Monday, January 25, 2010

The '15 Minute' Rule

Ever had one of those days when you just feel tired and lethargic? That was how I felt yesterday. I had a 3 hr aerobic endurance ride planned and just felt 'blah' when I woke up. The legs were tired and my motivation was low. Ever felt that way?

I have a rule that I try to adhere to. That rule is to start a workout and see how I feel after 15 minutes. If I feel like crap after 15 minutes, I turn around and call it a day. This '15 minute' rule used to serve me well when I was racing competitively back in my 20's, so I gave it a shot ... and it worked! I was able to get into a groove and ride comfortably, not feeling like something the cat dragged in.

The 3 hr ride wasn't a spectacular effort, but I was glad to get it done and 'in the books'. After all, miles in the legs during base building is like 'money in the bank'. After the ride, I was ravenously hungry... so while watching the NFL Playoffs (sorry Viking and Jets fans), ate like a man possessed. We had some SEE's Candy in the pantry, so I was sure to indulge on some chocolate treats. I can tell that my body is adjusting to higher workloads as I try to balance proper nutrition with higher volume training. It's a process that you should be aware of too.

Train smart!
- Coach Troy


  1. Good job, Coach Troy! I like the 15-min idea and have done something similar with my training.

    As a sports dietitian, I can't help but comment on your nutrition. I'm wondering if you didn't eat enough the day before and if so, that might be the reason (or part of the reason) for feeling sluggish when you woke up. I'm sure you know about recovery nutrition but thought I'd send you a gentle reminder!

    Make sure you consume 1.2 - 1.5 grams of carb per kg of body wt after a hard workout and then more carbs 2 hrs later. This will increase your glycogen stores so that you are able to go hard again the next day (or at least semi-hard). And total carb intake should be 6 - 10 g/kg during the training season, with lower intakes the day before rest days and higher intakes the day before hard/long days.

    Just fyi! And yes, Twizzlers do count.
    Cindy Dallow, PhD, RD, CSSD

  2. Totally agree on the 15 minute rule. You have to listen to your body, but not when you first get up and find your brain and legs covered in cobwebs. This is why the old-school riders used espresso, which I suspect would not be endorsed by the previous poster. Anyway, I call these "Just Do It" days (no residuals for Nike) and boy do they feel good when they're over!

  3. The 15 minute rule is really just a way to keep the commitment to exercise no matter what. I am in my 60's and work out every day even with a busy schedule. When i really don't want to work out or feel bad i have committed to at least starting a work out - no matter what. It almost always is the beginning of a great workout. Thanks for the inspiration you are to me and others Coach Troy. I have been yelling back at you telling me 'anyone can suffer for one more minute' - for years.

    Pastor Carl Dixon
    Bradenton Florida

  4. Thanks everyone. It seems the '15 minute rule' resonates with several others. Cindy, your professional insight is awesome regarding training nutrition... I appreciate it. And yes, I do my best to follow that advice (And all advice I too give my athletes), but sometimes fall a little short of that goal. Being reminded of the fundamentals always helps. Thanks again.
    - Coach Troy