No, not the type you find in Egypt, training pyramids !

Pyramid training is applicable to pretty much any form of exercise, and is when you increase your level of effort in stages, say by increasing speed, or weight, for say 20 seconds, or 20 repetitions, then decrease the weights or repetitions again. Then you repeat this exercise, a number of times. The objective is to increase stamina, and strength, by training your muscles to be able to respond at different levels, rather than plodding along at the same pace.

I have started pyramid training with my kayaking, well the pyramids are more like paddy field terraces than pyramids, but it’s a start. I start slow, increase the tempo for say 20 strokes, increase it again for 20 strokes, hold the faster tempo for a minute or so, then step back down to a comfortable cruise, paddle for a minute or so, then step back up again, and down. I do feel this is slowly increasing my stamina, and enabling the Zephyr paddles. Also, using all the paddling muscles at different levels of load seems to be dealing the onset of my shoulder and elbow failure, and interestingly, if they start to fail, stepping up the effort seems to reset the neural pathway and my paddling style comes back.

My next challenge – to translate these pyramids to walking. I can walk for say 4km as long as I keep it really slow, so now I want to start building up the distance and speed. There is no way I can run, so steady brisk walking might be valuable, but with a slow down and pause every time my leg starts to swing. Watch this space … but the kayaking has improved immensely so I am hopeful the walking will be next.

The header image isn’t a photograph of mine, it’s of Amadablam, one of the most beautiful mountains I saw when hiking in Nepal. I have no desire to ever climb that mountain, but this was one of my best holidays, where I could hike in surroundings beyond my wildest dreams.

The shape of the mountain also captures

  • the steps of the pyramid training which is working for me,
  • the roller coaster of recovery. The dips are real, but so are the peaks.

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