This morning I was training a client. Her workout was: 90 seconds on the rowing machine, 40 kettlebell swings, rest x 4.
For round #2, I challenged her to row more meters than she had in her first round. She sprinted all out and destroyed her first round distance. But she was huffing and puffing too hard and had to take a break before her second set of kettlebell swings.
Round 3 on the rower I challenged her to “make this your easy pace”. I asked her to match her second round distance but make it feel easy.
She did just that. She hopped off the rower after rowing the same distance as round 2 and went right into kettlebells, no rest needed.
As your trainer, if I see you struggling, I could coach you through good form: relax your shoulders, keep your core tight, support your lower back, drive your knees… But by the time I get to the end of all the cues I’d need to start back at the beginning. Instead, if I keep telling you to “make it easy”, you naturally relax, control your breathing and find good form.
When running, you stop fighting to turn your legs over and take more efficient steps. When biking, you begin to make smoother circles, pushing and pulling evenly. And when rowing, this client relaxed, stopped struggling and found a better rhythm by taking the time to fully extend each stroke.
Try it for yourself! Go out and make fast your easy pace!
Me and my lady.
Sometimes she gets lazy and I carry her.
I decided it’s finally time for me to be a biker.
If you know me, you might be confused by that statement. I own enough bikes and related equipment to have an entire sun porch dedicated to them.
But, in addition to the fact that I took a hiatus from even commuting by bike after my traumatic car-meets-me on bike accident, I have never raced nor even clocked my speed on a bike. It’s only been a hobby, a way to exercise and a form of commuting. I have been contemplating a bike race or duathlon for some time, but it wasn’t until my recent running frustration that I decided my racing life needed something completely new.
I am working on coming back from my injuries – finally – but I am fighting against myself. I am so stubborn and self-competitive that it’s not working. I am getting frustrated because my times are not competitive. My times are not what they used to be. I know it will take time. I know I need to just let it happen. But I can’t. I can’t stop comparing today’s race times to yesterday’s. I tried running a distance that I have never done before. That was a little better. I got a personal record in that distance, but my average mile time was still posted and was still a full minute 15 seconds slower than my average pace this time last year.
Everyone had advice. Lots of advice.
Finally, I have figured out, for myself, what I think might work: a whole new race modality. I am going to get on my bike and start clocking my speed. And guess what? No matter what time it is, I have zero knowledge of my pre-injury average pace!
So … Hi. My name is Sally and I’m a biker!
Now about getting a road bike … anyone looking to help a broke, new biker out … one that only has hybrid and mountain bikes? 🙂
I am finally done being pulled down by injuries and am working hard to get back to where I was pre-accident, especially when it comes to running speed. This, combined with an awesome workout in nature on Wednesday, has made me ready to come back to this blog.
So what was so great about Wednesday’s workout?
While visiting a friend in Ohio, I headed to Caesar Creek State Park with 2 competitive bike riders for a fun day on the trails. We ran a trail loop and started some active stretching, comparing favorite moves and discussing dynamic vs. static stretching (side bar: my opinion is strongly for dynamic before working out and static after). We showed off different kinds of push ups. Then we headed to tackle some hill sprints… Actually hill sounds so weak compared to the long, steep, grassy slope before us.
After just one hill sprint of death each, it was back to the trails for a fast 3 mile run.
Still not worn out, we grabbed my new weight vest and the fun really started: stairs, burpees, pistols (one-legged squats) and anything else we could come up with.
We rounded the day out with another mile in the trails — me wearing the weighted vest — and some static stretching.
It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect, the scenery amazing and the company motivational. It was the kind of day worth writing about!
A friend I made during the last 3 miles. It was so helpful to have someone to talk to as the running got tough and we definitely helped push each other to the end, both finishing under 2:10!
I have heard people complain about the registration fees for races, especially those longer than 10 miles which can easily cost over $100. Although I certainly don’t like shelling out so much money just to run, I definitely understand the fees. Allow me to illustrate the need for such high registration costs by pointing out a few things about the race I ran this weekend that started at $40 and went up to only $60 as race day approached.
1. Bathrooms? Who needs port-a-potties? The only place to take a quick bathroom break was the start and finish line. Luckily, I have never needed to stop and go during a race of any length, but unluckily several of my fellow racers yesterday were not so good at holding it. I had to watch far too many people, men and women, peeing along the side of the course. And some were not concerned about being discreet. Wonder how the course smells today…
2. You’re not thirsty, are you? Again, I am fortunate that I train without water or gel and was able to power through and wait til the end to rehydrate because this race was not concerned about keeping you hydrated. There were a couple places to grab a drink — maybe 4 or 5 water stops and 1 Gatorade — but no gels.
3. Safety? What’s that? Along the course there was very little support of any kind. I saw only one place where medical could have seen you and I saw several spots where older runners were sitting down on the sidewalk, struggling. There was no one I could tell that these runners might need help. And the biggest safety risk that is also one of the biggest costs of races? The roads were not closed! We were running with traffic, angry, pissed off traffic. There were times when cars were even crossing the course and runners had to stop and wait for cars to pass: not a problem on your training run, but not something you are apt to look out for during a race.
So if you are okay with no bathrooms, minimal hydration and no concern for your safety, then by all means, complain away about paying so much for a race. Otherwise, try to understand where the costs are coming from and how much work goes into putting together a safe, fun race.
I overheard two moms talking. One mom said that she was disgusted by the fact that her husband taught their son that it was okay to blow his nose in the shower without a tissue. Aside from being annoyed that she was ungrateful about the fact that her husband was spending time with the little boy, I was also sure that she was not a runner or biker. Because there are certain things that make you one of these athletes in my mind and one that clearly stands out is that you don’t think twice about blowing a snot rocket. (You’re too much a runner/biker when you accidentally blow one in normal street clothes, walking down the sidewalk. I may or may not have done this before.)
Running fast around a 160-meter track (indoors are typically 200; outdoors, 400) sucks. Luckily for me and my lactic acid-filled legs, I was headed to the Endurance Sports Expo right after my races.
Meet the SportPump — yes, my legs are inside of these monster ski boots. Once they started their cycle, I received a 5-minute compression massage, as the air pockets around me were inflated and deflated slowly and repeatedly.
I’ll have to let you know later if there’s a recovery difference (since I am blogging from the chair, legs still getting massaged) but I know so far I already feel more relaxed.
Check out my awesome, brightly colored shoes that I am trying out today at an indoor track meet!
I warmed up in the blue and green Scotts and will be putting on the pink and blue Saucony spikes for the mile and 2 mile.
Wish me luck!