Archive for the ‘Crossfit’ Category

This is one of those New Year’s Day Planning – Retrospective Blog Posts – 2014.  It’s inspired in part by trying to bring together a few data sources: planners, paper scrapes, DailyMile extract (app used from 2010-12) and garmin connect (new tool used since 2013 since I got garmin and they got a good website now).  I’ve continued this blog to help me keep track of the different approaches to fitness I’ve foolishly or wisely pursued. On to that retrospective.  I’ve done a couple of them – last time was in 2011 for a year-end planning.    I’ve also tried to capture two post “big day” events following the:

First, a pic to those who love miles.

24k miles

24,000 miles over the last 22 years. Fun!

I tend to be on the low side of miles for a once to three times a year marathoner type; especially since 2010.  I’m right at 1,000 miles of running each year (1,020 in 2013 and 1450 to 1700 overall the last five years). Those running miles are 1/2 to 1/3  of most marathoners.

The reason for this lean mileage approach is increased reliance on strength training (CrossFit, Starting Strength, Metcon, Body Weight, Boxing, etc) and plenty of cross training.  Related, is the desire to keep healthy.  While not true of every runner, I do find an increase in injury and illness risk from unrelenting mileage.   I also have been able to keep at a happier weight in my mid 160lbs and avoid the “marathoner gut” weight level of 185lbs.

So in my late 40’s I’ve found that mix of exercise that works best – both in form and time.  Yours is likely different.  Just find that happy place and balance.

More on that balance, with other demands in life, it’s strangely consistent that I can crank out 5-7 hours a week of working out.  Sometimes it’s hit, miss or around or during kids’ event; while traveling, picking up what I can almost anywhere and anytime.

5 year time

5 year time – for some key exercises (swim, bike, run, row, strength)

Based on that measure, I hit a high water mark of 290 hours in 2013.  That translates into about 5 hours and 1/2 hours a week. Some weeks topped 10 hours, others were 2.  A strength training intensive week – lots of lifting – typically translates into less time.  During the 10-14 week prep for Pikes Peak, more time each week is on the menu.  I’ve found a benefit of much improved core, pillar, whole body strength in my 40’s – is much smoother adaptation.  So ramping up miles on bike or feet does not kick the snot out of me into to DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Attaining marathon times of 4 hours to 4:24 since 2010 has involved much less pain the following days than marathons from 4:33 to 4:55 from 2006-09.  Another benefit is there’s more to life than marathons – so all times from one mile to 1/2 marathon have improved.  As I look at my “athlinks” profile I’m actually much better suited for 5k, 10ks and 1/2 marathons.

The number of times I workout is helpful measure to. Bring all three together and a 3D picture of time, number and distance emerges!  It’s displayed in an Excel chart that shouts “way too much time on New Year’s Day after a Husker victory over Georgia (24-19) and time between other bowl games”. 😉

3 dimensions

3 dimensions

Now on to 2014!

Goals?

Keeping it simple.

  1. Run Lincoln Marathon well.  Hit Pikes Peak Marathon PR!
  2. Workout 6 hours a week.
  3. Snag at least 3 PRs across any event (run, bike, swim, strength) – could be a 5 mile run, 25 unbroken strict pull-ups, sub 32 50 meter swim.  Who knows?
  4. Run one ultra again (fun because I don’t care about time on those).
  5. Volunteer at 5 or more events.
  6. Learn and master 3 new skills (currently picking up boxing and kick-boxing which is fun beyond all belief; double unders and muscle ups still mock me!)
  7. Have fun!  Enjoy those I workout with and workout with those I enjoy!

What are you goals? I would like to know.

Finally here’s the detailed data – that way I can find it again when I torch a laptop! 🙂

detail

detail

Death by Prowler.

Have been exploring alternatives for metcon/chipper work to balance out s/b/r (swim/bike/run) and structured Olympic lifting training.  Need to get my hands on this.  The concern with high rep barbell training is form breakdown.  The run/bike/row repeats (200,400,800 meters, mile) with body-strength and appropriate loaded weight (kettlebell at 35-52lbs) have been great for me.  At times I’ve questioned the wisdom of same with OHS, Cleans, Snatches where I’m still mastering the form.

Darndest drill - looks nasty

This statement on page 3 of by Matt Reynolds and Stef Bradford’s article struck a nerve, chord with me – in a good way.

It would be irresponsible of me to fail to note that the Prowler can be effectively used and programmed for regular people, non-competitors active in a strength program but who want to work for “metabolic conditioning.” I believe that “metcon” work with the Prowler is far superior to that performed with barbells (using strength exercises, or even worse, Olympic lifts), because the point of the exercise is to appropriately condition the metabolic processes without the systemic inflammation, muscular microtrauma, and CNS frying of the typical Crossfit “metcon” workouts. This can be done efficiently and effectively with the Prowler, since you literally cannot use bad technique – as opposed to barbell-based “metcon” where form breakdown with ultra-high reps leads to a relearning of incorrect motor patterns, as well as a highly increased chance of injury from performing barbell movements under extreme fatigue. Be smart. If you want to do “metabolic conditioning,” then condition the metabolic processes. Don’t destroy your body with mindless high-rep barbell movements using horrific form.

Still coming off the high and the low of my 25th Marathon – almost at 50 total ultra (1), mara (25) and 1/2s (19) since 1994.

As shared last week in the Lincoln Marathon Recap  the 4:28 was the 7th out of 9 for Lincoln marathon times.  It was better than 2006 and 2009, close to 2003 but slower than the 90s and 2010/11.  The last Lincoln in 2011 was (4:00:16) which, while not all time marathon PR best in terms of distance from Boston Qualifier.  That gap,  gives a concrete “how far away” am I assessment.  In 1996 the qualifying standard for a 31-year-old male was 3:05 – so 50 minutes off.  In 2011 the standard for a 46-year-old male was 3:30 – so 30 minutes off (before that dratted 2012 change).

So, as you can see I’m not a BQ type guy.  As I shared on other posts I’m a grinder, mid-packer and occasional trophy sniffer.  I tore through my body through years of ho-hum endurance training (enjoying it a lot when healthy) and discovered structured, progressive, random strength programming in late 2009.  The results of STRENGTH + ENDURANCE = PRs.  And perhaps a long shot with a perfect storm of a BQ.

If I was closer in 2011, what happened?  Two things –

  1. in 2012 I was disconnected from a CrossFit box and structured programming.  There’s a raging debate on the blog-o-sphere and web land about how structured that programming is.  I’ve benefited from some great training at three different boxes and structure (so Black Box and Starting Strength programming to level out the ‘randomness’).
  2. feeling a tad weak after high mileage December, decided to get my strength swag back (haha) and along the way jumped into CrossFit Open Games.  I completed all 5 WODs at Rx (barely) during a cruddy Spring for running.  Also I did not appreciate the maximal muscle stuff needed to pull off the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open.  It would put me at a max rep strength on each WOD (not 70% like most Master Males, 45-49).  So there were four weeks of “run more than 5 miles or do hills, rigghhhht, no!” Mistake? Not really, would do again in a heart beat.  It was fun.  Plus while slower than 2010-2012 marathons it was faster by 5 minutes than my max aerobic driven 2009 Lincoln Marathon and felt incredible the day after.  Oh and no injuries!  There’s much more to fitness than what happens on 26.2 miles!  Still if your dream is a killer 26.2 then that leads to the next big bullet line –

So what?  What are you going do now?

Three  things

  1. ENDURANCE. Understand there ain’t no thing as a free lunch as Mark Twight said.  He’s the guy who trained the Movie 300 shredded Spartans at Gym Jones but I can’t get his report for free but know it’s there.  I’m ramping up a mix of speed, stamina and endurance work.  I still value CrossFit Endurance (lots of hate out there in the endurance only community). Come-on ectomorph brothers and sisters, I was once was like you.  But strength is good.  We’re all learning. Jason Fitzgerald and Strength Running is none too happy with it!     Get you head spinning and read the honorable response by TJ Murphy – a high enduro refugee.I’m forgoing CrossFit Endurance and following the FIRST’s Run Less, Run Faster from Runner’s World (RLRF).  It’s a nice 3 running workout plan each week – so tempo, speed and long run.  I leveraged part of this (from Week 8) jumping in with a friend, Amy Uhlmann, who nailed her BQ at Des Moines in October 2012.  On her second marathon.  Freak! 🙂
  2. STRENGTH.  Will strip away some of the intense chipper and limit my AMRAPs.  I need time and recovery for an aggressive swim/bike/run (s/b/r) schedule. Metcons are not suitable substitutions – they have their place.  I’ve learned that let the high intensity intervals stand on their own (whether in the pool, on a bike or running on a trail).  I’ll head back to the Y for some work following a lighter version of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, punch card at CrossFit and take my strength on the road within the RLRF speed.  I’m forgoing some exercises for now – sumo deadlift high pulls, box jumps (steps instead) and snatches while focusing on squats, strict pull ups, squats, bench, squats, push ups, squats, swings, squats, lunges, squats-thrusters, toes-to-bar, squats – see trend.  SQUATs, loaded, unloaded, my life!
  3. OTHER. Kick in the s/b of the s/b/r – have great swim and bike workouts ready. On those 105 degree days, a pool or bike beats the foot path!

I’m scribing my results daily at Garmin Connect (feel free to connect) and will summarize here and for group stuff on my favorite local group – Freaky Fast Runners.

Next

Details of training, with anchors for Marathon, 5 mile and 10k are shared in the table below.   Think about doing the same for yourself. Include similar races, same course each year. It helps a ton in giving you an apples to apples comparison of the only contest that matters – you against yourself and time (real and father).  One of the things I haven’t appreciated in the mood swings and debates on strength/endurance/combo or right “approach” is lack of transparency.

http://athlinks.com/racer/results/68436406

and here  “type in Kohrell, D” http://www.lincolnrun.org/resultsdb.asp

with this summary below – ok this very detailed table screaming for 15 pie charts – below – double click on the “jpg” and it will expand!

If I were making this up the times would be MUCH faster!

If I were making this up the times would be MUCH faster!

 

 

The Science of Strength

Posted: May 13, 2013 by Dave Kohrell in Crossfit, Marathons
Tags: , , ,

Have been reviewing and dissecting the approach of Joe Vennare and his brother since Joe “favorited” my Twitter Tweet “post Lincoln Marathon WOD – Fight Gone Bad”.  I really am impressed by their balance approach to strength and endurance!  Power of social media.  Some nice, simple vids on their site as well and good mixed WODs (run/kettlebell/body strength)

 

The Science of Strength.

The last sixteen weeks have included an intense cycle of swimming (Jan-Mar) and CrossFit (Jan-end of April).  Time spent for those two almost equals running time.  Of 92 hours working out since the glistening on a new year, 50 were spent on something other than running.  Additionally about an 1/8th of Lincoln Marathon preparation has been spent on other activities – rowing, cycling, hiking (snow shoveling and camping) and walking.

Image

CrossFit Games 13.5 – Fran, yet even nastier than her normal bad self!

Tomorrow is the moment of truth.  This sixteen weeks has been most similar to my 2011 Lincoln Marathon preparation.  Differences this time – more strength training (CrossFit Starting Strength and WODs for CrossFit Games Open) and less speed work on the track (Spring that was more like a Winter!).  I hope the results are similar to 2011’s 4:00:16, maybe even a shade faster!

Activity Distribution Report for coachdavek
2013 – 16 weeks – 1/1 to 5/4
 Activity Type Count Distance Time Avg HR
 Running 104 253.5 42:58:07 146
 CrossFit 74 0.2 20:39:57 113
 Lap Swimming 22 22.13 14:28:42
 Rowing 21 12.67 1:42:26
 Walking 15 14.31 4:34:30 120
 Hiking 10 7.42 3:37:28 107
 Cycling 7 16.44 2:20:37
 Indoor Cycling 6 23.99 1:54:16
 Track Running 1 4.69 43:42
 Summary 260 355.34 92:59:46 141

Some other links
2011 Lincoln Marathon Recap
CrossFit / Anaerobic Training Stuff n Skillz

Today’s WOD 130305

Scribbled results!

Scribbled results!

20 minutes of kipping pull up work for cash-in then

Tabata Power Press Back Burpee

Description
4 TABATAs of:
Power Clean #95/65 (FB: #135/95)
Push Press “ ” (“ ”)
Super Man (FB: Back Ext.)
Burpees
Compare
Results for today – Rx (but not fire breather – yet :-))
228 reps total – min of 4 on Power Clean/Push Press; 15 on  Super Man and 5 on burpees
38 minutes of workout time!
Tomorrow – let the games begin!

If this were 2009, I’d be freaking out now and not in a freaky fast way.  Why?  In the first two months of this year I’ve snagged 100 miles running.  50 a month average, with a May marathon – that’s not good.  Or it didn’t used to be.

Miles - Oh My!

Miles – Oh My!

After a running catch up in December, amidst some crappy running conditions from December 18th on (ice/snow) I felt a need to get some strength back.  So enter CrossFit Cornhusker  and my third CrossFit affiliate experience since 2010.  They’ve all been great! The other two are CrossFit Lincoln and Bellevue University.   I’m following the same training approach of my new marathon PR in 2011 – 4:00:16.  Last year I mixed a good amount of body weight, chipper, AMRAP type WODs among my run/swim/bike.  It amounted to about 2 a week.  I decided it was time to ramp up to 3.5 times a week of the full assortment of CrossFit WODs (so hello Oly Lifting, pushing through functional movement and outstanding coaching by Jordan Klasek.)

Results – a mix of miles and WODs (workouts of the day).  So when I look at time, I’m a bit more confident.  My life does not permit 8-14 hours of WODs a week.  My “happy place” is right at 6.

Time - Yes!

Time – Yes!

With that programming time I’m able to crank an occasional average Joe marathon at 40 minutes faster than my late 30’s/ early 40’s self.  Pretty cool.  That’s why I like to think of CrossFit as training for the Average Joe.  I may not reach my Boston Qualifier (BQ), but I’m a lot healthier and able to work training into a real life.   Since my kids swim for Nebraska Aquatics, I decided to ramp up the laps too.  Quick ratio – 1 mile of swimming is equal to 4 miles of running (rough, but it works).   In the first two months of this year right at 50% of my training has been CrossFit/Swimming, 40% running and 10% other (row, walk, little bit of cycling and yes, snow shoveling).

CrossFit + Max life swimming yardage + Quality Running miles =  Average Joe Happy.

Final note, I’ve enjoyed using DailyMiles over the last years.  Another way to see the mix of time/miles is through my trusty Garmin (3rd one at 410) and using the http://connect.garmin.com/calendar  to the max.  Garmin has been slow in adding the trending,  other workouts and analysis to Connect.  What’s there now is solid.  And I salute them!

Image

Two week glance via Garmin Connect Calendar feature.

http://www.crossfitendurance.com/
http://www.crossfit.com/

The Des Moines marathon on Oct 16 was an enjoyable and memorable day.

Des Moines Marathon

Des Moines Marathon - 2011!

I was able to run it with friends (who PR’d in their marathons and snagged some great 1/2 marathon times).  It was also my second one that my ace marathon volunteer and son Joshua joined in.  The time was OK – 4:10 – 21 minutes faster than in 2009.  I battled through a Fall of foot issues (right ankle, left foot plantar faciitis) following a tumble at the Pikes Peak Ascent in August.   Incorporating a healthy dose of metcon (metabolic conditioning) helped keep some semblance of September training. Then a good bit of stomach gurgles joined in the morning of the marathon.  Despite those two hurdles, I still had and enjoyable day.   I was able to pace one of my friends along (Joy) from about mile 19 on.  We were able to push and pull each other from mile 20 in.  I felt a good final surge at mile 24.

Two marathons in 2011 – 4:05 average.  I’ll take that.

But, next year the motto is BUST 4 hours!

Enjoyed a 5k  / kids 1/2 mile with my entire family and a friend of my oldest daughter last Saturday at the Monster Dash and Goblin Run at Vala’s Pumpkin Resort in Gretna Nebraska.  It was an aggressive and tough course – mix of gravel road, trails and left over pumpkin mash.  A crisp 28 degrees greeted our start – that felt warm enough after the first 1/2.  After notching a lot of bling we were able to enjoy a long day (and Husker victory over Michigan State).   As I get “older ;-)” there’s no greater joy than sharing something I love with family!

Now it’s in the pool for some serious, nah extreme, stroke make over.  I’ve dove in the pool alongside the kids (slow lane) with their awesome USA Swim team – Nebraska Aquatics.  Coach Eric and Becky have offered nothing short of an extreme stroke makeover.  I’ve blended a good dose of strength and conditioning alongside the pool action.  It works well.  Crank a 500 – then crank 25 kettle bell swings.  Works for running – why not swimming and strength?!

Keep cranking!

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It’s been awhile since I shared  a post.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.  The culprit is being busy at work and play.

So it’s been a summer of fun – I wish I could race every weekend.  Not possible due to other events and budget (hence the busy with work).  I did enjoy some break-troughs and avoided a near break at Pikes Peak.

  • Enjoyable Havelock 10k with several Freaky Fast teams and a surprise top 3 finish for my team (thanks to a late entry for us who won top overall female!).  Nice to break 48 minutes on that course again.

    Freaky Fast teams dominate Havelock!

  • Lincoln Mile – 1st one since 2000 – snagged a slightly faster time than 11 years ago – 6:16.  Still off my PR of 5:59 in 1998, getting so close!
  • 1st sub 23 minute 5k in a long time at the Thunder Run.
  • Finally broke the 5 year average for the Buffalo Run.  This race is Lincoln’s oldest – a 5 mile hilly course in Pioneer’s Park.  Was battling my 1992-96 self.  Set a “mature” Dave PR of 37:03.

Not all was record setting this Summer and there were some challenges to navigate.

  • Due to budget and time constraints as well as desire for next triathlon to be a 1/2 Ironman, no triathlon this summer.  I was able to volunteer and serve as life guard at the CSG and lend a hand a duathlon.  If not racing, may as well help out – plus I learn a good amount by watching the elites (not that I can replicate it. :-)).
  • Took a bit of tumble at this year’s Pikes Peak Ascent – got up, dusted myself off and finished in 4:57.  A little ahead of last year, but off my own best and 42 minutes off Wave 1.
  • Due to time constraint haven’t been able to pop into my favorite CrossFit spot – CrossFit Lincoln.  I hope to again beginning in November.  Also no gym at all since June.   With strength a component of my training since October of 2009 this has posed a challenge.  The result has been fusing speed, stamina and strength together or what I call S3.  From early July to present, I’ve just used what ever I got – dumbbell, body weight, med ball, kettle bell, picnic tables, jungle gyms, park benches, etc – and rolled those into the run, bike, swim workout two to four times a week.  The result is a fusion of all three.  I’ve researched a bit of the urban or natural workout methods.  It’s not ideal but it can work.  There’s never an excuse now to exclude strength training.

So how did your Summer go?  What’s on tap for Fall?  Watching my kids enjoy Cross Country, Football and Soccer has been at the top my list.  Seeing several cross country meets has brought me back to that grass roots running that hooked my in the early 1980’s – show up, put on a number and run your best.  Not much in the way corporate sponsorship or instant electronic results, but a ton of fun!

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Pikes Peak 2010

Just one big hill, keep on running, keep on hiking, keep on crawling

12 weeks to my second Pikes Peak Double.  Uh-Oh! A shade under of 40 miles of bliss in two-days to prepare for – Saturday Aug 20th is the Ascent and Sunday Aug 21st is the marathon.  Two years ago I was in the midst of preparing for the first Double.  I had a few Ascents and 1 marathon under my belt.  My strategy was simple – lots of running (40 per week), lots of hills.

This year my strategy is a bit different.  I’m planning to run four times per week, cross train with swim/bike/row when possible and kick out lots of CrossFit metabolic conditioning WODs (workout of the day) with lighter Olympic Lifting WOD’s mixed in.  As I shared in a marathon report form two-weeks ago – the CrossFit and cross training approach has paid dividends.  Now the question is how to morph it for the Pikes Peak Double.

From a Fall marathon (Tulsa in Nov of 2010) through the Lincoln Marathon (May 1, 2011) I averaged 19.5 miles a week – tell a running purist you’ve tackled a marathon, right at 4 hours with less than 20 miles per week and they’ll laugh at ya! Game plan now?  Mileage will increase just slightly to 25-30 miles per week, with focus still on running no more than 4 times per week.  I’ll soon hit some prime outdoor swimming workouts (favorite place in Lincoln, NE is Woods Pool’s 50 meter pool).  Plus am enjoying the bike!

I’ll continue the WOD’s at 3-4 times per week.  Metcon will be the focal point – due in part to a budget crunch.  I am deeply attached to our CrossFit Lincoln affiliate but need to pay all expenses through a cash flow basis only (my family has been on a get out of debt campaign, pay as you go and kids’ summer activities need to come first!).

Fortunately I have some equipment at home and have become proficient and discipline enough to work it in.  The CrossFit metcon’s rely on body weight or lighter weight exercises – so hello Murph, Filthy Fifty, Diane, Angie Fran with dumbells, wall walks, retaining wall jumps, outdoor pull up bars/ropes/ladders/squat racks/pistols, etc!  Some in the CrossFit world eschew the metcon and focus more on the Olympic Lifting (with a bit of merit).  But for endurance events there’s nothing like a 20- 45 minute metcon pushing the pulse to 165-175 to ready- set your body!  And there’s a push up contest on Facebook that I’ve got to meet!

Here’s the plan:

  • May 30 – June 5 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 500 yard swim, 3 WODs* – Hills & all out Havelock 10k.
  • June 6 – June 12 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 1 mile swim, 3 WODs – Filthy Fifty & 1 mile walking lunge
  • June 13 – June 19 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • June 20 – June 26 – 25 miles run, 20 bike, 2 swim, 3 WODs – 1/2 marathon in 1:50
  • June 27 – July 3 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – July 4th – short race
  • July 4 – July 10 -30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 1 mile walking lunge (hope to return to CrossFit Lincoln too!)
  • July 11 – July 17 – 30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs –  Lincoln Mile
  • July 18 – July 24 -20 miles run, 10 bike, 1 swim, 2 WODs and Cornhusker State Games – Track – 200 – 1,500 & 5k
  • July 25 – July 21 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • Aug 1 – Aug 7-  25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – Thunder Run 5k – sub 22 minutes
  • Aug 8 – Aug 14 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – 2.5 hours, hills 20lb vest
  • Aug 15 – Aug 21 – GAME DAY(s)

* I’ll pick up the strength/oly lifting and metcon WODs from main, CFL or CrossFit Endurance.  Swim/bike/run will generally follow CrossFit Endurance

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