Monday, June 23, 2008

VO2 Max

VO2 max is a measure of how much oxygen the muscles are able to use to fuel their contractions during maximal exercise. A high VO2 Max means that the heart and vasculature can supply the muscles with a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood and the muscles can quickly process the oxygen to generate energy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yoga for Balance

Here's another vinyasa you can look up on and see pics. Having balance is so touches on everything you do all day. It's also something that can be improved very quickly if you have none!

Balancing Series

5 poses…eagle pose, on right and left, then Standing Leg Raise, Front: Standing Leg Raise, side; and Airplane as a flow first on right side then left. Dancers Pose on own four times—right leg, left leg, repeat.

1. Eagle Pose
Right arm under left..elbows shoulder high. Bend knees to 45 right leg over left.
Two times on each side, end in Samasthiti
2. Standing Leg Raise, Front
Grasp big toe with fingers
3. Standing Leg Raise, Side
4. Airplane Pose (Dekasana)
Balance on 1 leg, hands on hips, right knee in to chest…in liquid motion, exhale and hinge forward and extend right leg behind. Open arms like wings
Lower leg and roll back to standing. Hands in Namaste on exhale and repeat the sequence of standing leg raise, front, side and airplane on the left side, end in Samasthiti

5. Dancer’s Pose
Grab inside of right foot with thumb pointing up. Inhale and stretch forward—hold 5 breaths and release and helicopter arms to change sides…repeat and end in Samasthiti.
6. Tree Pose

Monday, June 16, 2008

Race Specific Training

**Here's a nice little two week program that I just made for a 16 year old high school boy who's on the CC team. He wants to be faster and have more power...sure, why not? I added a lot of Plyo work...which I'm a fan of (you should try it!). Look it over for new most excellent ideas.

If you’re training for a 5k there’s no need to run much more than 6-8 miles in a long workout. MAYBE you can throw in an occasional 10 miler just for fun MAYBE every other week MAX. If you want to be powerful and fast, you have to train that way…which means running fast and power drills.

When training for a 5k, strength training should be used more as a means of injury prevention than as a method of building bigger muscles. You’re muscles will of course become stronger as a result of strength training, but heavy lifting is not the goal. Strength training in the form weights and isometric work should take place 6 out of 7 days a week.

All exercises will be preformed in a two count and without rest. Athlete will perform the entire list of exercises in order from top to bottom in reps of 10-12, and repeat it 3 times total.

Running and Strength Training Workouts for 2 weeks

6 day guide that should be completed in order of Medium, Hard, Easy, Hard, Medium, Easy, Rest.


Week 1

1. Run: Must be done on the road or track. Put one minute on your watch alarm. Find a starting point and count each time your right foot (or left) strikes the ground going an easy pace until your watch goes off. Mark where you end. Jog back to start. Add 3-5 foot strikes in the marked distance...this means you have to speed up your turn over but NOT increase your distance. I usually start at around 95 strikes. Continue to increase your turn over about 4 times, until you're going pretty much all out...I'm usually at around 105 strikes. Then repeat this 2-3 times. As I said, you're increasing turn over, NOT distance. By the time you're going all out, you're pretty much running high knees and not moving much distance wise...just trying to get that turn over in. THIS WORKOUT ROCKS and has taken minutes off my time!!!!!
Strength: weights- Bench press, One-arm/one-leg dumbbell row (stand on one leg, other leg raised behind, hips squared to ground, grasp stable surface in front of you with one hand, row with the other), Dumbbell front squat-to-press (squat with dumbbells at shoulders, press overhead when standing up), One legged lunge (put back foot on box or bench), Leg curl, Dumbbell pullover extension (lie supine on bench, dumbbells held with straight arms over chest, bend at elbows and bring dumbbells to eyes and then extend behind head/elbows at ears), Romanian deadlift, Pullups.

2. Run: Start with 2 mile warm-up. 10 minute tempo run 30 seconds slower per mile than 5k goal pace. 1 mile easy and another 10 minute tempo run. Cool down.
Strength: Plyos- Base side-to-side (start in triple threat, feet outside hips, keep feet apart and jump 4 inches to the right, then 4 inches to the left, do as rapidly as possible…as soon as you hit the ground, you should be springing back to the other side…not about height, it’s about quickness), One leg over the line (jump over the “line” and back on one foot as quickly as possible), Split jump (step into lunge position and sit back until your back knee nearly touches the ground, hold for 2 seconds, then explode up, using your hips and legs and throwing your arms up at the same time-extend front leg and land back in lunge position or try alternating feet in the air), Squat jump (squat down and jump up, extend to a straight line and land in triple threat), Get up (assume and hold a pushup position, with feet together, explode forward into a sprint for 10 yards), Side-to-side-jump-to-sprint (jump side to side over 6” high object 10 times then explode into a sprint for 10 yards), Plyo pushup (regular pushup stance, push up hard enough to lift hands off ground, clap while in the air if you can).

Week 2

1. Run: 2 miles normal pace. 4x1:00 faster running (not a sprint) with recovery time until you’re ready to do another. 2 miles normal pace to finish.
Strength: weights- same as week 1 workout 1

2. Run: Hills (if you can find any). Jog 2 miles to warms up. Sprint up 20-30 second hill x 8. Jog 2 miles cool down
Strength: Plyos-same as week 1 workout 2


Week 1

1. Run: 8 x 200 meters. Run each 200 at a fast clip and rest 2 minutes between each...I recommend slowly jogging to keep your muscles from becoming sore during this time. You’ll probably be around 32 seconds starting out. Just feel out your first one and find the pace that will allow you to work hard, but still be able to finish the workout. To progress the workout, every two weeks take a couple of seconds off your time and run one less 200 until you're running just 3 x 200 AFAP (as fast as possible).
Strength: weights- Pec fly, Lat pull down, Leg extension, adduct/abduct with bungee walk, plank (straight body resting on forearms and toes, raise one arm in front, opposite, raise one leg, then the opposite, raise diagonal arm and leg, then the opposite).

2. Run: Do between 3-5 miles one mile at a time running at your goal pace with an 800 jog in between. If your goal is to run a 5 minute mile, run one mile at 5 minutes and rest for the 800 jog, then run another at 5 minutes and rest...and so on for 3-5 miles.
Strength: Cable work- Cable one-arm rotational row (start in triple threat, reach across body with right hand to grab the handle, turning hips and shoulders to machine, rotate right shoulder back and pull handle to right hip…do all reps, then complete on opposite side), Ax-chop (Standing, pull cable from one side overhead to opposite side knee in squat), Cable lift (start in squat and lift cable to opposite side as you stand, arms extending in air), Cable pull (pull cable across body with arms straight in front-engage core muscles).

Week 2

1. Run: 800 meters (that's .50 on a treadmill)x 6 or 8. Use your goal race time as a guide. If you want to run a 5k in 30 minutes divide that number by 3 which gives you your minutes per mile, in this case 10 minutes. Divide that number in half, 5 minutes. Run each 800 at this 5 minutes pace. This isn't extremely hard, but will push you a bit and help with recognizing your pace. Rest for a 400 meter jog in between and repeat 6-8 times.
Strength: same as week 1 workout 1

2. Run: All work will be done as pace intervals or your 5k goal pace. Jog half the distance run between each as recovery.
Start with a warm up. 1x400 meters. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x1200m. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x400m. Jog.
Strength: same as week 1 workout 2


Week 1

1. Run: Mileage
Strength: 30 minute minimum yoga

2. Run: Cross-train (bike, swim, jump rope, tennis, have fun!)
Strength: 30 minute minimum yoga

Week 2


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yummy Carbs

I've made whole wheat bread about twice in my life. Once under the supervision of my mom. I can't remember how it turned out because I was too young. The second time I made it as a college student and could barely get the knife through the loaf it was sooo dense and unpalatable. That put to rest any future thoughts of making my own bread, until now that is. My pal has taken the time to show me how to make her bread and even gave me a whole loaf to try. I am usually not a big bread eater for no specific reason, just not too interested in it. I ate this whole loaf in a matter of days. So, check it out. WHOLE WHEAT HONEY BREAD.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Q & A


I used to run a lot in 2005, after a few months my right knee would get shooting pains up it, on the outside part. It would get so sore I could barely walk. I stopped running and have recently starting to try again however after only 6 1/2 minutes into a run the same pain came right back. Later that day I couldn't even walk down the stairs, going down hurts worse than going up the steps. Anyway I must need to strengthen something so I'm looking for some thoughts! Can you help at all?
Thanks! I hope to hear from you!


Carrie, because your knee hurts worse going down, hurts within just a few minutes of running, and continues to hurt through out the day, I think you may have Patellar Tendinitis. This occurs when tissue breakdown happens faster than regrowth, causing one of the knee-joint tendons to become swollen. This is often caused by increased mileage, hills (especially downhills), and pace. Usually to continue running without treating the problem makes it worse and can prolong recovery. So, I would STOP running, and instead cross-train, ice, take anti-inflammatories, stretch and do exercises to strengthen the joint and quadriceps (like standing adduct and abduct, leg extention, lunges, squats, balancing stuff with the half bosu ball, and YOGA). You can also try wearing a patella strap...sold at most sports stores. I hope this helps and that you can get to feeling better soon!

another note

After writing the vinyasas below I also wanted to add that I often run through the Sun Salutation a few times and then get to work on a specific move I'm trying to improve. I'll practice the headstand or dolphin or back bend for a while and then end in another Sun Salutation. Yoga isn't competitive and maybe I shouldn't just stop and work on a specific move, but I often get excited about mastering something new, not that yoga is about mastering things, and being able to hold a challenging pose. Yes, yoga is all about the present and flowing with the flow and rolling with the homies...but this girl is just a little too competitive for all of that sometimes. Don't tell.

Let's get down to Vinyasa

Here are two vinyasas to start you out. Go to to look up the poses and put them into a visual sequence (vinyasa).

First is the Sun Salutation. I do this three times a day, usually after my run, yes or yes! I'll explain in layman's terms:

1. Mountain pose
2. breath in-arms overhead
3. exhale-swan dive down to forward bend
4. breath in-right leg back to lunge, extend arms in air
5. exhale-plank
6. hold breath-touch knees, chest and chin
7. breath in-cobra
8. exhale-downward dog
9. inhale-right leg forward to lunge, extend arms in air
10.exhale-step feet together, forward bend
11.inhale-sweep up to arms overhead
12. exhale-prayer pose

repeat coming down the same side you just went after forward bend (3) you'd step the left leg back to lunge. Repeat this up to 6 times always sweeping up one side of the body and back down that same side.

Here's another take on the Sun Salutation with a couple of modifications (and some notes I wrote to myself):

Integration Series

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
a. Spread knees apart to edges of mat
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
3. Ragdoll (Uttanasana)
a. Forward bend with legs hip width and grasping arms

Sun Salutation A

1. Samasthiti
a. “standing at attention”, arms at side
2. Mountain Pose-inhale
a. Arms over head
3. Standing forward bend-exhale
a. Hands on mat beside feet
4. Halfway lift (Urdhva Mukha Uttanasana)-inhale
a. Keep finger tips on floor, raise chest
b. JUMP BACK-exhale
5. Plank/High pushup (Dandasana)-inhale
6. Low Pushup (chaturanga dandasana)-exhale
7. Upward facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)-inhale
8. Repeat Downward Facing Dog-exhale 5 times
9. Jump Forward-hold exhale
10. Halfway lift-inhale
11. standing forward bend-exhale
12. mountain pose-inhale
13. Samasthiti-exhale

Sun Salutation B

1. Thunderbolt (Utkatasana)
a. powerful pose
2. Go though steps 3-8 of SSA
3. Warrior I
After warrior I place hands on mat and step back into High Push-Up. Then Low push-up, Upward facing dog, downward facing dog, warrior I on other side, high to low push-up, upward facing dog, downward facing dog—5 breathes, on last breath, exhale completely and Jump forward. Inhale to halfway lift, forward bend, back to thunderbolt—hold for 5 breaths, standing forward bend and begin again SSB. Repeat SSB two times, on the third round add Warrior II after Warrior I and end in Samasthiti.

**More excellent vinyasas to come!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Training Log

Track workout: check (400's)

Long, boring run on treadmill: check

Fun, midweek workout: check (rollerblading with kids)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

and the Award goes to...

Great job to everyone who finished the 1/2 and full marathon! ...still waiting to hear from the old man who signed up!!??...hopefully he's not lost, wandering the course. I think we all pushed ourselves a little further than usual and I'm glad we did! Yeah! Next time I think I'll make t-shirts!