The Black Hole

James and I are midway through week 13 of our training plan. Our weekly exercise volume requirements have been steadily increasing over time starting at five hours per week. After our previous block of three weeks at around eight hours each week we took a scheduled rest week to recover. That was fine. The current block saw us do 11 hours, 13 hours and 13.5 hours before a rest week next week. This is how I discovered The Black Hole.

A black hole, as I think about it, is the dark and evil essence of pure emptiness, constantly absorbing anything and everything in reach in a Sisyphean task to fill itself.* Three weeks of ~13 hour weeks have introduced me, my girlfriend, my co-workers and my wallet to my own personal Black Hole. Tuesday morning saw me wake up after nine hours of sleep totally exhausted. I ate breakfast, then ate my lunch at 11, ate another lunch at 12, ate again when I got home from work, then accidentally slept for 13 hours. Tonight I came home from one of the most exhausting gym sessions we’ve had so far (try pushing 240lbs on a sled for 30 minutes straight then doing five sets of squats and tell me how you feel) and had a 800 calorie protein shake. Then I had a 12″ egg, sausage and cheese sub that I dipped in gravy. Then I had a plate of french fries with the remainder of the gravy. I’m still kind of hungry. I still have 7 hours to fill by Sunday.

My co-workers have been asking me if everything is all right because I’m not usually so cranky. I’d tell them about the Black Hole but they wouldn’t understand. My girlfriend says we’ve blown through $300 in groceries in half the usual time. She hasn’t even found the empty box of protein bars I hid in the back of the cupboard. The Black Hole is a force of Nature to which I’ve relinquished all control.

The next block sees us at 16 hours a week for a month. Things will only get worse.

There is no escape from the Black Hole. The Black Hole cannot be satisfied. The Black Hole consumes all.


*I realize this is almost diametrically opposed to what an actual black hole is but you science nerds can screw off and let me have my analogy for the purposes of the blog post. 

5 thoughts on “The Black Hole

  1. Before you slip across the event horizon and disappear into timeless oblivion, may I ask what number of annual training hours you assumed when building your training plan? For example, I assumed that I trained 200 hours last year and built my plan accordingly, and the highest weekly load that I see in Base Period 3 is six hours. If you guys are looking at a solid month of 16-hour weeks, what annual volume assumption did you apply, and where did you start in the transition period in terms of training hours?

    Sounds grueling – I salute your suffering.

    1. Lee, I don’t have the log in front of me – but from what I recall it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 500. Last night I ate 3 dinners (two before the workout Matt describes and one after) now I am up an hour early before work to get a zone 1 workout in. We are 4 weeks out from our Khatadin trip to micro test our fitness, can’t wait to see this hard work pay off and climb a couple of beautiful alpine routes

    2. ‘Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see…’ your dinner before you shove it into your face.

      You reminded me I haven’t watched Event Horizon in like a decade. I guess it’s time to go terrify myself again.

  2. Haha! Been there and it DOES eventually get better. Or maybe the mind just accepts the madness as normal after enough exposure…either way, keep pushing hard! I’m stoked to read the trip report from Khatadin.

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