My final major race for the year is in November and as I start to switch my focus onto training up for it I thought it was about time I revealed the specifics about my 2011 secret weapon – or not so secret anymore. Over the past four months I have been trained by the boys from Bodyology Physical Performance Solutions.The guys are dynamic, scientifically driven and most importantly know their stuff.
I only began ultra running at the beginning of 2010 and my approach was a bit of a shambles for that whole year. Some weeks I would run 70-80kms and other weeks I may be lucky to run up to 30kms – pretty low mileage for someone who decided to complete the RacingThePlanet GrandSlam. I managed to get through those races solely based on mental discipline and an unwavering belief that I could & would get to the finish line. That was a great starting point as I now truly understand how powerful your mind can be in allowing your body to be pushed to the extreme.
With that foundation I wanted 2011 to to be about ‘attempting’ to bring my physical ability more inline with that mental capacity. So here comes the boys… One of the greatest asset to working with Bodyology is that the three directors have varied expertise – check it out. Ben has been my primary coach – working with me on a day to day basis structuring my programs (poor him), Michael has been integral in incorporating altitude into my programs and Andy has conducted all of my bodpod composition testing.
1. More kms, tougher kms, what does this mean for the bod?
Poor Ben had the challenge to transform my very inconsistent approach to training to following a structure, consistent and strategic program. He pushes me hard to step up my kms and be far more disciplined in documenting what I had done, how I had done it and how I felt. With high training loads, a 222km race in the himalayas where I was on the move for 58 hours, double the distance I had ever done before and being hypothermic for the final 12 hours of the race (temp ranging from 91 to 94F/ 31-35C), I also did 73kms of the tragic Kimberley race a couple of weeks afterwards. My body felt surprisingly good and I had been working hard to refuel my body in the right way.
I went into their performance centre in Nottinghil this week for my second BodPod Body Composition test. After the short test Andy went through the data with me. Understandably and to be expected I have dropped a little over 2kgs (4.5 pounds) in the past couple of months. Whilst this is relatively significant to my overall size what I wanted to know is where that loss came from – fat mass or fat free mass? Well good news is that I whilst I lost 2.644kg of fat mass I actually put on 0.471kg in fat free mass. To be more clear and in the words of Andy: the loss of fat = less “non-functional” weight for you to cart around, and over such a great distance this can be a great advantage. An increase in lean mass = more “functional weight” – more muscle – potentially more stamina, greater power – stride length, stride frequency.
What it has shown is that my body is responding well to Ben’s training program. The main thing about going through a training phase and finding you have gained some lean mass suggests that the body has been able to adapt positively. This is done through giving yourself the appropriate levels of sleep, recovery time and importantly adequate nutrition (thanks to Ascend Protein and Juice Plus). It is often difficult to misjudge this balance, overtrain and subsequently end up injured. Which i know plenty about having been injured several times in 2010! Unfortunately stress is another inhibitor to proper recovery, so I often embrace yoga and regular brunches with my friends as a way to find that balance.
Now this is where I get particularly excited..Bodyology has up & running Victoria’s first and only commercially available Simulated Altitude Training Chamber – a 5 person, research grade chamber capable of reaching over 5000m above sea level.
This played a crucial part in my ability to complete La Ultra when I was far inexperienced in contrast to the other competitors and altitude training itself is used all through the world by elite sportspeople. Some of the results have been:
- Improved sports performance through greater aerobic conditioning & recovery ability;
- Rehabilitation training (high aerobic stress with low muscular load at altitude
- More efficient Body fat reduction through greater energy expenditure & increased metabolic drive exercising in low oxygen atmosphere
If anyone based in Melbourne is interested in giving this a go I recommend contacting Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org as he can give you a far more detailed analysis of how this training method works.
I saw on their website today that they have an introductory deal — if you sign up for a 12 week training block, you receive your tolerance test and up to 2 training sessions in your start up week for free before commencing the 12 week period. Get on it & come keep me company in the chamber.