Thursday, December 27, 2007

Words of Wisdom from Greg

Lemond that is...

I got my Procycling magazine yesterday and Greg Lemond was the guest editor. Yeah, yeah, I know that he has had his up and down moments here lately, but there was something really interesting he said about training. He said that he didn't believe in the more is better training philosophy that is going on now (my paraphrase) that by doing too much you cause the body to release too much cortisol. As a more is better kind of girl, I had to look into this....

One of his arguments was to look at Jan Ulrich. He trained all the time and couldn't seem to loose the gut. Cortisol makes you retain body fat. I can tell you that when I ran 50-80 mpw that I would stay the exact same weight. My buddies who ran 20-25 mpw could loose weight. Greg's solution is to ride an hour and do intervals.

So I went to Winkipedia my latest and greatest source for info and found that Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by the Adrenal Gland. Hyper = Cushings Syndrome, Hypo = Addison's disease (JFK). Cortisol acts to increase blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and has an immunosuppressive action. As a corticosteroid it also acts as an antagonist in the treatment of allergies and inflammation. Prolonged over secretion causes hyperglycemia, excess gastric acid secretion, a weakened immune system, osteoporosis, brain damage which impairs learning, and my favorite- the laying of belly fat.

So maybe old Greg has a good take on this after all. Most of us aren't going to be riding the Tour this year, and our races are under an hour. Maybe the thing for me to be doing, with my high stress job is interval training, which is something that I hate the most.

If you have a take on this, I'd love to hear it. And no, I'm not going to get my supply of Cortislim!


Kyle Jones said...

Here is my theory based on own assumptions from books I have read. There is a great book on weight ifting out there called New Rules of Lifting. In this book it is stated that the use of stress helps gain strength. You retain weight because cortisol is a by product of stress. But in order to keep the body from adapting to the stress by you have to change the weight routine. Thats why you do a different type of squat after 3 weeks.

Now my thinking of cycling is based on a slowly progressive period of the same thing during the base period. Like an hour or two increase every week. I understand that your body is under stress but I think if your are training in base correctly eg. enough rest and correct ride intensity your body should adapt fairly quickly because ride length has little correlation because you are not riding to at a high intensity which causes stress.

In the Build and peak phases you are under the most stress. Or at least you should be. This is the time where your weight loss is non existent. But you are under the most stress and it helps increase your strength and speed on the bike. So your cortisol levels would be highest during this time. But your workouts should be short. My weeks are about a half to a third shorter during those times.

Thats my thoughts. If I am wrong no wonder I can not get down to 180. If I recall Greg Lemond now weighs 210. That was a long comment.

Karen said...

Thanks Kyle:

I was kind of thinking about overtraining - kind of. You know when your system just shuts down. From what I've been reading today, it sounds like adrenal fatigue. I think I'm going to try long slow, and short fast and see how it works...