With Three Peaks Falls Creek looming in a little over twelve week’s time, my focus is on what we exercise science types call “building a base”. The idea is to build both endurance and strength by beginning to ride longer distances and to also increase the elevation climbed. Luckily, for this particular preparation, developing this endurance base is going to take a little less time – as my training, although a lot less in volume, has been surprisingly consistent over the last six months. Which translates into, “I want to be stronger and faster than my 2015 effort come March”.
I was gifted the perfect opportunity to work on this yesterday with a tough 140km ride courtesy of Coach Liz and fellow training buddy, Anne. Whilst they took on the very steep Oceanview Road, I toughed out Mt Mee on what were very tired legs. Liz has a quote in her office that states that when it comes to achieving something, it’s best to be either “Hell yeah!” or not at all. The conditions were steamy and there were quite a few points where I had to remind myself that I was here for “hell yeah!”. Luckily I had some great support from both Liz and Anne when my “hell yeah” resilience muscle felt like it was about to weaken. When I finally got home and uploaded my Garmin data, I was thrilled to see that I had clocked just over 400km for the week.
Such a massive week on the bike meant that it was a perfect opportunity to try out an acupressure mat. Thanks to White Lotus, I was given the opportunity to try the world’s leading acupressure mat – the “Euromat”. As you can see from the photo, the mat is covered in more than 6000 tiny plastic spikes that act as acupressure points (increasing blood flow to the skin and providing a muscle relaxant effect) when you lie on them. Although lying on the spikes look like it may be painful, I found the actual process to be very relaxing, especially around my upper back and shoulder muscles which were feeling a bit worse for wear after a tough ride. My only caveat – that you wear a T Shirt, rather than lie directly on your mat in lycra – otherwise those spikes tend to make contact with the skin!
When I asked White Lotus what the inspiration was for creating the mat, they told me that the mat was inspire by the traditional Indian bed of nails approach – but with a modern twist. The recommendation was to lie on the Euromat for ten to twenty minutes per day – to stimulate the body’s natural pain relief mechanisms. I am not sure how much time I spent on the mat, because I was so relaxed, I fell asleep in the process!
Personally, what I liked about the Euromat was that it was relaxing – which helps promote recovery. Secondly, it’s portable and could be easily taken away to an event/race without any trouble. Thirdly, it’s relatively inexpensive – and made by an Australian Owned company. For further details and information – visit the White Lotus website.
See you all next week with another update.