Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sprints, a Barbecue and Way too Much Booze

Location: My Friend's House, Shropshire, UK
Date: 15th August

I was at my friend's house on Saturday for a barbecue. It has taken my this long to recover from the aftermath of that, and to get round to posting about the sprints I did in the daytime before the festivities.

Too much booze, not enough sleep.

This is the land they own behind their house - about 120 metres, and perfect for sprinting.

The workout: 5 x 90 metre sprints. 1 - 3 minutes rest between each.

Post Workout Nutrition: about 3 hours later, this , this and sadly (but deliciously) some of this .

Here we are in action:

I know it kind of looks as if our friend is burning his cigarette on my my opponent's arm, but this is a quirk of perspective. In fact he was rather half-heartedly acting as the starter.

Each sprint was taking my friend 11-12 seconds and me 12-13 seconds. Once again, in spite of my weight and height advantage, he was clearly faster - theories for which I cover in the post about our recent hill sprints.

On Saturday he reminded me that as a youth he once ran 400m in 48 seconds. This is an extremely impressive time and must surely speak of an innate talent for anaerobic performance.

I am still stiff 4 days later. I can't help wondering whether this is a reflection of the effort that went into the sprints, or the struggle my body has had repairing itself after being poisoned with sugar and alcohol.

Ironically, I often sleep rather well for a few nights after poisoning myself in this way, which one might expect to offer benefits to the recovery process. I suspect the benefits are outweighed by the disadvantages.

My BBS performance tomorrow will surely offer a clue.


Aaron Blaisdell said...

I really need to incorporate sprints into my weekly exercise routine. I've done them here and there, but not on a regular basis. Having a 1 year old and four year old to take care of does put a damper on things.

Anyway, I'm struck at how the single greatest weakness of the members of the primal/paleo community (myself included) is for occasionally imbibing in too much alcohol. We can generally stay away from the grains, the overly sugary snacks (I haven't had a pop tart or Twinkie in over two years), and soda (yeck!). But a good glass of wine...or three, a nice snifter of single malt, or a few delicious extreme beers (especially those high-alcohol Belgian styles--yum!) and we get weak in the knees and cave in to our desires. I'm not saying this is wrong and all, only that for a group of people trying to avoid poisons, we sure have one blind spot. I guess it's true that you can pick your poison. And a nice drink does go well with a bit of yummy primal food (or a good cheese which may not be too unprimal, as I've mentioned in a prior comment).

I actually find I fall asleep really well after drinking too much, but then I usually wake up way too early (e.g., 3am) not feeling so well and not being able to fall back asleep. Then I'm basically useless all the next day. Must be all the nasty metabolites that build up in the liver after working hard to convert all of that alcohol into waste product.

Aaron Blaisdell said...

Okay, so I found a great place on campus to sprint. Just had my first sprint session 30 minutes ago. Three 15-s sprints spaced about 2-3 mins apart. I'm whopped and my legs feel like jelly.

Methuselah said...

Hi Aaron - whilst alcohol is a clearly a weakness for anyone trying to avoid doing anything that requires self control, in the case of people (like the Paleo/Primal community) for whom avoiding sugar is of significance, I have a feeling that alcohol has a more specific effect beyond affecting will power. I have a feeling it ends up being a kind of sugar proxy and enflames our latent craving for sweetness. I have no evidence for this beyond our experiences, although I suspect there may some discussions out there. You may enjoy this post on Pay Now Live Later about alcohol, sugar and self-control. Lots of interesting testimonials in the comments!

Glad you found somewhere to sprint. I do them once every 2 or 3 weeks, which seems to work fine.

Aaron Blaisdell said...

That was a very interesting blog post of yours that you pointed me to, along with all of those fascinating comments. Funny enough, my experience has been a bit different. I've never had much of a sweet tooth. In fact, as a kid I could make my huge bag of Halloween candy last for way more than a month by caching it in my room and then dolling out small daily amounts.

But I do crave a glass of alcohol every evening. And in social settings I can't restrict myself to just one or two drinks but seem to keep going until the social event ends. Thanksgivings with the extended family turn into downright alcoholic debaucheries. But I usually don't crave foods too much during these binges, except sometimes something salty like chips or nuts. But never sugar or sweet foods.

Very interesting.

Methuselah said...

I guess our differences are partly a result of genetic variation and partly environmental factors (such emotional associations). I'll bet the 'scientists' will at some point try to figure out what the gene(s) is/are for having a sweet tooth so they can develop a drug to take when you want to stop craving sweetness!