RECOVERY IS A BIG KEY TO SUCCESS – Coach Arnie Fonseca Jr – Medium


Mount San Jacinto

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to learn the hard way about the importance of Recovery. Yes even an almost 60 year old Exercise Physiologist, has way too many times had to discover the hard way that I needed to learn when it’s best to back off. And because of that this almost 60 year-old ultra adventure athlete has become much better at listening to his body.

The main reason for this weeks article is to share some of the stuff that isn’t really that fun. It’s more of the grind. It’s what goes on when you start getting close to the big adventure. So here are some of my guidelines to Recovery. starting with:

Rule number one. If I’m sore than there won’t be any significant running, climbing or strength work. I will generally opt for my mobility and core routine. Combined with work on the mini tramp this becomes a great recovery session.

Bottom line. I’ve learned, as an Exercise Physiologist, to better follow my own advice. Listen to my body. Rest more. Slow down and work on more mobility stuff.

Why More Recovery
Not to beat a dead horse. The real growth comes in your recovery time. Yes of course we must train hard and smart and with purpose. Then we must recover. But most of us should know this. Right?

This requires rest and nutrition. In my case this means sleeping in more and doing the best I can nutrition wise.

As stated in previous articles, I’ve been playing with a mostly Carnivore Diet. I’m now in the third week. I’m still learning a lot. I’m sprinkling in some carbs. I’m starting this week to use an organ meat supplement. I feel as if I’m still adjusting.

I’m well aware that all change require some risk. But my Mt. Ord experience provided early evidence that it’s working. Last week, although a bit tired, I still could push physically if needed on the mountain and with the weights. I’m confident it will only get better.

Gravy Days
There are going to be days during this recovery period where, even if you feel good physically, that once you start, it’s just isn’t there for you mentally. You have a couple choices to make. Bag the workout. Which is OK.

Or you can opt to press forward and hope that things turn around mentally. Many times, if you’re physically recovered and not doing anything new, that you’ll experience this euphoric turn around. I call this a Gravy Day.

Let me quickly explain. Anyone can train when it’s easy and everything feels great. The Meat and Potatoes. But there will be times that you’re just not feeling it. Press on. Everything you do that day will be a bonus. Better known as the Gravy! Hence a “Gravy Day!”

Many of my clients like to tell me that on days when they’ve had a rough day but still make to their workout. When they finish, usually with a big smile on their face. They proudly say, “Gravy Day!”

There are many days that I purposely undertrain. I keep my heart rate low the entire workout. I work on using good technique and breathing. The key is being on my feet, using good posture and making everything fun and easy!

Why? Because these sessions make my big strength and running sessions better. They serve as great Recovery days.

All great athletes and many other successful individuals us mental imagery as part of their training. It provides amazing feedback. It literally may provide actual rises in heart rate and breathing, mimicking the event.

It allows you to perform your event from the safety of your home or office. In many cases you can double your workout through Imagery without the wear and tear on your body. This is a powerful tool.

I love visualizing going up and down mountain trails as well as performing certain strength exercises. Powerful!

Stick To Your Plan
Lastly let’s talk about the importance of sticking to your plan. As the adventure or event nears, is not the time to be winging it! It’s the time for refining, reviewing your adventure nutrition, testing equipment in a similar environment. It’s the time to just be doing stuff that will mess with you mentally or physically. This is the time to focus, refine and recover!

This Weeks Workout
This week I once again stayed close to home. I worked on performing during the heat of the day. Finishing at 1pm. I was able to easily work through 5 hours on Lookout. Doing about 3600 feet of climb! Everything felt good. But it was a grind. It was a “Gravy Day!”

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

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