- That's actually mental.
Welcome to part three of my quest to take on the hour record
and see if I can beat the legendary Eddy Merckx
and his distance of 49.431 kilometers.
This is going to be the hardest physical challenge
I've ever undertaken.
And no matter what you're training for, in order to improve,
get fitter, and stronger, you need to recover.
Now recovery is often overlooked,
but it's where the gains are made.
It's where the body rebuilds itself
and becomes stronger than it was before.
Given the task at hand then,
and given I'm going to be training harder
than I've ever trained before,
I need all the help I can get.
Several brands have got in touch to suggest things
that I could do.
So let's see how I can try and maximize my recovery.
Starting with this, the Theragun.
The Theragun looks
like Marvin the Martians disintegration pistol,
but the only thing this bad boy
is going to be disintegrating
are the knots in my tired limbs.
One of the advantages of Theragun is
you can self-administer massages with it.
Ideally I'd be getting daily sports massages
while I'm training for this challenge,
but unfortunately that's not possible.
So this makes for an alternative.
Right, prepare to be disintegrated.
Using percussive therapy it vibrates
and pounds your muscles much like a robot masseuse.
The 40 percussions per second have 16 millimeters of travel
helping to improve circulation
and blood flow.
There are different head attachments
and post exercise two minutes per muscle group
is recommended with the corresponding app
and well, feels quite good actually.
Interestingly the Theragun is increasingly being used
by physiotherapists and masseuses too
and is said to be beneficial in breaking up scar tissue
and alleviating joint pain.
However I am mainly using it for the massage benefits
and if there's one thing pro cyclists swear by for recovery
(upbeat tempo music)
The next thing I'm going to try is a PowerDot.
Now this is an e-stim unit
that attaches electrodes to your muscles
and then sends electric current through to stimulate them
and supposedly aid recovery.
Several top cyclists are said to be using it
and swear by it.
So I thought I'd try it out for myself.
The PowerDot works with a corresponding smart phone app
and in that you select the muscle group
that you want to target,
in my case the quads
and then it shows you visually
where you should put the pads in order to do that.
Then you get to select which kind of program you want.
So I've gone for recovery
but there's also things like
a massage or a warm-up.
Things like that, as well.
(calm uptempo music)
Right, I'm going to start it up.
I don't know what's going to happen.
Using the app you control the intensity
of the electrodes.
I'm up to three and it's tingling.
(upbeat tempo music)
I'm up to six and my legs are really starting to feel it.
The idea is that it's able to give temporary pain relief
from sore or aching muscles that you've got from exercise
and the electrical stimulation when effectively combined
with regular physical training
is said to significantly improve the performance
of those muscles too.
They're certainly stimulating my muscles (breathy laughing).
It feel like I'm having a massage
which is quite strange
but next I'm going to look at sleep.
Sleep is absolutely crucial to recovery.
Loads of important processes happen when you're asleep.
Your body releases hormones like human growth hormone
which is crucial for rebuilding your body
and insufficient sleep
can lead to increased level of cortisol
which is the stress hormone can lead to weight gain.
When I said I was willing to try anything,
I wasn't lying.
This is an altitude tent
and despite my blood oxygen saturation being 89%
no we're not camping in a field
at 3,000 meters above sea levels.
We're in fact in the urban serenity and convenience
of my bedroom.
(calm deep music)
Top endurance athletes reportedly use altitude tents
for endurance gains.
The theory being that they help your body produce
more red blood cells.
The more red blood cells you have,
the more oxygen that your body can process,
the higher your VO2 Max
and the bigger your aerobic capacity.
The composition of the air is 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen
and 1% argon.
Now, by connecting the tent to a hypoxyic generator
the composition of the air can be changed.
The generator pumps in air
that has a higher proportion of nitrogen.
Meaning that the oxygen is only around 14%
and the theory behind this is that it forces the body
to adapt to what is available.
Now in doing this the body then starts to produce EPO
in the kidneys.
EPO being a hormone responsible for making red blood cells.
(calm tempo music)
You can basically get fitter just by sleeping.
Sounds brilliant, doesn't it?
One caveat with this technique though
is that not everyone responds to altitude training.
You might feel the benefits
or you might be one of those people
that doesn't get any physiological response.
It might also negatively impact your sleep.
However one skill I do have in abundance is sleep skills.
I could sleep for Britain.
However to make sure that my cat naps aren't curtailed
and my hibernation isn't hindered,
I've literally got a gadget up my sleave.
(upbeat drum tempo)
Now this is a WHOOP.
You may have seen Psy and J-Pow talking about them
and wearing them in videos in the past.
And it's a gadget that's specifically designed
to monitor your recovery.
Now it does so by connecting to an app
on your smartphone
and it monitors your sleep.
But it also tracks your heart rate
and your heart rate variability, too.
And using special algorithms it's able to quantify that
and give you a score.
This is useful as it tells you how recovered you are
and able to therefore perform and train.
I also find it really useful in my life
because I'm training around a full time job
and other commitments
and sometimes I'll have a busy day at work.
I'll be on my feet lots
but I've not actually trained
and I feel like I've not done anything
and I'll have a session planned in the evening
from Neil and Mack from the Sufferfest
and I'll go home and I'll just feel really tired.
But then there's a danger
that you can beat yourself up mentally
because you tell yourself,
well you shouldn't feel tired,
'cause you've not actually done anything today.
And that's where the WHOOP comes in handy
because it says actually you've done a lot today.
You've been on your feel a lot and you should feel tired.
Don't worry that's normal, chill out.
And it's nice to have that positive reinforcement
but also it's used for teaching you
how other things affect recovery.
So if you drink alcohol or you don't get enough sleep
or if you spend all day on your feet
or even if you're not hydrated enough,
you're not drinking enough water.
And it's cool that it makes you accountable
by way of a score.
It might not work for everyone
but for me it's kind of like a game.
I want to beat my score.
Interestingly if you're ill or coming down with a virus,
your resting heart rate will usually be higher
than a couple of days before.
And the WHOOP measures it
at a specific point in your sleep cycle every night
And just before I got ill with a virus last week
my resting heart rate was about 10 beats per minute higher.
In addition to my other training
my coaches Neil and Mack from the Sufferfest
have been getting me to do some yoga.
Now having never done it before
I wasn't sure why either
but I'm now a convert.
It helps me relax but it's also great
for joints and muscles
and key to riding in a really agressive aerodynamic position
is flexibility and it's great for that too.
I find it more mentally stimulating then just stretching
and it pushes me more in terms of flexibility too
but yoga's said to have a whole host of benefits
Things like improved core strength,
decreased injury risk, improved breathing,
but to be honest it just kind of makes me feel good
and puts me in a positive mood
and I don't think you can ever underestimate that.
Oh, god (murmurs).
It's worth bearing in mind
that as much as you should look to enhance your recovery
it's not a replacement for training
and you also shouldn't neglect the basics, as well.
You need to focus on good quality sleep,
rest, and nutrition above all else.
And it's kind of like
what I said in a weight loss video as well,
you can't out train a bad diet.
The same can be said for recovery.
When you finish a workout getting in protein
and carbs is absolutely key to recovery.
And while I'm a fan of real food,
sport specific products are great
'cause they're really convenient
and they contain the exact right quantities
of what you need backed up by science.
It's really important that you replenish
your glycogen stores
and also take in protein to rebuild muscles.
Hope you've enjoyed this video
and found it useful.
And if you have then please give it a thumbs up
and share it with your friends.
And if you'd like to stay updated on my,
hour record challenge,
then there's going to be weekly updating on the GCN show
and also longer form videos
like this one every now and then.
So make sure you subscribe for those
and if you'd like to see how I've been getting on so far
then you can do by clicking down here
and if you'd like to watch a different video
on weight loss then you can click down here.