Posts Tagged ‘Crossfit’

2014.  Buh-bye! Stress fracture, some missed training cycles and races, some regrets but plenty of highlights.  One affirmation too. Strength is key.

This year my hours of strength training were the only ones to increase.  Miles took a hit (swim/bike/run/row).  Was able to amp up the strength side – in part it was all I could do for a few weeks (other than walk).

The strength training was split into:

  • Circuit / bodyweight intensive boxing working outs (January – April with occasional hitting a 100# bag in basement now)
  • Metabolic conditioning during kids’ baseball, softball, soccer practices (either as coach or parent in waiting) – bring a 12# medicine ball or 45# kettlebell and workout on trail, park or field for an hour (March – October and occasional now)
  • Progressive Calisthenic Conditioning – bodyweight alternative to weights (March to now)
  • Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength – barbell fun! (November to now).  Legit 3 x 5s as of 12/26/14 are 150# back squat, 135 bench, 95 press, 95 power clean and 185 deadlift.  Started at 95 BS, 75 bench, 60 power clean and 135 deadlift (11/8/14).  Got a form check on back squat when hitting 165 – not going nearly deep enough.  So I backed off weight load and slowly added.

Got this article from co-Lincoln Marathon director and Tiger Coaching founder, Gary Bredehoft.  Triggered a memory of Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength.  http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/in-stride/Lifting-Heavy-For-Endurance-Gains.html.   Went through some Starting Strength during some sweet 2012 workouts at Cornhusker CrossFit.  This short article captured a much longer research effort by JSCR – maximal strength training PLUS endurance is better than bodyweight circuits PLUS endurance.  A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that maximal and explosive training paired with endurance workouts lays a better foundation for running economy than a combination of bodyweight circuits and endurance training.

1079349493_79553559001_ari-origin05-arc-121-1271947645691

No, as runner there’s no risk you’ll max out the plates like Suh!

So if time is pressed – best to get some squats + miles in than a whacked out circuit or WOD (not that those are fun!)

Some strength training basics from Mark Rippetoe – there are five core barbell moves and progressive loading of weight over time. The moves: squats, presses, dead lifts, bench presses, and power cleans. The programming is start light and add weight slowly over time.  There are similar programs out there (5 x 5s, 5/3/1). Consistency over several months / years is the key. My 50 year old target in June is 215# back squat, 185 bench, 145 power clean, 265 deadlift and 135 press.

Bodyweight substitutes are available – just journey over (google) progressive calisthenics, Convict Conditioning or my personal favorite Al Kavadlo.  This isn’t an either / or proposition.  The two coexist and compliment – so within the confines of my own “globo-gym” Golds. I’ve hit the 5 barbell moves 2-3 times a week and blending in some PCC (bridge, leg raise, handstand, push up, pull up single leg squat progressions).

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/the-fit-list/How-to-Make-Better-Fitness-Goals.html

Recap

2009 looked liked this

runpyramid

2015 will look like this

strengthpyramid

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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

Good article and even better podcast on running form and mechanics.

http://strengthrunning.com/2013/10/proper-running-form/

http://runnersconnect.net/

I’ve shared from Jason at Strength Running before.  If you look at continuum or scale he’s on the opposite end of CrossFit Endurance’s Brian Mckenzie.  So he’s more in the traditional running mileage with some body strength exercises (whereas Brian MacKenzie is strength/speed/stamina first and foremost).  Candidly I’m somewhere in between.  I respect each one though – torn am I!

Running!

Run free! But what does that mean?

The podcast and discussion with Jeff Gaudette talks about a topic in both camps – proper form, firing the glutes, lean, cadence.  Listen to this! Jeff is an Olympic Trials qualifier (2:22 marathon – sick!) and has been involved in the Hanson’s training approach.

So take a look at the article and listen to the podcast.  Good stuff.

*Key finding, more than a Pose/Chi, midfoot or heel debate, posture is critical!

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/

Four months of the best swimming since, well, high school notched 40 miles from November through February.  It was  a ton of fun to swim alongside my kids.  Got some great pointers from coaches and fellow swimmers (those ten year-old are swim savy!)  Wrapped it up with scrimmage with the UNL Swim Club on February 23.  Along the way I become a real USA Master’s swimmer, swam the one hour speedo swim challenge (2,775 yards) and figured out some much-needed stroke improvement.  While we had a very mild winter, there’s nothing better than swimming in the running “off-season”.  Beats the dreadmill any day! So hope to keep it up and double last years “laps”.

Angry Cow

Angry Cow Adventure - Run - Bike - Adventure!

Yesterday I was 9 miles shy of the 4 month swim total at my first ultra marathon – the Angry Cow Stampede in Wilderness Park, the Jamaica Trail and the Homestead Trail in Lincoln.  There were seven of us in the 50k, over 50 in the 1/2 marathon and a good number in the 6 mile.  Was enjoyable running with some other trail runners the first 6 – 7 miles (until the 1/2 marathon turned around). From mile 7 to 31 it was just me and my best running partner, Heidi along with some others on the beautiful trails.  Was able to cheer the four ahead and two behind me at the turn around.

My goal for this race was 1) bucket list an ultra trail run and 2) long run for the Lincoln and Sandhills marathons in May and June.  Sure it may seem crazy to go longer by six miles, but figure it’s time to put that marathon distance in context.  My goal pace was one minute slower than marathon target (so 10 minute mile).  The need to keep my pup hydrated and stiff wind coming back brought that right at 11 minutes.  Seeing my family at mile 25 and at the finish line was the best part. Though I think they were primarily concerned with the health of our dog!

My running mileage did not veer from the hybrid triathlon / CrossFit mix of the last couple of years. Weekly mileage continues in the 20’s.  I did get some quality long runs in (14, 16, 12 variety).  I also blended medicine ball, weighted vest, body strength exercises, dumbbells in two runs a week. That blended strength approach also jumped into the swimming (burpees and laps should never mix though). Call it crazy strength (cause I’m not always sure what will happen). I’m longing to jump back into the CrossFit Lincoln family and now that my employment is close by, I’ll be able to do so!.

PS. Some poser hacked the root domain for coachdavek – am deciding whether to go with an “org” or coach-davek.  Will continue with the wordpress extension for now.