Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Track season.

Happy Autumn, everyone. The track season has begun. This means that it is especially important that we pay attention to the rules of the track. Many have forgotten and now walk on the track as if they're walking drunk through Disneyland. Being careless on the track will get you hurt if not killed. Imagine a 180 pound sprinter smashes into any of you at full stride. Your head will fly off of your neck and your body will shatter. Just ask a football player about how pleasant those collisions are. They train for that, we don't. God help you if you get hit by one of the thrown objects.

Let's review:
Stay on the outermost (unobstructed) lanes when running. If walking to or from class, stay completely off the track. Use the outer perimeter. Stay away from the throwing areas, especially the practice sand-pit that is usually behind us that people mindlessly walk through. Thank you much!

Locations for this week:
Monday: Track
Wednesday: Track
Friday: Wilson Plaza

Here's Something to keep you busy:

Tabata Bottom-to-Bottom squats. - (20 seconds ON :: 10 seconds OFF) x 8
Basically reverse squats. You start and finish each squat at the bottom position. When you're ON, you're basically pinging the top of the squat as fast as you can and then dropping back down as fast as you can. You rest at the bottom. 5 burpee penalty if you find yourself not at the bottom for any reason at any point during the rest periods. Assess the burpees immediately after finishing the 8th (final) round.

Optional: If you hit the track this week. Do some 50M or 100M or 200M repeat. Whatever you can hold without deviating. Do 6 - 10 of those sprints with a good recovery between each effort.

- If you want to get into the lactic threshold a little more, then shorten the Recovery::Work to about 1::1. For big power output, go 3::1.
*So if 100M takes you 20 seconds and you're trying to stay in the lactic threshold, recover no more than 20 seconds before your next effort. If you're going for all out power than recover for up to 60 seconds or more if needed.


** Update**
Demetria brought up a good question. Heartrate.. I'll try to find more info about target heart-rates, but for now, I'd like you all to think of them as RELATIVE speed limits. Realative to YOU and only YOU. The figures that are used in those charts are very broad and generalized. Thus, "target zones" don't apply to everyone equally.

I would suggest using "percieved exertion" instead. Practice that in a warm-up. Start with what you think is about 50% exertion. Then build it up gradually and note how it feels and what your heart-rate is (if you're wearing a monitor). Try to keep detailed logs of this and you will see the correlation better. Thus, when you're trying to stay in a certain "zone", you'll have a better idea of where YOU need to be based on YOUR exertion potential. And, as you get more conditioned and your heart rate potentials and your VO2max changes, thus will your RPE (rate of percieved exertion)/heart rate chart. What was once 95% will now become 85%. Imagine running a marathon or a 5K at 95% rather that 85%.. What might your time look like?

Also, you can use your monitor as an indicator that something is wrong. If you feel like you're at 100% and your heart rate is what was once 75%, then you know something is wrong and you should rest. Or if you feel like you're going 85% and your heart rate is where you once had your 100%, then something may have changed as well.

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of monitors as they create artifical ceiling which people will then use as speed limits. I've always just tried to push as hard as I can and perform the task at hand, whether it is 100 meters or a 10k, most efficiently. Don't forget, you're always competing with yourself to become a little better (whatever that means to you) than you were yesterday. try to use the monitor as an indicator of where you are rather than where you can't be.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Lots of you did last week's workout and everyone reported very highly about it. Glad you all got pumped up for it and did it. maybe it wasn't the most fun thing to do, but sometimes that comes with the territory.

This week, we'll take a step back to our training roots. Low volume, high intensity, progressive and productive training.

I'm obsessed with this site: ZONE5ENDURANCE. They cite actual science with actual conclusions and practical applications rather than "just run more if you want to be a better runner". Feel free to check them out, and for many of you, change your aerobic training methodology. You'll be better for it. Trust me. Less IS more when training your aerobic threshold or as we call it VO2max. How much less, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.. 30 Seconds.. Yep you read that correctly.. 30 seconds of high intensity will induce an aerobic response, thus training and hopefully elevating the VO2max.
READ THIS: 30-Second Max. Effort Sprints Are Aerobic

I know some of you didn't read it and kind of just skimmed the title.. At least read the abstract and maybe the conclusion.. Do it!!

So here's a workout:


2 x
    4 x 30 second sprint :: 90 second recovery
    1 x 2 minute sprint :: full recovery. ~ 3 minutes


On a different day, perhaps Thursday

Hold the bottom of a squat for 10 minutes. Hold on to what ever you need and elevate your heels with something solid in you need. But keep your weight in your heels.


Also, please pay attention to the following location changes:

Monday, 9/19: Grass Area to East of the North Athletic Field near the back of Ashe and close to the Student Activities Center and Kaufman Hall.

Wednesday, 9/21: Track as usual.

Friday: Janss Steps.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Location, Location, Location

Things are a bit busy 'round campus with the start of school. Here's where we'll meet this week.

Monday, 9/19: Grass Area to East of the North Athletic Field near the back of Ashe and close to the Student Activities Center and Kaufman Hall.

Wednesday, 9/21: Track as usual.

Friday: Janss Steps.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 Years.

I don't think I need to get too detailed about this. We all remember exactly what we were doing 10 years ago. Some of us might even remember every bite of food we ate that fateful day. The day that brought us together as a nation, and even compelled other nations to join us in that distinctly American tradition of getting back up, standing up tall, dusting off and fighting back.

I truly miss seeing American flags flying. I love it when I see a flag that has been shredding to strands. That thing has been abused by the wind for god knows how long, but it will continue flailing as long as there is even a single little thread left. It really does make my spine tingle when I see that. This is why we train: so that regardless of how punishing or brutal life becomes. Regardless of how hard and strenuous things may get. Regardless of the challenge, we may continue to press on to pursue our goals and dreams with every last fiber of our being.

"Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed." - William Earnest Henley 

As we spend this week remembering and honoring, lets try not to fall into the pits of sorrow, but rather squeeze those back muscles tight and stand tall. Walk proud. This is America and that's how we roll. 
Try to remember the great things that human beings did for one another that day. Complete stranger who might have killed each other on the 405 out of road rage risked life and limb to help others. People did things they never thought possible in order to survive and save others. When pushed, we are all capable of doing a lot. But when another life is in the picture, we can become superhuman. This has been documents many times ( "The Third Man Factor" - John Geiger, "Deep Survival" - Laurence Gonzales.) This week, try to think of someone who you might really step out of your comfort zone for. Someone who you might run into an inferno for. Perhaps someone who you wouldn't just die for, but maybe even survive for. 

Here is a special workout to help honor, remember, and commemorate the incredible things that people can do for others, especially our first-responders (fire fighters, cops, emt's). Try to think about the brave men and women who raced up dozens of flights of stairs to help get others to safety. Think about fire fighters that have to carry air tanks and 50 more pounds of gear in hopes of carrying out an even bigger person. It's stifling to even imagine but we will try..

Run 3 laps on the track. During EACH lap, complete an entire Drake-Snake when running on the West side of the track. You will thus do 3 snakes total. You will start the snake on one end of the stadium seats and finish at the other end and continue running the lap. If you find yourself trudging along slow and lazy, try to think about the price others had to pay and how insignificant your levels of discomfort are right now. Feel free to wear a back pack with 10-20 pounds of stuff. Maybe even do it in work clothes and work shoes; you might not have exercise clothes ready when something happens. 

I suggest you all coordinate something together. It would be awesome if everyone was out there together doing this. So put "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" on your ipods and go out there and GET SUM!! 

Have fun, enjoy, give thanks, and be nice to someone random this week. Pay it forward.

Over and OUT!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to work.. Get busy.. At least pretend.

Welcome back everyone! Hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. It's nice to just relax, isn't it?? Yeah, right, I'm sure everyone did daily tabatas. Either way, we have a hot week ahead of us. Make sure you're going to bed hydrated, and waking up hydrated. Freeze a few water bottles and grab a couple before you leave the house.. It'll stay cold longer.

Note: If you start overheating, make sure you cool down BEFORE drinking ANY water. You may vomit and dehydrate yourself further. Procedure: Find shade. Soak your head and neck, use your shirt or a cloth as it will hold water longer. Rinse your mouth with some water and spit it out. Don't hesitate to call EMS (310-825-1491 if you're on campus), you can always send them off if you change your mind. Once you are cooled off, then drink a small amount of water periodically. Call it a day and get cooled off and keep hydrating. If you see someone who is looking like death, apply these steps to them; especially if they have stopped sweating (that's an indicator that death is not far, fyi).

Dehydration is scary. If you've ever been legitimately dehydrated, then you know. It's like being drunk, drugged, sick, hung-over, and dellusional all at once. The body really does do it's own shut-down procedure and if it gets too far in the process, it will not restart. Bummer.
Anyway, now for the fun stuff

Here's some work to do:

1. Do this all the way through with little/no rest.

10 minutes: Jump-rope/double-unders/jumping jacks
8 minutes: Overhead hold (pvc pipe, water bottle, anything challenging)/ hand-stand hold (super advanced; rest as needed, don't pass out, use your abmat under your precious dome.) The idea is to maintain active shoulders, so don't get lazy.. get em up!
6 minutes: SQUAT! Chest up, toes up, knees out. Neutral spine. No dropped chests. FULL DEPTH.
4 minutes: Situps
2 minutes: Pushups. hand release. Keep your knees OFF the ground the ENTIRE time and your toes dug in. Point your fore-fingers to 10 o'clock and 1 o'clock.