Chronic Fatigue: Believe It Or Not!
Excuse me, but you look perfectly healthy to me.
I mean, I dont see any scrapes from a crash.
Chronic fatigue, huh. How come youre not with
crutches or in a cast?
I think hes full of cow manure and just taking
the easy way out by saying hes sick instead of racing
next weekend where he knows I would kick his buttock.
For those athletes who have chronic fatigue and an ego,
which most of us have being athletes, this state of health
is one of the most frustrating scenarios imaginable. You
look healthy and at times you mentally feel like you are
ready to go for a thirty mile ride. But when you dive into
the pool, hop on the bike or place one foot in front of
the other, you feel like an elephant is going along for
Chronic fatigue is a state of health which modern medicine
has had difficulty diagnosing. At first it was linked with
the Epstein Barr virus which 85-90% of the population have
either been exposed to and carry it dormant or currently
have the virus as active. However, the symptoms of CF have
been seen in individuals who do not carry the Epstein Barr
Symptoms of CF are insomnia at bedtime and after sleeping
a few hours, sweating during sleep, loss of appetite, performance
reduction, muscle aches for no reason, difficulty of making
decisions, irritability, accelerated resting heart rate,
low blood pressure (triathletes already have a low blood
pressure so dont get too nervous about this being
a symptom if a doctor brings this up).
It is hard to gain scientific knowledge of CF in athletes
through research because no person wants to volunteer to
get in such a fatigued state. Therefore, it would be very
hard to perform tests with control and experimental groups.
However, studies have been done on athletes after they have
entered the CF state.
The results show that athletes may be in the CF state
anywhere from six weeks to two years. Some individuals claim
to never recover from CF What is prescribed for athletes
who come down with CF? REST, REST, REST. Vitamins have proven
not to help, nor trying to train through the fatigue state.
You ask, How does Wesley Hobson know so much about
CF? Grab some popcorn and read on. For six weeks,
from the first of June until mid-July of 1995, I was able
to stay at my home in Boulder, Colorado. This was my longest
stint of being in Boulder at one time for 22 months, since
April of 1993. I had no interruptions, no travel plans,
no racing. All I had to worry about was where I could find
my swim suit, bike and running shoes. I finally had a block
of weeks where I could get my butt in shape. While racing
in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres for two straight
years was fun, I never had a break from racing where I could
build a base. I tapered off of what fitness I had for a
race. Now I had six weeks before Mountainman, July 8. Now
I could prove to myself and other skeptics that I could
still compete with the best and finish top 3 at internationally
For five weeks I trained my butt off. I was consistently
in the 25-28 hours of actual training a week. This included
20,000-25,000 yards a week swimming, 280-350 miles biking
and 40-55 miles running. For many, this may not seem like
a lot, but take into account that I was training for Olympic
distance triathlons (oops, pardon me ITU) Triathlon
distance races. Hence, a lot of my training was at a high
intensity, not just long, slow and fat burning paces. After
five weeks, I felt good. The World was my oyster. **I needed
it to be because I competed in seven triathlons over a nine
week period.** I rested the sixth week and traveled to Austria.
At Austria, I was back to being the Wes Hobson of old.
It was the Triathlon Pro Tour Championships and on a rugged
course with a tough field I finished third, only :43 seconds
behind winner and past and future World Champion Simon Lessing.
I was stoked and trained some more in Austria before leaving
Wednesday to Minneapolis where the next weekend I competed
in the US Swim & Fitness Triathlon, July 15.
Even though no triathlon publication covered this race,
other than Chicago, it had the largest depth of field of
any US race. Every top US pro was competing in the time
trial format race with the exception of Pigg and Allen.
Out of the thirty pros who competed, including five foreigners,
I finished second behind Nate Llierandi, but I had the fastest
run split. What, Wes Hobson can run!
Now I had a planned two weeks off of racing so I went
back to Boulder and trained hard with Simon Lessing who
was staying with me for six weeks. Needless to say, we didnt
need much coaxing to try to outdo one another. After all,
Im racing well and I know I can get in better shape
so train, train, train. Heres the kicker, on Wednesday
after another hard day of training, Graham Fraser of the
Toronto International Triathlon called and said he had airfare
for me to the race this Saturday if I wanted it. Simon said
I was stupid to go because I was over racing and going to
blow up. Pfufff, what does Simon know. Im racing well.
I called back Graham and left the next day for a Saturday
race on July 29. I finished second behind Hammish Carter
beating a field that included Mike Pigg, Andrew MacMartin,
Ken Glah, Jeff Devlin, Tony DeBoom, Frank Clarke, Mark Bates
and Marc Lees. I had the second fastest run split to Hammish
so Im still feeling good and I went home Sunday to
prepare for Escape From Alcatraz the next weekend, Aug.
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