As mentioned in my previous blog, the past week was my first week back in Japan, and it’s really good to get home after unexpectedly being away for so long. When I first touched down I was required to spend 3 nights in a quarantine hotel, officially not allowed to leave my room until the fourth day test had come back negative. I knew I needed to start getting back into the mind set of health living, and being confined to a room with no access to alcohol or tobacco certainly helped break the bad cycle I had gotten in to. Also as my only food was the Japanese “bento” (basically precooked lunch box type thing) provided 3 times a day, the eating was reasonably healthy as well. The only real negatives were a) very little in the way of fruits and veg and b) I wasn’t able to get out to do any form of exercise.
The first issue I could not do anything about, although I did request a second bento a couple of times, due to the small portions. However I did have lots of fun finding creative ways to exercise in my room. I worked out there was about 4m between the back wall and the door, so I set out to pace back and forward 500-1000 times, at least twice a day, to get in a minimum of 4km of walking. This didn’t feel enough, so I filled up a rucksack and marched up and down with that on my back too. The little coffee table was good for chest and shoulder press, the little stool for arm curls and my full suitcase helped with squats and bent-over rows.
I really wanted to do something that would get my heart rate up, but of course it would not have been right if I had slipped out of the room after midnight and run the equivalent of a few KM up and down the hotel corridor, even if the only 3 rooms occupied on that floor were “inmates” from the same flight as me . No I wouldn’t do that as it would not only be breaking the rules, but to ensure I kept noise to a minimum I would be running in bare feet, and the change in form that would cause could result in pain and stress to my Achilles. So lucky I didn’t do that…
Once the hotel quarantine was done I’ve been required to self-isolate at home for a further 11 days, so not much training to report on for week number one. But at least it meant I had full access to my free-weights and indoor bike trainer, as well as all the monitors and tools to measure my health. Unfortunately my suspicions were quickly confirmed on my first reading when I saw that my HRV was pretty low, while my blood pressure and resting heat rate were rather high, which along with regaining a lot of the weight I had previously lost, was a direct result of losing motivation after the postponement of IM Vitoria. I had done very well while staying alone and training in the UK but once the race was gone, I gave up and went across to Europe where I succumbed to the large number of temptations available and unfortunately fell off the wagon again.
The main problem of the lazy expat lifestyle for me is, it isn’t just the booze and the smoking and unhealthy food that goes with it, but the knock on effect. It all becomes something of a viscous circle as I feel too tired the next day to train, spend all day laying around recovering, then by evening I am bored and feeling negative so start drinking/eating/smoking all over again. I am of course fully aware that I can’t blame other people or other places for my weaknesses, it is my responsibility to stay in control, but it also makes sense to find ways to avoid temptation, and luckily it is so much easier to do that when I am in Tokyo, especially if I have team mates around who are focused on the same race.
So just a few more days until I am once again a free man, and then I can get out to swim, run and bike as I wish (assuming Tokyo doesn’t go back into full lockdown/curfew mode). The cold turkey effect of the long flight and the hotel incarceration mean I am over the worst of withdrawals, and I am feeling good.
Basic Stats for week beginning 26th July, 17 weeks to go
Monday morning health checks
Weight : 84.6kg
Blood pressure :136/86
Resting HR & HRV : 55bpm 70HRV
Bike 6 sessions on indoor trainer for total 7.5hours. Long ride 2.5hrs
Strength and condition 2 x 60 minutes
Run – required to stay indoors so of course I didn’t go out running, not even a couple of late night jogs around the deserted back roads.