Over the past 12 months as a self-coached professional, I’ve focused the majority of my free time to learning different methods of training. I read a vast array of medical/physiological testing studies and memorized the lessons of such popular coaches as Friel & Carmichael (who have quite different perspectives). But as my off-season continued to develop and I learned more about bike training, I started to investigate the other 20 hours of my day with questions about body clocks, ancient medicine and the body’s natural desire for routine. This meshed in with my teammate Sam Johnson’s suggestion when I signed with Team Exergy in Oct.’10: “The riding is easy, the hardest part is not going crazy…you need to find balance…find a passion”.
So that is what I did. I dove into on the bike training and the off-the-bike lifestyle. One very fascinating lifestyle I discovered in my studies is the ancient East Indian practice of Ayurveda. Through a series of questions assessing your lifestyle and body type, you are slotted into 1 of 3 ‘types’ (a mix between 2 types or all 3 types is also possible). These types provide insight into when you will perform the three fundamental tasks best throughout the year; these tasks include 1) physical strength, 2) digestion & recovery and 3) brain function. These tasks are also are used to break up the day.
Physical Strength: 6am-10am
Brain Function: 2pm-6pm
Physical Strength: 6pm-10pm
Brain Function: 10pm-2am
Digestion & Recovery: 2am-6am
Have you ever worked past 10pm and then can’t go to sleep for hours? Do you enjoy working out in the morning…what about that post-work group ride? Maybe you don’t think well in the afternoon’s, Ayurveda accuses a poor diet as the reason, suggesting you eat 80% of your daily calories in the middle of the day, followed by a 15 lie down on your left side (stomach on the left), then a 15-25 minute brisk walk.
Although I cannot really abide by these rules since I am training full time, they do offer an interesting insight into the importance of respecting and listening to our body clocks.
Learn more about Ayurveda here. In Sanskrit: Ayurveda literally means ‘science of life and longevity’.