Another one in the 2018 in review series. This year started with a gloomy vibe on my sportsman life. That uncomfortable spot made me seek answers for the problems that arose and ultimately pushed me to get the best performance metrics of my life. Let me tell you about it!
Early in the year I was diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome also known as “runners knee” which ironically, I got from cycling… You must know I’m also an avid runner but I’m convinced this injury was caused by very strenuous zwift sessions and races.
In the beginning, I was trying to “work around” the injury but I just ended up in the ER with an incredible amount of pain. Yeah, ER for knee pain… not knowing how the health system works in the US led me to this and a humongous bill!
Working around injuries seem to be very common amongst athletes, we are overly stubborn and proud. A perfect combination to complicate injuries.
After a rough start, I made it to the doctor’s office and that was a huge relief. “You need a tune up!” those were the doctor’s words.
After the injury was diagnosed I got into PT. Thanks to my friends Sarang and Lisa I ended up at Egoscue in San Francisco. My therapy had for goal the strengthening and stabilization of my hip and core muscles. During PT I also learned the importance of proper stretching and posture. This is one of the key teachings for me this year: “World class performance needs world class stretch”
Fast forward 4 months and I’m starting to be able to push more while exercising. Instead of coming back to high volume training I decided to explore a different path: General body conditioning. With the goal of becoming a well rounded athlete.
Core exercises, weight lifting and stabilization drills became staples in my workout menu.
I also got new resources that taught me how to workout more effectively: Core Advantage, The Power Meter Handbook and Fitbod constituted the foundation of my new exercise habits.
After getting my base fitness back and feeling comfortable once again at the gym I decided to work with a personal trainer, here comes Dom. The variety and rigor of the exercises Dom brought into my workout made me achieve performance metrics that I never had before.
What exactly do I mean when I say performance metrics?
- FTP (Functional Threshold Power – Cycling): How much power can I generate based on my weight, speed and cadence for an hour?
- 5Km time: How fast can I run a 5Km (3mi) race?
- 10Km time: How fast can I run a 10Km race?
- VO2 Max (Running and cycling)*: How much oxygen can my body consume in a given amount of time? Higher is better. It means that my body can deliver more oxygen to my muscles and keep a hard effort for longer
- Body Composition (% Fat, % Muscle – NO WEIGHT): How is my body conformed? How much muscle and fat do I have? I don’t measure weight since I consider it a vanity metric. Performance comes from finding balance between body fat and muscle percentage and that’s what I focus on
* Measured in my Garmin, no lab test.
- FTP: 236w
- 5Km time: 20min
- 10Km time: 40min
- VO2 Max: 57ml/kg/min
- Body comp: 26.1% F and 36.7% M
- FTP: 262W
- 5Km time: 17:03 min
- 10Km time: Unmeasured because my race got canceled. Race predictor indicates a 35:23 min but it should’ve be taken with a grain of salt.
- VO2 Max: 60ml/kg/min
- Body comp: 22.8% F and 38.6% M
2018 made me dig deeper in data, read more sports literature and re-invented the way I approach my training. It was the year were I stopped training just as a habit and decided to take it more seriously. 2018, the year I started to consider myself a competitive athlete and really started to shoot for those podiums.
My passion towards sports feels more solid than ever and I’m eager to learn more, push more and race more.
I’m looking forward for the 2019 season!
Do you have an exercise related question? Want to workout together? A race that you want to invite me to? Or any opinion about this post? Leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’ll be really happy to hear from you. I’m not a coach but I can talk about muscles, workouts and gear all day!