Newton’s First Law of Motion as Applied to Ironman Training

By: Dr. Dawn

I quote Newton’s First Law of Motion on a regular basis. Most of you may know it as “A body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion stays in motion.” This is a loose paraphrasing of the actual physics.

Two weeks ago was the first time that I let Newton get the best of me while recovering from an upper respiratory condition. I was still a bit fatigued after fighting off an illness for several days. My training was non-existent, and I already resigned myself to the fact that I would not be racing Malibu International Triathlon on September 15. But I was beginning to wonder if I really wasn’t ready to return to training or just having a difficult time overcoming the inertia of a forced rest. So I decided to be quite smart – NOT! – about the whole thing and demand a forced return to training with a one hour steady state power interval treadmill run. That, I hypothesized, would determine whether it was Newton’s First Law or a real continued illness-induced fatigue. 25 minutes into the run I became clammy, sweaty, chilled, and nauseous. I lasted another 10 minutes trying to push past the discomfort (HTFU – right?) then finally relented. Two hours after the run, my left knee started a conversation with me that was quite unpleasant.

“It will go away… I can’t be injured… I didn’t do anything!” Well, what I did was push too hard, too fast, too far and my knee let me know it. Today, my knee remains unhappy although happier than it was. I am training with a much reduced intensity and kicking myself for doing exactly what I advise other athletes not to do. My impatience got the best of me and now I’m paying for it.

Good to remember this!

Hopefully, all will be well soon. I have an Ironman to train for! 23 weeks (5 months sounds better) but who’s counting?!?

Easy coastal ride with great friends on a beautiful day!

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Comfort in Discomfort

You are now entering the discomfort zone! Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!

These words were screaming through my brain on the first day of my Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Training. I felt like the proverbial fish out of water surrounded by yogis and yoginis spitting out sanskrit and discussing the nuances of directed pranayama (breathing). Ahhh… the language shifted quickly to anatomy… my old friend and comfort blanket. But then, even the anatomy felt oddly foreign encased in the context of unique Yoga Tune Up® poses like sidewinder, boomerang, frog at the dock, twisted triangle run over by a truck, etc. While I was struggling with sanskrit and breathing, the yogis were struggling with directions of movement, muscle origins and insertions, concepts of agonists, antagonists, and synergists, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

So is this yoga or is this applied functional anatomy? It is both! That is why Yoga Tune Up® attracted me! The unique poses are fun, functional, and body informative. They are based on traditional yoga poses but deconstruct those poses into component pieces that acutely expose your body’s blind spots of imbalanced myofascial tissues whether they be tightness, weakness, or more commonly a poisonous potion of both.

I made it through the practical portion of the course intact and with a fair amount of knowledge where I need to focus due to my body’s blind spots. I leaned on my comfort blanket of anatomy to pull me through the discomfort of leading a savasana and pranayama. And I also have an amazing repertoire of new therapy tools to add to my bag of treatment tricks!

That’s me, Dr. Dawn, in the middle!

Now, I’m knee deep in the written portion of this incredibly thorough certification process. Wish me luck!! I can not wait to bring this very powerful self care practice to my community!!

And never forget… it is important to regularly exercise the brain muscle by pushing your self imposed boundaries boldly into the discomfort zone. Just don’t forget to bring along a little piece of comfort to keep you company while exploring and expanding your horizons. It makes all the difference!