Road Cyclists Blogs Spinning

Go Slower - Arrive Sooner


In this age of hurry scurry, do you find that either you or your clients do one or more of the following things?

  • Always answer the phone on the first ring
  • Work on two computers at the same time
  • Check email before getting dressed in the morning
  • Push the elevator button every ten seconds until it arrives
  • Walk on escalators and moving sidewalks
  • Eat breakfast while driving to work
  • View multitasking as a normal way of life
  • Constantly exceed the speed limit
  • Keep your smart phone in your gym bag or golf bag
  • Eat lunch at your desk
  • Shower in less than five minutes
  • Become impatient with the time it takes for your computer to boot up

Hurrying and stress are a real part of today’s lifestyle.  In fact, there is a name for the behaviors outlined above: “hurry sickness” and it appears that it is really making us sick!

 It is estimated that hurrying and stress are the cause of 80 to 85 percent of all human illness and disease (The American Medical Association). Furthermore it is estimated that 50 percent of all deaths each year in the U.S. are due to social and behavioral factors often connected with stress (McGinnis, 1993).

Considering that many of our students use fitness as a means of reducing stress, and knowing that exercise affects the autonomic nervous system, we need to realize that exercise can reduce or increase the effects of stress on the human body. It is important to know when stress needs rest.

When we are going too fast our physiology is affected, and sooner or later, physically, mentally and/or emotionally we fall apart. Our bodies – and minds – weren’t meant to endure continual stress. Blood pressure spikes – and eventually remains at an elevated level, hearts wear out, we become irritable and easily angered, and we get upset – sometimes to the point of weeping - from frustration and exhaustion.

(See my former blog post “Stress Needs Rest” for more details.)

Fortunately we have at our disposal a simple biofeedback monitoring device that can assist us in determining when, how hard and how long we should workout. It’s out heart rate monitor. When we use it to monitor our daily physiology we can learn to train smarter, rather than harder. A simple drill performed each morning upon arising can assist us with determining whether or not we should train that day:

Put your heart rate monitor on each and every morning upon awakening. Monitor your heart rate for one minute - get an average.  After three days average the results, this is your morning Heart Rate. It will gradually go down with training, however anytime your morning Heart Rate has increased/decreased by 10% it is an indication of a “stressed body state” and recovery or rest is required until it returns to your normal morning heart rate.

So, go slower and you’ll arrive sooner. Next time Heart Rate Training Drills for determining readiness for training and measuring training progress.




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