate cake or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that shines like the light out of heaven after a hard workout. Something more like fruit or an energy bar.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
- Stretch out.
- Sleep well and deeply. (I’d always love more of that!)
- Eat a sound, nutritious diet. Not too much of this or that. And forget the Cheetos.
To that end, “The Feed Zone” has some interesting rice cake recipes that I’m looking forward to making! I imagine they’d be perfect after a long row Wednesday morning! Some of their other recipes look amazing, too. I wish I had more time in the day to cook of the dishes. I’m also surprised at how many of them are vegetarian or gluten-free. Anything to shove more vegetables down the gullet!
With that said, onto week 2! Happy December and nine months to Nationals!