Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Second Most Important Workout Tool Is A Water Bottle

I have often said the most important fitness tool is a good kitchen scale.

This time of year has convinced me that the second most important fitness tool is the Water Bottle.

No, Seriously!  Hear me out!

So right now, fellow athletes, I'm in a rebuilding phase.  I was on low power for three months due to sports injuries.  My Dr. told me to "Go! Live Your Life!  Just remain upright!".

Upright I am.

Three months ago I started skating again on the "Bunny Slope" of a trail here.  Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.  It's a big circle with two "legs" off of it at odd angles.  Absolutely flat and hardly ever used when I am out there so I had it to myself.  All of about 2 miles (3K) if you stretch it, and since there is construction, well folks, I tried.

I built the distance up to around 16 miles and am starting to look for something a little more entertaining.

But "Go! Live Your Life!" means that I pursue all the cross training I was doing before.  In January, I skated a marathon a week with the totals around 50 miles.  Biked about 25 miles a week.  Walked 4 to 5 miles a day.  

Metric people, that's 80K, 40K, and around 7 or 8K respectively.

I had stopped biking, completely, and just now went for an hour bike ride.  10.06 miles, I guess 16K.

Here's where that second most important tool comes in.

In the interim we went from what we call winter here to what most of the rest of the Western World would call "OMG You Want Me To Do What In That Soup?" conditions.

People in India or Australia would simply shrug and say "I hear you bro!" and get back to what they're doing.  Think Thailand in the Summer.  Europeans?  LOL, you COULD do it, but you would have to train for the heat.

Here in South Florida, Beach Adjacent Wilton Manors.  Humid is the summer norm.  It does get hot here, but it gets hotter in my native South Jersey, near Philadelphia.

The story I tell about the heat in Philly is that the "Rocky Steps" at the Art Museum are a beautiful place to cool down.  It's an athletic hangout, and I used it frequently there on my skate workouts.  The trail loop there was a comfortable 8.6 miles (Hmmm... Math...) I call it just under 14K.  Water stops all over the place.  I miss that park.

As was my normal way, I skated from March 1 until the trails were covered in Ice in December.  This particular day was high summer.  I had on my headphones and got curious, this was pre-mobile internet days.  Tuned on the all news station, the first one in the country and reputation says it was the first in the world.  I heard "KYW News Time 5 o'clock.  The temperature is 99 Degrees".

I stood up and chuckled and skated another lap of the park.  17 miles total plus a fraction.

KYW is an unlistenable mess that is the most popular radio station there because everyone wants to know the weather and traffic.  But I swear they put commercials on their commercials.

That 99 Degrees, or 37C was coupled with someone used to skating intensely at 183 BPM average with plenty of water.  I used to drink in motion while skating frequently.

I have never seen anything over 96F here in the 15 years I have lived here.

So now I am in my rebuilding cycle.  The weather was like standing behind someone in a shower.  Sure I can think of ways that can be fun but on skates it became a slog.  After the second time I stopped back at my car, I had run out of water bottles that I could take so I went home.  The limiting factor was how much I could drink since there were no water stops easily accessible.  Oh they had stops, but since it was in the construction zone you had to risk your life for a drink.

Know your fitness level and know your body.  I can easily skate 8 miles per bottle of water.  You may not be that fit even at the slow pace I purposely have been maintaining .  For your best results, bring more than you need and rest frequently.

Endurance workouts are mostly "Logistics".  You have planning to do if you are going to do a 3 hour hyper-marathon.  Even a 10K you need to plan for on inline skates.

Runners are a very different story.

I would skate 30 miles in Pennsylvania and never have a problem because that trail lent itself to it.  Not so much here.

So make sure you properly hydrate.  Higher humidity will limit your ability to cool down.  Higher temperatures will make it more likely that you will feel it.  Consider working out early in the morning, in the evening, or even at night if you can manage the lighting.

Sure this all is a basic thing, but we all need to look out for each other from time to time.

Oh and that thermos you have had for 15 years in the kitchen, unused?  Dig it out from the back of the cabinet and toss it in the car with Ice Water next time you're out in 90 degree (32C plus) and hydrate to your heart's content.

Your Heart will love you for it, and you can keep your distance up.

Hey!  On Yer Left!

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