Archive for January, 2011

Evening Run, 1-31-11

20-Minute Time Trial
Created by CrossFit Endurance

Routine:
Maintain 80% of maximal exertion across the allotted time.

Time:
20 Minutes

Music:
“Diamonds from Sierra Leone” by Kanye West
“Jesus Walks” by Kanye West
“Stronger” by Kanye West
“Testify” by Kanye West
“Gold Digger” by Kanye West

Morning Workout, 1-31-11

Alternating Reversed Tabata

Reps:
As many as possible during 10-second “on” intervals.

Rest:
“Off” intervals of 20 seconds.

Routine:
Eight rounds of 10-second “on” intervals and 20-second “off” intervals. The goal is to complete as many reps as possible within the time limit. Alternate between prescribed upper and lower body exercises, which are…

Swinging Pushups
Complete a standard pushup, then move the right hand next to the left. Move the left hand out to resume standard position and complete another pushup, then move the left hand next to the right. Move the right hand out to resume standard pushup position. Repeat. (From above, the movement between pushups will appear to be like a clock pendulum.)
Y Squats
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and stretch arms above head at 30-degree angle. Keep the core tight and squat down, making sure to keep the elbows back. Return to standing position. Repeat. More

Time:
7.5 minutes

Music:
“Come Back” by Foo Fighters

Thread Barefoot

“How do you like them?”

“They’re great,” I reply, as they continue staring toward the floor.

“Doesn’t it hurt your feet to run in them?”

“Nope. I actually have much less pain now.”

I get a lot of quizzical looks.

As I go on to explain the differences switching to Vibram FiveFingers from traditional running shoes has made for my ankles, knees and lower back, most people I talk to keep their eyes locked on my toes.

I talk about the biomechanics of running as well as the structural integrity and strength of the human body. I’ve answered the same questions many times.

In the end, most shrug and say, “That makes sense.”

I bought my first pair of KSOs more than a year ago and will wear them for the rest of my running life.

The raving I do only scratches the surface of how much better it feels. I’ve covered hundreds of miles with minimal soreness (if any) in what had been problem areas, particularly my knees. The thin sole brings a sense of connection to whatever surface I’m on — I feel faster and more fluid.

The sensation has led me to wear my Puma soccer shoes around more often than anything else. Sure, I have some Nikes I throw on from time to time, but the low-profile of my Ligas comes closest to replicating natural movement.

I would even wear them if somebody puked in them.

Why?

There are two basic reasons making the switch has been beneficial:

1. In-born architecture
The feet are a marvel of engineering. Fully one quarter of the bones and about twenty percent of the muscles in the human body are at the end of the legs! Designed to disperse the weight of all the appendages and organs above, the feet handle tons of force with each step.

Modern running shoes have shifted most runners away from the strength of the foot: the arch. Due to heavy padding, most people strike the ground with the heel first, which puts the brakes on with each step and jars the body as far up as the lumbar spine.

Barefoot running emphasizes making contact closer to the ball of the foot, which — after some practice and strengthening — improves running efficiency.

2. Muscle tone
The support built into the average pair of sneakers diminishes the amount of work necessary for the body to maintain balance. Dozens of muscles work in concert to keep us upright, but locking them up in bulky shoes relieves the pressure on those proprioceptive — position-sensing — tissues and leads to weakness of ligaments and tendons. Conditions like plantar fascitis or fallen arches might result.

I can attest to the fact there are few more powerful wake-up calls than the first morning after running without the crutch of molded EVA underfoot. I limped around with sore calves for days.

That’s normal.

Muscles are supposed to ache when challenged in a new way.

With that in mind, I’d like to say barefoot running is for everyone.

The jury’s still out, though.

When something becomes a craze, it’s difficult to know what the long-term effects are. It takes years or decades to measure that effectively.

All I can say is it works for me.

All you can do is give it a try.

Saturday Run, 1-29-11

5-4-3-2-1
Created by CrossFit Endurance

Routine:
Five minutes on, five minutes off, four minutes on, four minutes off and so on until a final interval of one minute on.

Maintain exertion at 85% of maximum for “on” intervals. Walk to regain breath during “off” intervals.

Time:
29 minutes

Music:
“Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim
“Ready, Steady, Go” by Paul Oakenfold
“Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones
“Typical” by MuteMath
“I Feel Free” by Foo Fighters
“List of Demands” by Saul Williams
“The Whole World” by Outkast

Evening Run, 1-28-11

The Sound of Silence

Routine:
Run 5k at an easy pace

Time:
As needed

Music:
None (dead MP3 player battery)

More Exceptional than Yesterday

Courtesy of IndianChild.com

The goal is not to be better than the other man, but to be better than your previous self.
Hindu Proverb

I resumed two-a-days on Monday.

The regimen — a workout in the morning and another in the evening — is a staple of sports training the world over. Preseason conditioning is often centered around building endurance fast and double sessions (done right) are an excellent tool.

Truth is, they suck.

Regardless of the work put in during the offseason, the body almost always undergoes a period of shock and confusion while being thrown into the fire of intense exercise.

The benefit, over time, is amazing.

Quickness returns.

Breathing improves.

Sharpness results.

Life is a series of chances to get better.

We are reborn every morning from the “little death” of sleep, given the opportunity to be greater than the person who laid down the night before.

The process is simple.

Do one thing — only one — to be exceptional today.

Pay attention to the day, with all its routines and drudgery, then set aside a few minutes to do something wholly different than normal.

Push a little further, even if it hurts.

Just be more exceptional than yesterday.

Forget what everyone else is doing.

Compare “now” with “before” instead of “them” with “me.”

Doing so enables us to concentrate on producing a better result measured against a known outcome as opposed to hitting the moving target of what is socially desirable.

The truly great — those who defy all we believe is possible — use themselves as the guide.

They stand upon their own shoulders to reach the next plateau.

Every little step counts. Take one.

Morning Workout, 1-28-11

Just Handstanding

Reps:
50 Handstand Pushups

Rest:
As needed to complete prescribed reps

Routine:
Find open wall space (preferably a corner if just beginning) and place hands on the floor approximately six inches from it. With arms extended, kick legs up over head into starting position. Slowly lower body toward floor, mindful of how close the head is to it. Push upward to return to starting position. Repeat. More

Time:
7 minutes


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