Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lose fat, lose muscle, recover from injury and get ready for next season

I chose to end my season early this year because my back issue really becomes an issue on my bike.  I had still been getting the numbness down my left leg while riding.  I was evaluated by a physical therapist and given a number of exercises to do to recover and fix my problem.  The issue stems from currently having a muscle imbalance in which I have weak glutes and weak obliques.  My sacrum is stuck in a flexed position.  The bent over riding position would require the sacrum to extend.  Since it does not, it pinches my sciatic nerve.  Riding is hindering my recovery. 

For the past few weeks I have done the exercises and worked on strengthening and cross training to keep at least somewhat in shape.  I am not yet fixed, but I do have more good days than bad days.  Most everyday activities do not effect my back now.  Sitting for long periods, or being in a car for a long time will irritate it a little.

Right now posture is key.  I really need to focus on posture for everything I do.  If during a workout I let my posture suffer and pinch the nerve, then I probably push back my recovery a little.  It has been difficult to find good alternatives.

Versa Climber:

I use the Versa Climber as an off season conditioning tool.  It really works well to do short high intensity interval training (HIIT).  However, currently it has been hurting my back.  You can see here that you do have to hold your posture and currently it is still pinching my nerve.

Jacob's Ladder:

Another great cross training machine that we use during the off season for conditioning.  Talk about tough work.  Once again though, its tough for me to maintain posture and it pinches my nerve.


I would not have thought that running would have helped me but I gave it a shot since I was training someone who was getting into running.  I have been using my five finger shoes which force a mid foot strike and improved posture.  Guess what?  No back pain.  It actually relieves any aches that I have before the run.  This has been my primary source of exercise except for the strength training I have been doing to fix the imbalance.

Because of the lack, or change in time I have spent working out, I have gained some extra weight.  Therefore I am struggling to get my weight down to were I want it and not overdo the training which would slow my healing process or create new injuries.

Here is a picture of me from this morning:

Usually I have been racing at a weight of 183 lbs.  Currently I am above 195.  My goal will actually be to get down to 175 for next racing season.  Follow this blog as I will report the workouts, diet and challenges that I am facing while trying to work through this challenge.  I know many athletes push through nagging chronic injuries and are challenged in finding the right amount of training and diet that works for them.

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