Persistence Hunting

man

Above: Cave painting from Drakensberg, South Africa

I find the above ‘cave man’ painting to be one of the most iconic works of art, possibly more moving than Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, or MichelAngelo’s ‘Adam’ in the Sistine Chapel, certainly this is a very poignant moment in the life of men, the hunt.

In his book Born to Run, Christoper MacDougall (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Run-Hidden-Ultra-Runners-Greatest/dp/1861978774) examines theories that man has evolved as the ultimate predator by virtue of his ability to run his prey down (persistence hunting). However apart from sound theory and a few isolated bushman said to still maintain this hunting technique today, researchers were not able to cite any real world examples.

Yesterday while reading the below article, which although tragic and sad for many reasons I was amazed to find that in less than a generation people had reverted to persistence hunting (search for ‘exhaustion’ to jump to the interesting paragraph). Truly mind boggling!

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html

So forget about the late Nike, Asics etc. you have all the natural mechanics in your foot and get out there running.

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Getting to Race Weight

measuring-tape

I am very rapidly approaching my race weight at this point. This weight loss I mainly attribute to dropping the carb intake in favour of more protein in the diet, or rather more critically accepting carbs. I have noticed no decline in training performance with the reduced carb count at all.

The other secret weapon in the arsenal sadly included eliminating all evening snacks. However the satisfaction gained from improving run times is highly rewarding offsetting this loss. In fact I have noticed a general increase in pace/power across all disciplines which I attribute to an increased VO2 max (VO2 max is used as a measure of fitness, apparently blubber really does soak up oxygen).

So in closing I can re-enforce that getting close to one’s idea/ or race weight as soon as possible is the best thing to do, it’s healthier and makes life easier if not faster.

Dark Chocolate

cadbury-bournville

I do hope Cadbury’s will not mind my promoting of their Bourneville chocolate

I absolutely love chocolate, I am sure I am not alone. I will happily pass up sweets, candies etc. but never chocolate. So it is understandable why I am conscious of my race weight ideal at all times.

I have known that Dark Chocolate has health benefits for some time, but it was only recently that I deep dived into a couple of articles on the net. While I would highly suggest you read the articles I have referenced and more, as a starting point in brief, the benefits of dark chocolate include:

  • Good for heart
  • Good for brain
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • antioxidant
  • rich in vitamins and minerals

To name but a few. So it is seemingly sound advice, to eat Dark Chocolate frequently, that is something I do believe I can include in my competitive behaviour mindset!

References:

Why You should eat and drink dark chocolate.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-should-eat-and-drink-high-cacao-dark-chocolate/

Livestrong, Dark Chocolate’s nutritional profile

http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/nutrition-calories/food/cadbury/bournville/

Red Misted

I hit the Red Mist set again for this mornings session, after the earlier interval session this week. While I don’t want to make a log of the blog for the sake of completion and interest below is the follow up session from last week see . I moved the Critical Swim Speed (CSS) down to 1’36 (down one second from last week as planned).

The results are:

Set CSS Target Ashley Time
1 CSS + 6 secs 6’48 6’48
2 CSS + 6 secs 6’48 6’44
3 CSS + 6 secs 6’48 6’48
4 CSS + 6 secs 6’48 6’51
5 CSS + 5 secs 6’44 6’43
6 CSS + 5 secs 6’44 6’39
7 CSS + 5 secs 6’44 6’49*
8 CSS + 4 secs 6’40 6’31
9 CSS + 4 secs 6’40 6’40
10 CSS + 3 secs 6’36 6’33

* Lane traffic
As you the reader can see, for the most part within the target times. Perhaps a little fast at times, certainly well within targets. However this did not feel like the 8-out-of-10 session that it ought to. So I will leave the CSS at 1’36 for the next Red Mist session.

Again I highly recommend structuring swim sessions around your own personal CSS and ignoring arbitrary goal times for sets.

Competitive Behaviours

As I began preparations for 2013 in terms of planning at the end of last year. I was lucky enough to listen to a podcast by Bevan James Eyles, relating to competitive behaviours.

Competitive behaviours could be defined as the discipline of adopting all the behaviours that you the athlete require of yourself to be your best. It is the adoption of the training process for successful achievement of one’s personal goals. The training process being the road that is taken and the destination (e.g. your personal goals) a small part of the journey.

To be successful you need to immerse yourself in the processes that allows you to be the best you can be.

All very zen, I guess but what this mean? Examining my own personal behaviours the things I have identified that have allowed me in the past to achieve outside what I believed was possible, include:

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Rooibos Tea

I quite enjoy my herbal teas, and have developed a deep love for the tastes as well as the medicinal benefits of teas. My all time favourite, that I drink in abundance during the day, is Rooibos (pronounced Roy-bos) Tea. Is it coincidental that this is a South African tea? Perhaps not!

rooibos

Rooibos has been drunk traditionally in South Africa for hundreds of years since the first Dutch colonists discovered it. Rooibos comes from the beautiful Cape of which I won’t even begin to witter on about! Other than to say this is no surprise considering the amount of fynbos (shrubs and heaths) that covers the mountainous southern Cape region (how I miss those smells).

See Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooibos#Nutritional_and_health_benefits. If you haven’t had Rooibos before, go on and try some, definitely one of the best tea’s around beating a Latte hands down! If you have Rooibos reach for another cup a bit of Africa will only do you good.

Garmin signals ‘Wrap-up the Old’

Still a Runner

Dear Garmin: The political, professional and personal end-of-year wrap-ups were overwhelming. Journalists, analysts and bloggers endlessly trolled through their 2012 calendars.  I became a bit of a curmudgeon with no intention of joining in the fray.

But you, Garmin, thought otherwise.

December 30, as I volunteered for a Resolution 5K we did an early course run to place mile markers.  Along with your beep to indicate the first mile, you sent a message that your database was full – please delete some data.  I ignored you.  Usually, I can squeeze in another 10 or 12 runs before you are actually full.

December 31 during speedwork, the delete data message returned.  I gave in.  This was your  timely and clear message to me to join in the year-end review.

What would the stored information locked in your casing reveal about 2012? Your data and my notes held the secrets of my…

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