Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 28

My legs are still recovering from the pounding of downhill technical running.  It's a bit jarring, and maybe that's partly why my arms were strangely sore on Sunday.  Other than the bit of poundiness in my shins, I felt up for a cardio workout, so I biked instead. 

Oh, I had a nice strength session yesterday.  Records in several areas... 120/140 adductor/abductor leg lifts were suprising, since I would've thought that 3 weeks without PT would've made them weak... 400 crunches aren't a record, but the fact that I breezed through them wasn't expected... 3x60 single-leg quad dips weren't deep, but that's a lot 

I've noticed more muscle definition.  Was it marathon fitness setting in after the recovery period?  Was it all the protein (ridiculous amounts) I had in Buenos Aires?  Was it the reduced training (so reduced natrual trimming of excess mass through running, even if it's lean muscle)?  Notably, there are two muscles... the inner lower shin, and the semi-inner upper quads. 

Back to the bike session... I was tired before and contemplated just going to bed early... need it, but exercise helps you sleep better, and it reduces stress, and it keeps all of your systems in check (horomone, insulin, whatever else balance).  Always more energy after a workout.  My mind's still a little fuzzy, maybe, from being tired, but my body is ready for action, and I'm more psychologically ready for bed, feeling like I've adequately finished off my day with a nice workout, plus the benefits of stress reduction. 

Anyway... bike session... 45 minutes, 11.1 miles, 350 cal.  With running, they ask you to enter your weight, and I don't remember the bike asking me.  I'd think that some adjustment factor is required, even for a non-weight-bearing exercise like cycling, since you still need to lift your quads, and quad mass is proportionate to body mass.  With a non-recumbent bike, I guess extra mass working with gravity to produce force would also reduce the energy output, perhaps cancelling the quad lift.  So maybe body weight is a negligible factor.  There should be ways to tell, through oxygen/CO2-measuring devices.  Well, with running, my factor is about 2/3 of the standard reading, so the lower limit would be 2/3 of 350, since if there was a weight factor with cycling, it wouldn't exceed the weight factor of running, which is a weight-bearing exercise.  Although... different machines seem to estimate energy expenditure differently.  Ellipticals, I think, are way off, for whatever reason, greatly overestimating the actual output.  Maybe they don't factor in all of the momentum that gets cycled through with every stroke.  The elliptical does give you a good workout, believe me, but the settings need to be right.  I once used one at a hotel that lets you adjust stride length... it was awesome.  I've also tried ellipticals that don't make me feel like I'm doing anything, no matter how easy or hard I make the level... something... maybe stride length... just didn't fit right. 

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