Friday, March 31, 2017

3 minute tempo/8 minute steady state/3 minute tempo x 3 with 4 between

held 300-305 on the tempo and 325-330 on the ss

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Slowing the Loss of Muscle and Bone Strength with Aging....Dr Gabe Mirkin, RBR


In a review of 37 studies of men and women over 60, researchers found that a proper exercise program enlarged and strengthened the muscles in 93 percent of the participants (Osteoporosis International, March 1, 2017). In only 14 percent of the participants was there any additional benefit from nutritional changes.
In another study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic compared high-intensity aerobic interval training, resistance training and combined training in a group of 72 men and women aged 65-80 (Cell Metabolism, Mar 10, 2017). All three training types reduced body fat, increased sensitivity to insulin to help control blood sugar levels and increased the amount of protein in muscles. However, they showed that only high-intensity aerobic training led to improvement in two of the most important markers of the aging processes: the maximum ability to take in and use oxygen (VO2 max), and mitochondrial function in muscles.

How Intense Exercise Improves VO2 max

With aging, you lose VO2 max, your maximal ability to take in and use oxygen. Anything that increases V02 max can increase your ability to move faster and helps to protect you against diseases associated with aging, such as heart attacks. The only exercise that really increases VO2 max is one that forces you to become short of breath and make you breathe harder and faster.
Interval training is the most effective form of exercise that causes you to become short of breath, and it can be done with any activity that has continuous motion: running, cycling, swimming and so forth. You pick up the pace of your exercise until you develop signs of oxygen deprivation:
  • starting to breathe harder and faster, and
  • feeling a burning in your muscles.
Then you immediately slow down to catch up on your oxygen debt. When the muscle burning is completely gone and you can breathe at your normal rate, you can pick up the pace again. If you are not training for competition, you can limit each interval to 10-30 seconds, because during that time you will not build up significant amounts of lactic acid or cause much muscle damage, so you can do lots of repeat intervals. Competitive athletes can also use long intervals that take more than two minutes each, but they can do only a few of these repeats since they cause significant muscle damage.

Mitochondrial Function in Muscles

You have two major sources of energy in your cells:
  • Glycolysis, the conversion of sugar to energy, and
  • The Krebs Cycle, a series of chemical reactions that convert all foods to energy.
The Krebs cycle is found only in mitochondria, many small compartments inside all the cells in your body except mature red blood cells. Glycolysis is found in all cells and occurs outside the mitochondria. With aging, mitochondria lose some of their efficiency. Exercise has been shown to help preserve the form and function of mitochondria, and this new study confirms that intense exercise gives measurable improvement in mitochondrial function.

How Aging Causes Muscle Loss and Weakness

Every muscle is made up of many different fibers just as a rope is made of many different strands. Each muscle fiber is innervated by a single nerve. Everyone can expect to lose nerves with aging, and with loss of each nerve, you also lose the muscle fiber that it controls.
For example, the vastus lateralis muscle in the front upper lateral side of the thigh has 800,000 fibers in a 20-year old, but only 250,000 fibers in a 60-year old. You can slow this loss of muscle strength by using exercise to increase the size and strength of the remaining muscle fibers. The key to enlarging each muscle fiber is to exercise it against enough resistance to cause minor muscle damage. When each muscle fiber heals, it becomes stronger. That is why all people should try to do some type of resistance training as they age.

Muscle Strength Parallels Bone Strength

Each exercise strengthens only the muscles and bones that are specifically stressed by that exercise. For example, running strengthens only leg bones, rowing strengthens, arms, back and leg bones, cycling strengthens leg bones, and so on (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, October 2005).
The greater the force an exercise places on bones, the greater the strengthening effect. Walking puts little stress on bones, so it does not strengthen bones effectively. Lifting heavy weights requires great force on bones, so it is one of the best bone-strengthening exercises. Running downhill stresses and strengthens leg bones more than running on level ground because it places greater force on the leg bones (Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, Dec 2015;40(12):1309-12).
Weight-bearing endurance exercise and resistance exercise increase bone size and strength in older women and men, but aging decreases the bone strengthening effect of exercise, most likely because aging decreases muscle size and strength (Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, Dec 2001;11:Suppl:S137-42).

My Recommendations

Since aging weakens both your bones and muscles and increases your risk for breaking bones, every person who can do so safely should try to exercise every day.
  • Try to include both activities with continuous motion and exercises against resistance in your program.
  • Continuous endurance exercise such as biking, running, and swimming strengthen primarily your heart, and weightlifting stresses primarily your skeletal muscles.
  • Just using and contracting your muscles in any activity offers health benefits, but you can gain additional benefits by adding intensity with some form of interval training.
  • Take the day off if your muscles feel sore or fatigued after a 5- to 10-minute pre-workout warmup because that is when you are at increased risk for injuring yourself.
  • Stop exercising immediately when you feel pain in a muscle or tendon because that is often the first sign of an impending wear-and-tear injury.
Caution: Intense exercise can cause heart attacks in people with blocked arteries. Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program or making a change in the intensity of your existing exercise program.

Gabe Mirkin, M.D., is a sports medicine doctor and fitness guru. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin has run more than 40 marathons and is now a serious tandem bike rider with his wife, Diana. His website is Click to read Gabe's full bio.

Monday, March 27, 2017

6x6 minute time trial effort, 3 minutes between

Given that I have my strength class later today, and that I was feeling very rested, I did these today. I'll take tomorrow off completely. These went well with power at 367, 366, 369, 369, 362 and 361. I only took 3-4 minutes between. Felt good to ride the TT bike and I felt strong on these. Give me some competition and I think I can pull out some additional power. First TT is the Blue Streak in Dayton on April 9. I feel ready after these.

Mindful Monday from Dr. Barbara Walker

Mindful Mondays
There are times we are going to fail.  Sometimes, despite all the preparation and doing all the things 'right', we still may come up short.  I know we don't want to hear that we learn more from reflecting on our 'failings', or when things don't go as planned, but we do.  
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”.  
-  Theodore Roosevelt, "Man in the Arena" Speech given April 23, 1910.

 Sitting on the sidelines of life, bowing out because of the fear or pain of potentially failing again, or not even giving it a go in the first place - that's failure - failing yourself.  

Get back into the arena, push yourself beyond your comfort zone again and again, no matter what it is, find your true potential, mindfully, with grit, consistent perseverance, and tenacity.  
This is where you will find success, no matter what the score. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Performance Conditioning article on aerodynamics

tested wheel sets seem dated but information still holds true....tris-pokes are fast and training pays off more than spending lots of money   ;-) 

Greg Combs, U.S. Disabled & Collegiate Cycling Coach, University of Northern Colorado
Recent studies have shown that in cycling, wind resistance can comprise over 90 percent of total resistance to motion. So, various aerodynam- ic accessories and equipment have been devel- oped. At all levels of racing, aerodynamic equipment has been labeled as the major factor in winning or losing the race. Second to aerodynam- ic bikes, aerodynamic wheels are the costliest weapon in the racer’s arsenal.
Aerodynamic Wheels
As the cost of these wheels exceeds $1,000, manufactures advertise their wheels as superior. An enormous amount of information about the aerodynamic qualities of these wheels is available to the consumer. However, it can become confus- ing when determining which wheel is the fastest. Unfortunately, aerodynamic studies will continue to be a controversial topic because there is no established protocol in certifying aerodynamic wheels. Until a certifiable test is identified for cate- gorizing aerodynamic equipment and wheels, manufacturers will continue to claim their prod- uct is the fastest. As a cycling coach, I continually observe this controversy overlapping into the ranks of the developing racers.
A Racers Research
While manufacturers continue bickering about which wheels are the fastest, approximately one year ago I conducted my own aerodynamic wheel study. You may ask, “Why did I wait so long to publish my findings?” In short, I was racing as a category 1 racer, finishing my Master’s thesis and beginning my doctoral program in Sport Manage- ment at the University of Northern Colorado. During that time, I was also studying to become a USA Cycling Coach and training for the 1996 Summer Paralympics with teammate Stephen Awkward (we competed in the 120 Kilometer Tandem Road Race, 1 Kilometer Time Trial and the Match Sprint). After the USA Cycling Expert Coaching Clinic, I felt ethically compelled to share with fellow coaches and racers my aerodynamic data as well as my views regarding when aerody- namic equipment should become important.
The study focused on comparing the aerody- namics of popular wheels seen in today’s bicycle races. My research was based on many previous studies. However, I mainly relied on Dr. Chester Kyle’s wind tunnel research and Boone Lennon’s roll down test procedures. Although I want to pro- vide my cycling constituents the information I dis- covered that identified the fastest wheel, I also want to incorporate ideas on reducing the rider’s aerodynamic drag on the bicycle as well as train- ing to increase the racer’s chances of a podium finish. I feel much hype has been placed on aero- dynamic equipment and it has sidetracked many of our developing racers into thinking they need the aerodynamic advantage to be competitive.
Four popular racing wheels were tested. The study measured the aerodynamic qualities of the
standard 32-steel spoke wheel, the Specialized Tri- spoke, the Cosmic DeepDish and the Spinergy Rev- X wheel. A wattage test was conducted on each wheel at specific speeds to determine rotational drag using the Cateye CS1000 wind trainer. Second, a rolldown test was conducted to deter- mine maximum speeds for each wheel on a speci- fied course. The roll-down test was conducted to validate the results of the wattage test. The roll- down test concurred with my original findings. Therefore, the roll-down test results will not be presented.
Wattage Test Results
wheels are cheap speed. These wheels are the fastest.” However, rarely do I find anyone dis- cussing with riders the other factors of reducing aerodynamic drag (that are much cheaper than $1,000 wheels) to include training.
Spending No Dollars at First Makes
Most Sense
The most important aspect of reducing aero- dynamic drag is not owning an expensive aerody- namic bike and wheels but obtaining the optimum riding position. In Dr. Edmund Burke’s book Serious Cycling, an entire chapter is dedicated to aerodynamics. Dr. Burke explains that the rider comprises up to 70 percent of the total aerody- namic drag and the bike and wheels are only 30 percent to blame for slowing the rider’s perfor- mance. By obtaining the optimum position, the rider will have reduced profile drag by decreasing the frontal area of the rider and bike. If the rider uses the drops of the handlebars rather than hold- ing the brake-hoods, a reduction of more than 20 percent wind resistance can be obtained. Using the drops of the handlebars could mean a 3-minute reduction in a 25-mile time trial at no additional cost. The following is a list of equipment in my order of importance concerning saving time dur- ing a 25-mile time trial and estimated costs:
64G 146G 67G 148G 65G 148G 67G 149G
283G 284G 285G 285G
475G 482G 484G 486G
The wattage test illustrated the power requirements for each of the four wheels in main- taining a predetermined speed. All wheels were similar in the power required to maintain a lower speed. However, the Specialized Tri-spoke had shown that less power was needed in maintaining 50kph in comparison to the other wheels.
The rationale that the wheels did not differ- entiate in wattage at lower speeds, but indicated a significant difference at higher speeds, is due to the aerodynamic efficiency of the wheels. Noted in previous research, aerodynamic drag-force increases as the rider’s speed increases. The Specialized Tri-spoke revealed that it had the same characteristics as the other wheels at the lower speeds. In fact, there was only a 2- to 3-watt differ- ence at 20, 30 and 40kph in comparison to the other wheels, but at 50kph, the Specialized Tri- spoke was advantaged 7 to 11 watts. The wattage test demonstrated that it takes less energy to maintain higher speed with the most aerodynamic wheel. In this case, the Specialized Tri-spoke demonstrated the highest aerodynamic qualities.
Why Do You Need Aerodynamic
Before purchasing an expensive set of aero- dynamic wheels, I recommend you ask yourself the following questions:
1. Did my coach recommend aerodynamic wheels because I am competing at the elite level and every second counts?
2. Am I focusing on timed events, and is my training and aerodynamic position on the bike so refined that I am now at the point of truly needing that extra aerodynamic edge? In short, purchasing a set of aerodynamic
wheels to save a few seconds or having that extra edge over your competitors should not be a con- sideration for everyone in the peloton, especially, for developmental riders such as juniors to include category 3, 4 and 5 licensed racers. I often hear from other racers and coaches and read arti- cles that state, “having a pair of aerodynamic wheels is to everyone’s advantage. Aerodynamic
Training the aero position Aero bars
Aero clothing
Aero helmet

Spoked aero wheels
Two specialty wheels (Tri-spoke and Rear Disk) Aero bicycle frame
Time Savings Cost
up to 70% 60-120 sec. 20 sec. 25 sec. 40 sec. 70 sec.
45 sec.
$700 and up $1000 and up

$1,500 and up
Effective training is the most important aspect of bicycle racing, but it is often misunder- stood or not held in as high a regard as it should. I’m amazed by how many racers show up at the start line with the newest high-tech gizmo or con- traption attached to their bike. Or even more shameful, witness a racer digesting a faddish herb or gel from a tube. My recommendation to these racers with deep pockets is spend that money on a coach and become a better racer through sound and effective training. If you are a developing racer, find a coach that can help you with the basics in training the different physiological sys- tems. If you are unaware of a licensed coach in your area see the “More Information Please!” sec- tion at the end of this article.
Time Trial Tips Dynamics
I would like to provide the following tips to train for time trials. For time trial events, first obtain the optimum aerodynamic position for your anatomical build. In general, work on bring- ing your elbows in as close as possible using aero- dynamic bars and make getting your back flat a priority. For some riders, but not for most, obtain- ing the aerodynamic position is a natural occur-

rence. I recommend gradually making position changes and practicing riding in the aerodynamic position each week. Daily stretches focusing on the ham- string and gluteus muscles greatly assist the rider in developing a flat back, and stretching the triceps and upper back helps get those elbows in close. Stretches for tight hamstrings and gluteus muscles–I recommend lying on your back and pulling your knee(s) to your chest. Once you are able to do this, try pulling your knee to the opposing shoulder (right knee to left shoul- der). For tight shoulders and upper back, do hangs from a chin-up bar with palms facing toward you and hands together. If this is too difficult, place your hands farther apart and gradually move them inward. These stretches should be conducted daily, isolating the muscle being stretched for up to 45-60 sec- onds for three sets. Also, during recovery rides (Zone 1 & 2), spin on your bike in the time trial position to stretch out those tight muscles.
Next, I recommend setting short- and long-term goals. If you are train- ing for a specific time trial, plan early enough in the preseason to effectively prepare for that event. If you are familiar with the course try to simulate the conditions in which you will be competing. If possible, practice on the same course as early and as often as possible. Depending on your experience and fitness level, the improvements will be obtained accordingly. If you are a beginner, your time trial ability will improve immensely; it’s possible to cut minutes off your time. However, if you have been competing for a few seasons the time bonuses will not come that easy. It is vital to plan early and prepare for certain events. If the time trial course has many turns or climbs it will be to your advantage to work on quick accelerations, climbing out of the saddle and recovery.
Obtaining high levels of fitness sounds easier than it really is. To be suc- cessful at time trials you must have great fitness. A coach can help take the guesswork out of making the most in fitness gains. Every rider is different and there is no cookbook formula for training for time trials. One person may be able to train at a higher intensity level and more often than someone else. Therefore, it is advisable to have someone that is trained as a licensed coach help you make the most of your training. I recommend the following activi- ties and timelines to enhance your time trials:
Activity Aero Position Spinning
Timeline: Oct-Dec:2-3timesweekly,withagoaltoobtainoptimumtime trial position, Zone 1or 2 (low intensity) Ride 5-10 minutes in aero position two or three times per session with a short break in between. Focus on stretching muscles while in aero position, stretch tight muscles during breaks, use a wind-trainer and mirror to check your position. If possible, videotape these sessions for future reference and review with your coach. This activity should be after lifting weights.
test it. Do a time trial. Weather conditions and your fitness dictate the duration. I recommend conducting this training on a familiar route that enables you to gauge your weekly progress. If you are training for a 25-mile time trial, first try dividing the distance by one third and doing 2-3 efforts for approximately 5-8 miles, grad- ually increasing the distance. Once your efforts reach half the dis- tance of your event, I recommend doing two efforts at maximum effort. It’s advisable to work up to the 25-mile time trial distance 3 or 4 weeks before the event, then drop down to 60-75 percent of this distance the remaining weeks and train at higher intensity and speed.
The second day of the week during this phase, focus of the tech- niques of time trial starts, turn-arounds and other transitions
that occur such as accelerations through corners and climbing. These efforts should be of short duration but high intensity. The goal is to get to your race pace as fast as possible without going anaerobic. This is also the best time to test your equipment under extreme effort and develop techniques that work for you. The more confident you are in your equipment and techniques in transitions, the greater your performance will be during the event. Weight lifting should be conducted after the session focus- ing on explosive power at approximately 75 percent maximum weight at 8 to 10 repetitions. During squats or leg presses, begin steadily bending at the knees, then push with a deliberate effort.
Time Trial Racing
Time Trial Strength
Timeline: June-Sep:Twiceweekly,withagoalofmaintainingtimetrialfit- ness. During one recovery ride spin in your aero position for 10- 15 minutes with a short break andrepeat for another 10-15 min- utes to maintain flexibility and comfort (Zone 1 or 2). The other session should include efforts at Zones 4 or 5 with duration depending on the events on which you are focusing. For longer time trials consisting of 10 miles or more use the 1/3 rule times three. Do 3 intervals at 1/3 the distance with a short recovery between efforts. For shorter distances do 3-4 minute intervals at Zone 5. Ensure a longer recovery between sets. For example: Do three sets of three intervals for 3 minutes at Zone 5.Between inter- vals recover for one minute, but 5-10 minutes between each set. Weight lifting sessions should be limited to once or twice a week at minimal effort for maintenance purposes only.
As stated previously, I found that one of the wheels demonstrated a 7- to 11-watt advantage over the other wheels tested at 50 kph. Research shows that this reduction in aerodynamic drag equates to approximately a 25- to 30- second advantage, with all things considered equal during a 25-mile time trial. If you are an elite athlete and every second counts for that national title, I recommend you spend the extra $1,000. On the other hand, if you are a developing rider with room for improvement, I recommend spending your money more wisely by investing in a coach. For about $20 to $30 a month you will have a loyal adviser to assist you in becoming a more efficient, faster and clever competitor. By investing the $1,000 on a coach versus a set of aero- dynamic wheels, you can receive over three years of assistance in becoming a better competitor and have a greater chance of achieving categorical upgrades (winning time trials will not award category upgrade points.). Wouldn’t you rather evolve to the level of a professional or category 1 racer? Did you know that most elite racers receive many perks such as bikes and aerodynamic wheels from sponsors? Wouldn’t it be great to receive these perks versus spending your own money on aero-wheels for a few measly sec- onds? Invest in a coach. O
More Information Please!
For a list of references send a SASE to:
AERO, P.O. Box 6819, Lincoln, NE 68506

Or e-mail us at Be sure to visit our web site at click cycling conditioning resources, click Cycling Performance Biomechanical to find out more about aerodynam- ics.
To order Serious Cycling call 1-800-524-4972. Cost is $18.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling. For coaching assistance call your U.S.C.F district rep- resentative or Mike Niederpruem, the National Director for Coaches at (719) 578-4845, ext. 9, to find the nearest coach in your area.
Timeline: Jan-Mar:Twiceweekly,withagoalofdevelopingstrength. Strength in time trial specific muscle groups, Zones 3, 4 and 5 (moderate to high intensity), 3-15 minute efforts. Longer duration (15 minutes) means less intensity (Zone 3 and lower Zone 4—lac- tate threshold). Begin the first 2-3 weeks with longer sessions, complete 2 to 3 15-minute efforts with a short recovery. After the initial weeks in this phase increase intensity by increasing speed (race pace Zone 4 or 5) or push an oversized gear (Zone 4) which is called strength endurance (SE). SE requires pedaling a gear at 50-55 RPM while focusing on pedaling form and isolating specific muscle groups. This activity should also be conducted after lift- ing weights.
Time Trial Training
Apr-May: Twice weekly, with a goal of developing warm-up proto- col for effective time trial starts as well as techniques and increased fitness level for time trials at Zones 4 and 5. Emphasize one day on time trial efforts at Zone 4. Begin the session with a structured warm-up. Try to develop a timeline and, working back- wards, plan everything that occurs at a time trial event. Many rac- ers do not know how much time they need to prepare for a time trial. It is important to know for how long and what type of warm- up you require before the day of the event. Competitors are often rushed to meet their start time. Without a proper warm-up they are stressed out and burn nervous energy before even starting the race. You can stay focused on your goals if you have an effective plan. The U.S.C.F. has warm-up protocols already established that can be an outline for you. All certified and licensed U.S.C.F. coach- es have access to these protocols. After you conduct your warm-up, 

This Week

Just endurance today. It was 65 when I left at 11am but 43 at 5000' about 1:45 later. And cloudyand windy so I headed back. I was going to add in another 25 mile loop but I thought it best to stop after intervals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the long hike yesterday. I'll take tomorrow off as I drive home. I may push the tt intervals to Monday if the weather forecast is true (90% of rain Sunday but ok on Monday). I probably did too much this week and also had bad week at the office. A couple of recovery days and I'll be fine.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

4 minute tempo, 6 steady state, 4 tempo, 4 off X 3

Tempo power was 300 and steady state at 320-325...a little low on both but ok for inside 

Monday, March 20, 2017

5x3 minutes and 1x5...380 and 360 respectively

Mindful Monday from Dr. Barbara Walker

Mindful Mondays

While on my bike trainer, watching the Today show on Saturday morning, I saw a disturbing clip from the week of the person elected to lead our country - most of you have probably heard about this by now or may have watched a clip of the exchange:  German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, asked Trump “Do you want to have a handshake?”  Trump, sitting alongside of Merkel, seemed to hear her, turned a bit from her and faced forward, grimaced, and simply didn’t respond.  Awkward!   Of course, I don’t know what exchanges had just happened between them or if he actually may not have heard her, but it sure seemed like an intentional dis and certainly not the behavior we would expect from those who are in a leadership position.  

Before I go on, I promise my following thoughts are not about politics, but are about behavior.

It seems like even before this current administration, civility has been decreasing in our country, and with this and other current displays, doesn’t appear to be improving.   We observe impatience and lack of courtesy toward others on the roadway and perhaps even in the grocery, intolerance of mistakes by others, foul language from all ages in front of all ages, people talking loudly on their phones in public spaces, just to name a few – and yes, Trump not shaking Merkel’s hand!  

I just didn’t observe this behavior when I was younger.   What is happening?  Is it because we are hurried or stressed?  Fearful? Impatient? Uncaring?  What is this demand of entitlement? Immediate reactions or gratification need?  What is the exclusivity all about?  How did we become in such a hurry?  How did we become so intolerant and so easily offended?   I’m mostly concerned about the lack of courtesy becoming normalized, and thereby kindness toward others becoming lost.   I really don’t think this is the direction we want to go in!  

With every exchange, we have an opportunity to demonstrate kindness.

We only have control over our own thoughts and behavior.  Let’s take control by slowing down and reminding ourselves to stay mindful of the beautiful characteristics of grace, kindness, courtesy, respect, and civility.   I don’t know about you, but I really don’t feel good about myself when I act in any other way.  

Remember that we are all in this together…with every interaction, we are either contributing to building or tearing down.  

Which side do you choose to be on?  

Suggested Practice for the Week
Practice increasing a behavior that will increase your kindness and civility toward others, and minimize what you may consider your most offensive behavior.
Take moment within your morning routine to take a few deep breaths and visualize how you want to operate in the world today.  How do you want to interact with others?  What lasting impression or influence are you going to choose to make?

With Intention for Happiness, Health, and Peace.

Friday, March 17, 2017

More Tempo Intervals

I was scheduled for 4x12 minutes but did 15, 18, 10 and 5 with 3 minutes between each other than the 10 and 5 with just 2....didn;t want that break but had to answer an email and could do it at 315-320 watts. 318, 320, 315 and 313 were the average power readings. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

HR breakdown

Todays indoor 4x12 tempo effort and this evenings strength class

4x12 minutes, 3 minutes between at tempo pace

Averaged 314-15 on these with 3 minutes between the 12 minute efforts. Having strength class later so will take tomorrow off. 

Mindful Monday from Dr. Barbara Walker

Mindful Mondays

Ahhh...wouldn't it be great if the answer to that were revealed once and for all by divulging the secret to happiness within this paragraph?

If I had it - I'd eat it, I'd drink it, I'd share it, or I may even sell it!  

We are endlessly bombarded with 'shiny new things' to increase our happiness as we walk through the mall, open our browsers, read magazines, and watch various commercials on television. If you get sucked in, which most of us do, you are likely to get stuck on the hedonic treadmill and you may always be chasing happiness.  I remember when I was about 19 years old, my managerial accounting professor had a little sticker on his glass door that said, "He who dies with the most toys, wins".  I guess we'll find out, but I think that is unlikely.  

There has been a lot of research on happiness within the last two decades, but of course, no absolutes.  We know staying socially connected, having great self-care, making enough money to support ourselves, having a reasonable amount of autonomy, and perceiving that you make a difference, just to name a few, are all related to an increase in the likelihood to being happy.  Some of us are wired to be more happy, some of us have to work harder at it, but we all have the capacity to create our own happiness.  Keep in mind that:

Happiness is your own perception.
Happiness is a feeling.
Happiness is personal, and cannot be prescribed by others.
Happiness is usually something simple.
Happiness is fleeting and temporary, and can usually be defined in a moment.  

Perhaps you can be lucky enough to string enough moments together to be there with consistency. 

We need to slow down just enough to figure out what truly brings us joy and happiness, and whether we are filling ourselves up with it with some regularity (from the inside, not from just the 'shiny' things). Sure, there are countless times we have to do things that don't bring us immediate joy - like studying hard for a test, scrubbing a toilet, pushing through the last set at training when everything hurts -  all in hope for future happiness and joy.

I was asked by my very insightful 17 year old son yesterday,
"Mom, what brings you joy?" 

How would you answer that? 
Consider that what used to give you joy may have changed. You may have different interests, you may be in a different life stage, or there may be some other circumstance that has influenced you to have simply changed. 

Maybe you have been on survival mode for so long you haven't even allowed yourself to ask the question.

Suggested Practice for the Week
Track Your Happiness Intermittently Throughout the Week:

Consider at the top of every hour or several times a day over the next week to pause and ask yourself questions such as:
(You could use a timer on your phone or computer to alert you)

 What is my mood right now? 
(Rate this on a scale from 1-10, 1 being poor to 10 being super happy) 
Do I have to do what I am doing right now?  
Do I want to be doing what I am doing right now?  
What would I rather be doing?

Be careful...this may change your life course!

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