4/05/2020

quarantine challenge: halfway to the top


yesterday, day 7 of my quarantine challenge, i reached (virtually) an altitude of 4590mt. this means that i'm a bit over halfway to the top. it took 12 hours and 4 minutes.
till now it hasn't been too hard, at least physically. the fact of climbing 1500 floors of your building and knowing that you are just halfway to your goal may seem a lot, but consider that it happened during 7 days and with sessions of one or two hours each. when i train my endurance with long-and-slow cardio workouts, the sessions (be it jogging, mountain biking, powerwalking or else) are longer.
i was a bit worried about some minor physical problems from which i suffered in the past, like fascitis in the feet-ankles area or knee pain, but at the moment nothing happened except the normal muscle soreness especially in the calves during the first two days of the challenge. from the third day it disappeared too.
as all endurance athletes know well, when working on an prolonged effort that implies repetitive movements and the constant use of the same muscle groups, a good strategy is cross-training. this means devoting some time to other types of workout, to give some rest to the overused muscle groups and to maintain the general level of fitness and functionality of the other parts of the body. that's why even in these days when i'm busy everesting my building, i am not altering that much my usual workout schedule. i mean, the quantity and quality of sessions that i dedicate weekly to strength-training are the same as before (and in those days i just add up some stairs climbing), while the cardio sessions are mostly dedicated to the everesting challenge. as i always do in my training, i just try to vary as much as possible the intensity of each session. this means that some days i climb slowly for more time, some days i do my best to be as quick as possible in a short session and some other days i do some interval training, mixing moments of slow-paced climbing with short bursts of speed.
mentally speaking, well... it tends to become boring, exactly as i expected it to be. but, as in all types of workout that imply repetitive movements without the need of focusing your attention, it keeps your mind free to wander. you can use that time to plan the rest of your day, or to think what you're going to eat to replace the burned calories during your ascent. keeping the mind busy makes any effort easier.
i noticed also that altering something in the way you walk the stairs can help a lot against boredom. you can alter the technique you use, maybe doing two or three treads with a single step or trying to proceed keeping your body slightly lateral to the stairs (by the way, both these tricks will alter also the way your legs work, so if your calves start feeling sore you may have some relief). or you can alter the quantity of ramps you walk upstairs before descending.
that's all for now, i am ready for the second half of my challenge.