Connect with us

Men’s Health

How F1’s Alex Albon Recovered From Surgery to Race in Singapore

Avatar photo

Published

on

It’s the final week of September, just days before the Singapore Grand Prix, a race circuit dreaded for its high track temperatures and long lap times and said to be one of the most physically demanding races on the F1 calendar. Williams Racing driver Alex Albon is halfway through a treadmill pyramid workout—one minute on, one off, then two on and one off, and so on—feverishly sweating. He’s dripping on both the treadmill and his heart monitor, which registers a number he can usually withstand. Today he just can’t. His body struggles. He hasn’t felt this unprepared for a race in over four years.

Albon’s trainer, Patrick Harding, checks in.

How are you doing?

The two use a ten scale— “one” being, this is easy, and “ten” being, this absolutely sucks. Albon has never given Harding a ten.

Today, he gives him a ten.

Getting off the treadmill, Albon is dispirited. For the first time, he doesn’t know if he can physically drive. Like many drivers, Albon is taller and lither than one expects. Like the best drivers, he has a steely competitiveness, a race-track persona that’s equal parts don’t fuck with me as much as if you fuck with me I will fuck with you . Unlike most drivers, Albon’s overall composition is low energy; even before a race, he looks almost tired, as if being in the zone is really just a state of zen.

Albon’s disappointment after the run today, however, is visible. Harding has been helping manage expectations all week. Singapore may not happen, they both know. But for Harding that’s okay.

It’s a slight miracle Albon is even running at all.

Two weeks ago, the team was racing in Monza, Italy. It was Friday, practice day. Albon drove for the two practice sessions before feeling pain in his side. He went to the hospital later that night and was soon scheduled for surgery in the morning; he needed an appendectomy. After the surgery, something went wrong. He was in clinical respiratory failure, with liquid building in his lungs. Doctors reintubated him and put him on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma. Harding and Albon’s family camped out in the ICU, Harding sleeping on the room’s small chair.

To everyone’s surprise the following morning, Albon’s condition rapidly improved and doctors slowly took him off the ventilator. (They had determined the cause of the respiratory failure to be fluid buildup; still, they were unsure when Albon would awake. Harding thought it might be several days.) By now it was Sunday, race day. Albon had been unconscious for over a day, missing Saturday qualifying, where teams vie for the best times to decide Sunday’s starting grid. Albon awoke, thinking he had just been out for the few hours of surgery. His first words to Harding after opening his eyes: “What were the quali results?” He was surprised his family and performance coach looked so distressed; in their minds Albon had practically died.

Albon’s next question for Harding was even more exacting: When can I get back to racing?

Harding and Albon in the Williams team garage.

Williams Racing

Albon and Harding first met in 2018, when Albon drove for Scuderia Toro Rosso and then Red Bull. It was Albon’s first season in F1—the top tier of European motor sports—the path to which requires years of lower tier racing and thousands of dollars of sacrifice. Before F1, Albon says he could barely afford to keep racing, let alone hire a trainer. That’s not to say having a performance coach in motorsports is unwarranted—quite the opposite. Drivers face over 100-degree track temperatures and must withstand over 4 Gs of force while taking a corner. (For reference: a street car sees around 1 G on quick acceleration; a fighter pilot pulls around 9 Gs.) It’s not uncommon for a driver to lose over five pounds during a two-hour race.

Before Harding, Albon cycled through a few other coaches. He wanted someone who shared his life philosophy as much as his athletic goals; Albon is a practicing Buddhist, and he grounds his training in a similar humility. He doesn’t like being seen as “The Driver,” the star of the show. F1 naturally lends itself to this hierarchy, where everyone else—the mechanics and pit crew and engineers—serves the man in the racing helmet. Albon hates this. He wanted his trainer to also appreciate the need for modesty.

Performance coach and driver relationships in F1 are closer to childhood friendships—and sometimes therapist-patient relationships—than mere training partnerships. Drivers and performance coaches spend several months of the year traveling together. Albon sees Harding more than he sees his girlfriend. Harding sees Albon more than his own wife. “I’ve been married five years and have spent every anniversary with Alex,” Harding says. “I’m out for dinner on our anniversary and my wife is like, You going for dinner with Alex? And I’m like, yeah.” During tight races, Harding may be seen nervously pacing around the garage, rubbing his beard, and meticulously refolding a sweat towel near Albon’s corner. It’s that kind of relationship.

After Albon woke in the ICU, Harding wanted to make sure Albon understood exactly what had happened: You went into respiratory failure, your body just experienced major trauma. Harding also wanted to drill down Albon’s motivation for driving in Singapore, then only three weeks away.

“It’s like when you’re on the bench in a sports game, you don’t want to be on the bench,” Albon says now, three weeks after Singapore. He says he lay in the hospital just hours after waking up, watching the Italian Grand Prix. Doctors ultimately told Albon to turn it off, because it was elevating his heart rate. “I feel like I’m born to race, in a sense. I only want to drive cars. I didn’t want to sit. I didn’t want someone else driving my car. It’s that kind of feeling.”

Harding called the motivation “pure.” The two then made a plan.

The difficulty they knew would be Albon’s lungs. They expected surgery to leave him muscularly weaker in the short term. But for Harding, this wasn’t as much a concern as the surgical complications, which had led to a fluid buildup in Albon’s lung tissue. Cardiovascularly, Albon had been set back weeks from his competitors.

After three days of hospital rest, Albon and Harding began with weighted strength work—to assess Albon’s muscular recovery and to also give him training confidence. Harding had Albon spend an hour in a hyperbaric chamber with high level oxygen saturation to help stimulate his lungs. They would then use a cryotherapy chamber to aid recovery.

By day four of training, Harding began stressing Albon’s respiratory system. The two ran through their usual benchmark test: a treadmill interval pyramid. It’s not an easy session, but one Albon can handle more than that. The run that day become something of a reality check for Albon’s fitness level. Though Albon was dejected by his performance, Harding was encouraged; Albon, he figured, needed just another week of work. He wouldn’t be able to recover to full form for race day, but he would meet his goal: He could race safely. He wouldn’t sit the bench.

The duo’s next test came the following week: Race week. They went for a track jog. On Thursdays, before Friday practice sessions, Harding and Albon will often jog around the racetrack. It’s a common practice in F1 and not one Albon usually thinks about; at peak, he can run a 5K in under 20 minutes. Thursday, however, was also a decision day for the team, and so Albon was uncharacteristically nervous. If Albon and Harding didn’t feel prepared after the track jog, someone else would drive Albon’s car. At 3:00 PM, the two set off. They had been doing sauna sessions that week to simulate temperature stress. The track was unsurprisingly hot, but Albon wasn’t dripping as he had done early in training. “As soon as I did the run,” Alex remembers, “I knew Okay, I’ll be fine.”

He drove in all three practice sessions, gritted through qualifiers, and then went 27 laps on race day until a car issue forced him to finish early. It may not have been the result Albon or the team hoped for, but it highlighted the rapidity of his comeback; three weeks earlier he was intubated and on a respirator. Even on race day, he says, he was only feeling 75 percent. (Harding put that number closer to 65 percent.)

“I want to push myself as hard as I can,” Albon says about his usual mindset going into race weekends. For Singapore, he had to change the intention. He wasn’t trying to meet a goal or benchmark, but rather commit to a process. “Instead of saying, Am I fit enough? It was more: Let’s just give ourselves the time, and if we’re ready, we’re ready.”

Given the traveling and race schedule, Harding figures it will take Albon the rest of the year to get back to 100 percent; they’ll start training for peak fitness in December, after the season ends. Until then, they have just one more race. And one more hot track to jog on a Thursday.

Joshua St Clair is an editorial assistant at Men’s Health Magazine.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Men’s Health

Cyber Monday Fitbit deals 2022: The best fitness tracker discounts

Avatar photo

Published

on

Are there any Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals out there? Well, yes and no.

Right now, they’re mainly all Black Friday deals that have persisted through the weekend to become Cyber ​​Monday ones. So don’t worry: there are loads of discounts on Fitbit trackers and watches that have carried over if you’re still searching today.

We’re not ruling out the launch of even more deals now that Cyber ​​Monday sales have kicked off in earnest but we don’t expect many new discounts to surface. If you don’t find a cheap Fitbit before then, scan the Cyber ​​Monday deals we’ve listed below.

Fitbit’s had a rough year, with an underwhelming September launch, a difficult marriage to the Pixel Watch and several bugs, but the UX is still incredibly friendly and the devices are as popular as ever. There are some great buys below that are the equal of any fitness tracker deal out there, but we still recommend perusing the Cyber ​​Monday Garmin deals too.

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals

Looking for another Fitbit product? This tool scrapes the web for the best prices on different products in your region, so if you see a device listed below, it’s unlikely it’s available for less elsewhere.

The cheapest Fitbit deals at a glance

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals FAQ

When will the best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals start in 2022?

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals officially start on November 28, but the Black Friday deals have carried over into Cyber ​​Monday weekend too. Although this is traditionally the best time for online deals, price cuts on older models when a new device is released are common as well.

If you don’t manage to snag a bargain, prices usually drop again after Christmas.

Where will the best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals be?

The best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals in 2022 can be found on this page. As soon as the sales start we’ll be rounding up the biggest offers right here, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back in.

However, if you want to browse the sales yourself when the time comes, there are plenty of retailers that will be offering discounts on Fitbit devices. We’ve listed some of our top picks for retailers when shopping for a Fitbit bargain on Cyber ​​Monday.

Top US retailers
Amazon: Fitbit discounts across the board on Cyber ​​Monday (opens in new tab)
Best Buy: Discounts on Fitbit devices and bundle deals (opens in new tab)
Walmart: Fitness tracker discounts including straps etc.
(opens in new tab)target: Great deals across Fitbit’s whole range (opens in new tab)

Which Fitbit devices will be discounted on Cyber ​​Monday?

It isn’t just the older devices that will be on sale in the Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals, as a huge range of fitness trackers are usually discounted each year. For example, the Fitbit Sense was released two months before the online shopping event last year and saw a discount of over 10%, giving you a good deal on the newest device at the time.

Fitbit’s newest releases, the Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Versa 4, and Fitbit Inspire 3, have all received discounts this year to incentivize people to jump into the Fitbit ecosystem. We expect those deals to last until the end of Monday.

More US Cyber ​​Monday deals

  • Amazon: 50% off TVs, Apple Watch, clothing, vacuums, and toys (opens in new tab)
  • Apple AirPods 2: on sale for $234 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
  • Best Buy: up to $700 off TVs, laptops, appliances, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Cheap TVs: $79.99 smart TVs from Best Buy (opens in new tab)
  • Christmas decor: up to 54% off trees, garlands, and wreaths (opens in new tab)
  • dell: laptops from $299.99 (opens in new tab)
  • Gifts ideas: 40% off holiday gifts for the family from Amazon (opens in new tab)
  • Home depot: 50% off tools, major appliances, and holiday decor (opens in new tab)
  • Lowes: up to $750 off appliances, Christmas decor and tools (opens in new tab)
  • Overstock: 70% off holiday decor, furniture, and Christmas trees (opens in new tab)
  • nectar: save up to $500 on mattresses, plus $499 in free gifts (opens in new tab)
  • North Current: up to 50% off UGG, makeup, Nike, jewelry, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Samsung: up to $2,500 TVs, major appliances, and smartwatches (opens in new tab)
  • target: 45% off toys, Christmas decor, coffee makers, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Toys: up to 50% off best-selling toys at Walmart (opens in new tab)
  • Verizon: get the iPhone 14 Pro for free with trade-in (opens in new tab)
  • Walmart: toys, TVs, vacuums, and laptops starting at $19.99 (opens in new tab)
  • Wayfair: up to 80% off couches, rugs, and more, plus free shipping (opens in new tab)

UK Cyber ​​Monday deals

  • Amazon: up to 60% off TVs, laptops, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Adidas: up to 50% off trainers and clothing (opens in new tab)
  • oh: deals on appliances, TVs, laptops and more (opens in new tab)
  • argus: cheap TVs, headphones and tools (opens in new tab)
  • Boots: half-price fragrances and make-up (opens in new tab)
  • box: up to £1,000 off TVs, laptops and PCs (opens in new tab)
  • curries: 40% off TVs, laptops and vacuums (opens in new tab)
  • Dell: up to 45% off laptops and desktops (opens in new tab)
  • dyson: save £100 on the Dyson Cyclone V10 (opens in new tab)
  • EE: Get a 200GB data SIM for £23 per month (opens in new tab)
  • game: PlayStation and Xbox games from £4.99 (opens in new tab)
  • John Lewis: up to £400 off TVs and appliances (opens in new tab)
  • ninja: save up to £90 on air fryers and pans (opens in new tab)
  • Reebok: up to 50% off sportswear and footwear (opens in new tab)
  • Samsung: up to £250 off phones and tablets (opens in new tab)
  • Shark: up to £220 off cordless vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab)
  • Very: offers on TVs, Lego and fashion (opens in new tab)
  • Virgin: broadband deals from £25 per month (opens in new tab)
  • Wayfair: furniture, lighting and mattress deals (opens in new tab)
Continue Reading

Men’s Health

Blue Zones American Kitchen and How Men Can Live Long and Well

Avatar photo

Published

on

By Men Alive

Back in 2020 when Covid hit I was scared. I knew if I was ever infected by the virus, I would be at high risk of being hospitalized and even dying. I was in the high-risk group. I had lifelong breathing problems due to chronic asthma which began when I was a kid. I was also an older male. Watching the TV reports of hospitalizations and deaths and seeing people being put on ventilators in hospitals, one thing stood out. Many of the people were overweight.

For more than fifty years I have worked in the healthcare field and specialize in men’s health. I try and practice what I teach. I exercise daily, eat a mostly plant-based diet, have a good network of friends and family, and what the Japanese call Ikigai—a sense of purpose, a reason for living. But I wanted to “up my game” and do everything I could do to improve my chances of remaining infection free and healthy.

I followed my doctor’s advice and got vaccinated and boosted as soon as I was eligible. I increased my daily exercise routine to include walking up and down hills to improve my lung capacity. I also followed author Michael Pollan’s simple guidance for health:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

For him, “food” includes what our grandparents would recognize, not the current Standard American Diet (SAD) with increased additives of sugar, fat, salt (My grandparents never ate twinkies, Red Bull energy drinks, or French fries.) Where most people I knew gained weight during Covid, I lost ten pounds, and was down to my healthy weight when I was in high school.

We all know the basics of eating well. We just have a difficult time doing it. There is so much food hype and advertising that eating healthy often seems impossible and people everywhere are becoming overweight and obese. Fortunately, help is on the way. Dan Buettner, the best-selling author of the Blue Zones series of books, is coming out with an incredibly useful resource: The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100. You can learn about Dan’s work about his explorations of areas throughout the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives at his website, DanBuettner.com. You can also preorder the book and receive a boatload of resources right away.

Dan is one of my health heroes. Beginning in 2004, he teamed with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging to identify pockets around the world where people lived measurably better, longer lives. The original Blue Zones regions included Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, the Greek island of Ikaria, Loma Linda in California, and the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy, where there were a particularly high percentage of long-lived men as well as women.

“These men appeared to retain their vigor and vitality longer than men almost anywhere else,”

Buettner reports.

That fact really drew my attention. The same year that Buettner began his studies, my colleague Randolph Nesse, MD along with Daniel Kruger, PhD published a study that examined premature deaths among men in 20 countries. They found that in every country studied, men died sooner and lived sicker than women and their shortened health and lifespan harmed the men and their families.

For me, their conclusions were a call to action:

  • “Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death.”
  • “Over 375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the US alone if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s.”
  • “If male mortality rates could be reduced to those for females, this would eliminate over one-third of all male deaths below age 50 and help men of all ages.”
  • “If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer.”

I had been working with men’s health issues since 1969. After reading about Dan Buettner’s work with Blue Zones and Randy Nesse and Daniel Kruger’s work on the longevity gap between males and females, I refocused my work at MenAlive to teach healthy practices that would help men and their families. Most recently, I have launched a Moonshot for Mankind community to help men and their families live healthy, long, lives.

In his book, Dying to Be Men, Dr. Will Courtenay asks,

“Why do men and boys suffer more disease and disability, and the younger, than women and girls?”

Courtenay cites extensive research and details ten health-promoting practices that are less often engaged in by males compared with females. He says, for instance, that

“Men and boys, in general, have fewer healthy lifestyles than women and girls, and they engage in far fewer health-promoting behaviors. For example, men are more often overweight than women, and they have less healthy diet habits. They eat more meat, fat, and salt and less fiber, fruits, and vegetables than women.”

I know that was true for me. Growing up in the 1950s, my mother believed that boys and men needed to eat a lot of meat. At the time, it was common to buy a side of beef that was cut into steaks, chops, and burgers and delivered to a big freezer we kept in the garage. I grew up eating meet three times a day. As a single mom, it was the easiest thing for my working mother to prepare quickly. It wasn’t until I became an overweight adult that I learned that this Male American Diet (MAD) was not only unhealthy, but it shortened our lifespan.

In the introduction to Dan’s book, The Blue Zones American Kitchen (I was honored to have received a pre-publication copy) Dan has a picture of his father who looks to be about my age. There is a caption saying,

“My ‘meat and potatoes’ dad, Roger Buettner, taste-tested every recipe in this book.”

He and Dan have their arms around each other, each have big smiles on their faces with their thumbs up.

“This book could help you live an extra 10 good years,”

says Dan.

The word “good” is important. No one wants to live longer if those extra years are filled with ill health and heartache. The first paragraph lays out a few of the facts.

“In 2022, 750,000 people in the United States will die from eating the standard American diet. Among those deaths, nearly 443,000 will die from high blood pressure, 213,000 from high blood sugar, and 158,000 from high cholesterol. Meanwhile, in 2022, Americans will spend approximately $3.7 trillion on health care, 85 percent of it on treating preventable diseases largely driven by what we eat.”

Unlike most recipe books, this one is beautifully photographed and the recipes are ones that even a klutz like me could manage. What is even more enticing, is that the recipes are based on what is good and healthy in our American heritage, including the following:

  • Indigenous, Native, and Early American.
  • Regional and Contemporary American

I can’t wait to share the book with my family and friends. You can also learn more about health in my latest book, coming out soon, Long Live Men! The Moonshot Mission to Heal Men, Close the Lifespan Gap, and Offer Hope to Humanity. In the book I talk about the Blue Zones Project which brings the Blue Zones principles and practices to local communities. There are now 70 communities across the United States, impacting millions of people, including one where I live in Mendocino County, California.

We can use all support to eat a healthier diet. Blue Zones can help men, women, and children. We can’t do it alone, but together we can make difference for good.

If you’d like to pre-order The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 by Dan Buettner, you can do so here.

You can learn more about my own work at MenAlive.com. If you’d like to receive more articles on health and well-being, please subscribe to our free newsletter.

You can learn more about our Moonshot for Mankind Movement and Community here.

Together we can help heal the world.

Previously Published on menalive

***

You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project

Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.

All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community. A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one social interest group and our online communities. A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.

Register New Account

Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.

Continue Reading

Men’s Health

Why Single Men is Scary for Modern Women

Avatar photo

Published

on



Why Single Men is Scary for Modern Women



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending