cardio · fitness · injury · strength training

You can’t do everything and that’s okay


Saturday I posted in the 223 workouts in 2023 group, “One lap of the Beach Island Loop with the Thundering Turtles, 30 minutes. My goal is to up my time consistently through fall and winter to get my cardio fitness and endurance back. Obviously, that fell through the wayside while I was recuperating from knee surgery, and the focus was all mobility, strength, and balance.”

It’s important to acknowledge this. While I’m a physio and knee replacement surgery success story, not all of my areas of fitness survived equally. I got back to strength training pretty early in. Physio focuses a lot on mobility and balance. But cardio fitness? I lost that pretty quickly. Here’s what Triathlete magazine has to say about losing cycling fitness. They estimate the time to get back to where you were is about 2/3 of the time you were off. So, for me, it’s been a year. That makes getting back to where I was last summer a reasonable winter goal.

Getting my cardio fitness back is going to be a focus of my fall and winter training. I’m not beating myself up about it. I’m not feeling bad about it. But it does feel urgent to get it back. Here’s my fall and winter plan.

It also feels good to know I’m not alone. A fit feminist friend on Facebook commented on my Beach Island Loop post, saying, “I will follow your model. My cardio fell off the wagon (but was slipping anyway) with the pacemaker. I’ve been all strength, mobility and balance too. Having trouble getting going as my sleep apnea has been horrid (just had a study) and I’ve lacked motivation. Will walk, starting at 15 minutes (that’s where I am), try to be consistent and gradually work up. Thanks. You are always an inspiration to me.”

It also helps me to remember that it’s true for serious athletes, too. You can’t do everything. You can train for explosive power but not also for peak endurance. You can train for strength and muscle development, but that will make it hard to train for running marathons. That’s just because different sports have different demands.

In my case, without strength, I couldn’t tax my cardiovascular system. I needed to rebuild strength first. But strength is back, and this winter’s focus will be cardio endurance. Wish me luck, folks!

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