Of Stadium Sprints, Fixie Intervals, and Mandelbrot Sets

“I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
~Alexis de Tocqueville


Modern Paleo Art ~ the Anthropomorphized, Fiddler Crab

Kind of a crazy couple of days this weekend.  I had an engineering test run scheduled that required me to be at work from midnight to 5 AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Professionally, the engineering test went-off without a hitch.  Personally, this was a good test of how well the Paleo lifestyle holds-up under duress (and it performed quite admirably — as if there were any doubt).  Prior to my Paleo conversion, hours like this would have plunged me into a major carbohydrate jonesing/binge cycle the likes of which I cringe to think of nowadays.   I used to work shift-work, so I’m intimate with odd (read, vampire) hours, and their powerful affects on the body.  No such thing happened this time around, though.  And, as I’ll talk about in a bit, this was following a very low carb day on Friday and an extended (and tough) workout on Saturday afternoon — in a semi-fasted state, no less.

Saturday’s Workout

Actually, I should begin with Friday’s eating pattern as it has a direct bearing upon my workout performance Saturday.  In a phrase, the day’s eating was very low carb (and I’m talking good carbs here); this was nothing that was planned, it just came about that way.  For breakfast, along with a half-palm serving of sirloin and two soft-boiled eggs, was roughly 3/4 of a cup of broccoli (left over from the night before).  For lunch there was enough cut avocado and tomato to cover an 8 OZ sirloin serving along with about 1/2 cup of coleslaw.  That was it for the day’s carb intake, because Meesus TTP wanted to order in that night — Italian, no less.  I opted for the ol’ standby in these situations — chicken wings.  Antipasto would have been another option, though the particular place we ordered from tends to have much better wings as compared to a so-so antipasto offering.  I washed it all down (about 20 or so wings?) with a glass of shiraz. So that sets the stage for Saturday’s workout.

A funny (depending on how you look at it) aside: I gave the delivery dude, by pure accident, a $15 tip.  Now, I’m usually a very good tipping customer (thanks to having spent time as a waiter) — but not that friggin’ good.  A $15 dollar tip on a twenty dollar tab.  Happy Halloween, my friend!  Have a few cold one’s on me!

Anyway…I saddled-up the fixie at about 1 PM Saturday afternoon and hit about 30-minutes worth of hard intervals.   Now, I don’t time my work legs, nor my rest legs — I leave that to the Gods of Power Law to assign — I just push as hard as I can until I have to slow, or stop, for an obstacle — or until I heave up a lung.   As soon as I’m free of the obstacle (and/or retrieve the lung), I hit it all over again.  Now I’m not nearly as ballsy as this guy, though, so my slows and stops are much more frequent.  And don’t look at what our man Yak eats in the clip — he’d be much better off (and healthier in the long run), fueling his endeavors with fat.

So, back to our story.  I ended up at the stadium and did some ramp sprints to the upper deck.  From here, I did this little combo: at the culmination of each trip up the steps, I did (in alternating fashion) either 25 fast-paced decline push-ups or 8 (or so) ballistic decline pushups.  I did 8 total rounds of this.  For the step sprints, I did a grab-bag assortment of singles, doubles and dual-leg hops for triples.  For a comparison, check out one of my past stadium sprint workouts.  I felt fine athletically — no perceived loss in performance — though I did have a bit of brain fade on the ride home.  I’m assuming that I was pretty near carb depleted by this point, and gettin’ it done mostly on ketones.  However, since my body is adept at utilizing this energy source, I was able to avoid the dreaded bonk that dooms endurance athletes.


A view from the top.  You don’t want to bonk here — not in the carb-depleted sense of the term, anyway smile_wink


After a few hours of sleep, I was good to go.  I saddled-up again, this time for an ECU and G-Vegas tour.  This wound up being about an hour’s worth of interval work — everything from some all-out, 100% bursts to recoveries where I’d just noodle around and take some reflection shots, like this:


I wish there was some way to plot my intensity over the course of a bike ride.  I wonder if it would plot out in a classic fractal?

…And speaking of fractals

This is a good primer on fractal mathematics. It’s a very, very interesting show, and if you’ve got an hour or so to spend, I’d highly recommend checking it out.  When you do, keep in mind things like workout intensities and occurrences, meal timing (or, rather, lack thereof), caloric intake and the like.  This, too, is part of the Paleo lifestyle, and is, in my opinion, the toughest thing to get “right” within the very non-fractal-ness of the modern work-world.


Hokusai, The Great Wave at Kanagawa

In Health,


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2 responses to “Of Stadium Sprints, Fixie Intervals, and Mandelbrot Sets

  1. Thanks for the comments, Marc. If there’s anything you’d like to see discussed, just let me know.

    As for the co-worker factor: I’ve been considered a freak for so long, it’s become natural to me. Hang in there long enough, and the feeling will eventually grow on you — to the point where fitting in will seem the odd condition. 🙂

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