Thursday, February 23, 2012

Revealing an imperfect placebo

Nothing works like the real thing
Today's workout (elliptical): 40 minutes + 15 min light upper body work

It's amazing how easy a moderate elliptical session can feel the day after a long run. Though I've read that the elliptical machine provides a harder workout than perceived, it still seems easier than running the equivalent distance. It certainly did today, and I think I know why.

Following the elliptical, I ran through a series of arm and chest exercises using a device I'd bought at Brookstone a few months ago. The device is short pole that's weighted and sprung in a way that it can be shaken to provide unstable resistance. I think it has something to do with "muscle confusion" that supposedly yields fitness benefits through the technique of constant change. I used the device in the intended way and also used it in the more traditional way, by bending it to build up arm and chest strength.

After I worked out I decided to have a last cup of coffee. It was then that I realized I'd been drinking decaf coffee over the past week. My wife had bought a different brand of decaf (that I usually only drink later in the day when entertaining guests) and I thought it was the fully leaded stuff.

That may explain why I've struggled more than usual in my morning workouts. If that's the case then I probably should be a little concerned about my dependency on caffeine. On the plus side, I did manage to run more than seven miles yesterday with no caffeine. I did not take a single gel or even drink water throughout my 75 minute run. That proves I can deal with having no caffeine in the morning. I'm just happier not to.

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