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Micro adaptability

Sometimes the force and brunt of being a master competitor catches up with even the most diligent endurance athlete. We stretch and massage and ingest anti-inflammatories but in the end the pain hits crescendo and we pull up lame.

I'm not here today preaching miracles. At present I have carpal tunnel in my right thumb joint from too much shifting on my mountain bikes. There's something pulled in my right groin (no hernia, thank goodness) and my right knee remains questionable. But through it all, I keep on keeping on.

I'm coining a new term called "micro adaptability." It's the minuscule adjustments your body makes during training and racing, teaching itself to continue forward motion despite degeneration that occurs over time and age. But the key to this process is a consistent, never ending endurance effort.

I've written before on the fact I'm not much for taking days off. A while back I had a 3 1/2 year streak of running without missing a day. I'm a bit more forgiving of myself now, but must state that during an average year I probably take no more than 10 days off.

Each and every session does not have to be intense. I don't yet know what cycling will bring here in the higher elevation of Boone, NC, but back in Gainesville I rode at a light pace each Saturday as my "off" day from training. Then it was back to six consecutive days of running.

An every day program may not work for everyone, but consider the outcome. Your brain holds a memory of cumulative experiences and when my brain accesses its aerobic file, it reads "always on." The micro adaptability is constant and my body never stops adjusting. Maybe that's why at 52, I can still throw down and finish a 100-mile ultra run on a good day. Those who opt for long periods of sedentary existence lose this daily incremental adjustment. How many times have we heard of master athletes who try and resume a workout schedule and succumb to almost instant injury?

Just my thoughts on a sunny, crisp day at Appalachian State. Life is good and I'm headed into the mountains this weekend. Stay tuned.


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You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

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