Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Did you set some overly aggressive goals in fitness, your career, life for 2011? Wondering if you can accomplish that seemingly far away mountain top?  Is something holding you back?

CoachDaveK is a resounding believer that fitness is a mind/body/spirit effort.  Watch and hopefully be inspired!

Farewell 2010.  Hello 2011!

Challenges, opportunities, failure, success, valleys and mountaintops – I encountered a mix of those as well as everyone who reads this post (and like  every year before).  For the exercise side of my life, the opportunities and successes jump to the front of my mind. The change-up in exercise and nutrition was sustained and significant.

Miles 2010

Miles and Donuts Burned!

What began as an experiment in P90x in October of 2009 to improve core strength (part-time effort of course) evolved into a full on embrace of a more rigorous strength/metabolic conditioning program in CrossFit.  I’ve tried to record both efforts as accurately and faithfully as possible warts and all.  There’s a couple of weeks to go to make one full year of CrossFit.  As shared in the Proof positive of training change post, the results of the training shift have been dramatic.  12-14 year personal bests (PR’s) from 5 mile to marathons are the tangible results with improved strength, weight loss and decreased joint pain the unanticipated benefits.

Comparing the data from 2009 to 2010 reveals a shift in running only dominance for both hours and miles.  Overall miles were 2,002 in 2009 and 1,631 in 2010.

CoachDaveK_2010to2009_Miles

Total Miles - 2010 versus 2009 - less miles, faster results

The overall hours were close in 2010 and 2009 – in the 280 to 300 hour range or about 5 and 1/2 hours each week.

What was accomplished in that time was more in 2010 for less time because of a higher intensity level for each training session and variety.

  • Intensity – Since I run less and focus on speed/strength/stamina rather than sheer “miles”, I can do so at a faster pace.  Speed builds on speed.  In 2009 my average training pace per mile was a little over 10 minutes.  Last year it was in the upper 8 minute range with workouts in upper 7 minute to low 8 minute range.  Equally important, improving my stride technique – from heel to toe to midfoot / Pose strike introduces much less stress on my body.  An added bonus was discarding my orthodics in June.
CoachDaveK_2010to2009_Hours

Hour comparision - variety and intensity increase in 2010

  • Variety – the following chart, based on total number of workouts, shows the variety of workouts.  It also is another slice on how time is spent.  In 2009 81% of exercise hours were devoted to running, in 2010 it was 60%.  Total number of workouts were over 80% running, in 2010 that dropped to only 45%.  The variety and introduction of rigorous strength training has left me injury free, healthier and instill a sense of excitement – never the same dull workout!

    Workouts 2010

    Workout distribution - variety is fun!

2011 Goals

Keeping my goals simple this year.  My 2010 goals were exhaustive .

  • Continue workout mix of end of 2010(number and hours) – 40% run, 20% CrossFit WOD, 15% bike, 15% swim, 10% row to reach 1,500 to 1,700 miles in 2011.
  • Continue growth of Freaky Fast crew!  Nurture, nudge, hug em!
  • Run 2-3 marathons with focus on sub 4 hour, work to 3:30.  Continue PR trend for sub 22 5k, sub 37 – 5 mile, sub 46 – 10k and sub 80 minute 10 mile.
  • Complete half iron man and Olympic triathlons.
  • Attain CrossFit bests/competencies: kipping pull up, muscle up, WOD’s scaled at 80% instead of 50 to 70%, wall balls with 20lbs, 75 push and situps in 2 minutes, body weight bench x 20, etc.
  • Improve cycling and swim technique: flip turns (swim that is) and acceleration (bike).  Compete in 1-2 open water swims and cycling competition.
  • Explore kayaking and wall climbing.
  • Train to the season – was fun this year to have high weeks in running (March and late October), biking (July), swimming (late July and late December).  I like training year round – sometimes it’s better to train to the season and swim inside  than slip on ice!
  • Nutrition – continue to explore and apply Paleo!
  • Weight – maintain weight of 160lbs.  Was at 180lbs in May of 2008 before Lincoln Marathon.  No desire to lose more, do want to cut another inch or two off waist to get to 30″ (currently 31.5 waist, was 34.5″ in 2008).  Be thoroughly shredded by year’s end!

Summary

If you’re an aerobic athlete (runner, swimmer, cyclist, triathlete) who’s reached a plateau, has found more miles does not translate into success and wonders if strength training might help – please read. I’m not offering a quick fix, food gimmick, shake, or simple  trick.  Over the last year I’ve ventured into a different way of getting to a goal – it may not be for everyone.  But I have found an incredible payoff from it and embrace it.

It’s a few simple things

  • Incorporate the right kind of strength training (read more in this blog) 2-4 times a week
  • Cut back your miles for miles sake
  • For your existing mileage look toward performance, speed and stamina
  • Chart your progress over 12 months and see what happens!

Detail

Proof.  Data.  Trends.  Statistics and data gathering can mislead and interpretation of results requires wisdom as well as raw analytic power.  That clarification and limitation declared, I do think there’s enough evidence that a combination of Strength Training + Aerobic Training is far more powerful than Aerobic Training alone.  Modify that aerobic training to focus on stamina, speed, flexibility and burst, and alongside the strength training, your results will be strong.  Hone that further with improved nutrition and those strong results become powerful.

Two years ago, during one of my worst marathon experiences (4:52 at Twin Cities), I thought about punting it.  Pack it up.  Give it up. It was miserable weather day, but I had endured worse.  It seemed though a goal of getting to Boston (or 1 hour and 22 minutes faster) was an impossible hope. Rather than give up I decided to push it harder.  So in 2009 I ramped up the training.  I knocked off a Pikes Peak Double and some “ok” marathon times (4:30 range).  The price of that ramp up was high: a strained, torn sartorius tendon.  By October of 2009 I was hobbling at the start of the Des Moines Marathon.  Sure, lots of miles in the bank, toward 1,500 running for 2009.  But hobbling still.

That began my entry into cross training – had done that in triathlon terms for several years.  But serious cross training, or more properly strength training, nope, nada, avoided it.

P90x was Stage 1.  It was perfect for torturing my aerobically fed and strength dead body into shape.  All the Tony Horton’isms, pull ups, sneaky lunges, gut cracking ab routines, yoga twisting/humbling sessions and push ups a guy could hope for.  I saw some nice results.

A chance encounter with a surly but dedicated athletic trainer, Mike Livergood, at Bellevue University in January of 2010 led to Stage 2 – CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance.  Similar in many regards, the difference between the Beachbody DVD fed programming and organic CrossFit approach was significant. CrossFit is a better fit for my performance goals.  Step by step, coaching from a great box and set of trainers at the Lincoln CrossFit box (Cole, Jeremy, Kelsey Phil and Tanya) and staying with it on my own have led to the best fitness base in my adult life.

Stage 3 involved extending a wonderful speed group of like minded, er like age, friends to a group of Freaky Fast Runners I had no business trying to chase.  From June until present, this group has been an evolving network of fast people who have fun.  Not quite the same every time, but always putting the hammer down for speed, hills or a Saturday run.  Love you all!

So what does this mean?  Big deal?

I’ve been blessed to achieve 15 year PR’s in 5 mile, 15k and marathon races.  This has been my best year of racing since 1996-98.  There’s been some learning curve and minor injuries: a hamstring pull in late May from performing too many deadlifts a day before a 5 mile race and calf pull in July as my body adapted to move towards a “pose” esque running style, lots of hills, etc. From beginning to end – I’ve been pleasantly surprised or more apropos, shocked!

While a 3 hour 30 minute marathon for Boston or a Full Ironman triathlon are not a sure thing, I can at least place those in the realm of possibility.  I’ve been able to shave 24 minutes off my aerobicly training injected marathons of 2009, and now have only 37 minutes to go.  The table below lists the results for marathons.

I’ve also cut 15lbs, from 176 to 161, increased muscle strength and burst across a variety of tests.  My “vitamin I” (ibuprofen) fix has been cut dramatically (not pounding the body and actually strengthening muscles, ligaments and connective tissue).  I am to do things I didn’t image possible – a kipping pull up, jumping up with confidence to a 8′ pull up bar height, over 250lbs for deadlift, 40 unbroken knees to elbows. This still a ton of other goals to still drive me; for example, why not try to attain the Navy Seal standard for 40-50 age males?

More distinctions:

  • In 2010 I will run 66% the amount of running miles compared to 2009  (1,000 to 1,500) with the same biking and swim miles.  Total aerobic miles will nudge 1,550 to 1,600 versus 2,000 in 2010.  New aerobic miles have been introduced through rowing.
  • In 2010 that 66% running miles will have been done at much more efficient and faster pace.
  • In 2010 my anaerobic training (CrossFit) will reach 140 Workouts Of the Day (WODs), not including the aerobic oriented WOD’s.  Overall training hours will be the same as 2009.
Marathon State Date Place Overall Place % Pace Time PR +/-
Route 66 Marathon – Tulsa
Marathon
OK 11/21/2010 422/1648 25.61% 9:27 4:07:55 P.R.
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half-marathon 2010 – Run -Marathon NE 5/2/2010 667/1154 57.80% 9:51 4:18:29 +10:34
Brookings Marathon – RUN – Marathon SD 5/15/2010 119/203 58.62% 10:02 4:22:57 +15:02
Lincoln Marathon – Run :: 26.2Mi NE 5/4/2003 523/785 66.62% 10:02 4:23:14 +15:19
Siouxland Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon SD 10/20/2007 107/166 64.46% 10:07 4:25:11 +17:16
Scheels And Adidas Fargo Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K – Marathon ND 5/19/2007 819/1191 74.81% 10:18 4:30:02 +22:07
IMT Des Moines Marathon 2009 – Run*Marathon IA 10/18/2009 922/1374 67.10% 10:21 4:31:27 +23:32
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half Marathon 2009 – Run -Marathon NE 5/3/2009 768/1142 67.25% 10:26 4:33:23 +25:28
Go! St. Louis Marathon & Half Marathon 2008 – Run-Marathon MO 4/6/2008 1106/1617 68.40% 10:36 4:38:00 +30:05
Lincoln Marathon 2006 – RUN – MARATHON NE 5/7/2006 775/959 80.81% 10:44 4:41:28 +33:33
11Th Annual Gobbler Grind Marathon,Half-Marathon, 5K & Marathon Relay – 26.2Mi Run KS 11/18/2007 175/244 71.72% 10:54 4:45:46 +37:51
Oklahoma Marathon 2003 OK 11/22/2003 205/308 66.56% 10:57 4:47:15 +39:20
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon & Medtronic Tc 10 Mile 2008 – Run-Marathon MN 10/5/2008 6172/7967 77.47% 11:04 4:50:09 +42:14
Pensacola Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon FL 2/17/2008 175/263 66.54% 11:09 4:52:24 +44:29
Community First Fox Cities Marathon WI 9/24/2006 510/706 70.96% 11:13 4:54:10 +46:15
Pikes Peak Marathon 2007 CO 8/19/2007 551/773 71.28% 18:28 8:04:03 +3:56:08
Pikes Peak Ascent 2009 – Marathon CO 8/15/2009 668/711 78.48% 21:31 9:23:49 +5:15:54
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1995 NE 5/1/1995 NA NA 9:38 4:12:22 +4:27
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1994 NE 5/1/1994 NA NA 9:03 3:57:11 -10:44
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1996 NE 5/1/1996 NA NA 8:59 3:55:36 -12:19

 

The first 1,000 miles have come in quite a bit differently from previous years.  Running miles are 2/3 of normal, but cycling, swimming, hiking/walking and rowing are higher (or in the case of rowing a first).

The benefits of the diversity are sinking in: alternating workouts to reduce stress, using workouts for the season (swimming when it’s too hot to run, or too icy) and improved strength, stamina and speed.

Here’s a breakdown:

Running – 650

Cycling – 305

Rowing – 21

Swimming – 17

Hiking / walking – 11

TOTAL – 1,004

Total number of workouts (including CrossFit, p90x, strength training and the aerobic miles above) –  343.  Equally important  total workout hours = 176 which is a shade over 50 minutes per workout and a little over 5 and 1/2 hours per week.

Been thinking about what is both a “tweak” and significant revolution in how I’m training now, versus 1992-2008.

The “goals for 2010” blog shared a bit of that. Just hit me as I posted a reply to a @fb friend that there’s a bit more profund change.

At the root of this transformation journey is going from 90% run into the ground plus whatever else — TO — 35% run, 15% spin/swim each, 35% crossfit/anaerobic. The irony may be ending up with 1,500 miles of running (still a high point).  Though those miles will be higher quality.

In building 2010, I’ve mixed my triathlon training up quite a bit to incorporate much more anaerobic (strength) training and 4 running workouts at high intensity per week (instead of 5-7 ok ones). Now I despise “dreadmills” and just run outside or on a nice university track (200 meter @ Uni of Nebraska) / high school track for speed work.

Rotation each week is Long Run (Sat/Sun) 12- 20 miles; Speed (Tuesday, no more than 55 min total, 4-8 miles), Temp or Hill on Thursday (6-8 miles) and another workout S,M,W, or F that’s a “quick” 6 variety. For the rest of the week it’s 1) swimming or 2) spinning / cycling. I do try to do something aerobic (but again bursts) each day

What’s helping me take my fitness level to the next level is the anaerobic training. 1st the beachbody P90x fare in late 2009. 2nd and ongoing is a real kick on your jaw from http://www.crossfit.com. Crossfit is done 4-5 times a week.

Now the proof is in the pudding (that’s ok under Zone diet 😉 so we’ll see what 2010 brings.

Goals and measurements, a topic that once again blends in some management concepts (TAPUniversity is a learning portal that supports management and technology so it’s fitting).  The brain thrives in goal setting situations.  Often it’s the mental part of the game that keeps exercise programs on target, or causes them to slip.  So put on your SWOT caps, step up the dry-erase board and chart your life!

For the last several years I’ve seen them boldly rush in to the local YMCA we belong to in the first week of January.  Brave and very well intentioned people making a change.  Hit the gym, push the pedals, ramp up the treadmill and check out a class!  Somewhere in early February it becomes apparent those that can make it stick and those that won’t.  What was made as a resolution soon fades under the pressures of life or unrealistic expectations.

Now rather than lament what happens to those that fade, I’ve been thinking about what’s consistent with those who stick.  What seems apparent are a few simple yet powerful things:

  • Relationships develop– we are meant to do things together.  Even if it’s a bunch of introverts who just meet at the same thing and do their stuff quietly.  When done in pack we stick.  We’re pack animals. Even Rocky had Mick, then Apollo, Duke and finally Paulie (ok 1 of those is not like the other).  Some activities can be done alone, but doing stuff together makes it motivational.
  • Doing something that you can enjoy once you’re over the learning curve.  If you’ve never swam before it’s a stretch to think you can jump out of adult swim lessons and into lap swimming in 4-5 weeks.   I know several triathletes have greatly improved their swimming over the course of a year and found enjoyment.   There is a learning curve to each new exercise, technique so patience helps.  It can be fun.  Kicking myself from a recreational bike rider to one that has clip shoes, cares about carbon forks/frames and has the foggiest notion about rhythmic stroke motion has been a blast.  It’s also been good for the brain – you see I’m learning something new and triggering that learning in the limbic or “doing” part of the brain.
  • Goals and measurements – I should add “reasonable” goals and measurements.  Unreasonable goals flow through two channels (one) if exercise is viewed as a one shot, 90 day miracle deal or  (two) if the expectation is to shed 50lbs, increase strength, speed, stamina potentially in 90 days.   Neither works.    Reasonable goals with measurement should help propel you – not defeat you.  Goal setting start with an accurate assessment of what your current level is.  Here’s mine for 2009 I typed into a simple spreadsheet I keep on 12.28.08 and a measure of where I’m at as of August 6,  7 months into it.  I try to just keep an honest flowing conversation going with myself – no bull.
    • Goals:1,500 running (29 per week).. 100 swimming or 3,200 laps.. 200 bike.  Lincoln Marathon – 4:15; Pikes Peak Double!  4:55 and 7:55.  HyVee Long Course Triathlon – Finish.  Des Moines Marathon 4:10
    • Measurement as of 08.08.09 —
      Running on target – 27.9 average, highest number of 40+ mileage weeks since 1997.  High points – Cornhusker State Games & Thunder Run 5k’s, winter and Pikes Peak build up; Low Points – after my father passed away in April – a bit listless.
      Swimming below target but planned up tick in August  following Pikes Peak – 17 miles.  High points  – most mileage since high school and tried new events (1k open water swim) and HyVee 1,500 meter swim at 38 minutes.  Low points – CSG sprint tri was 4 minutes slower?
      Cycling – over or ahead by 65 miles – cranked in more for HyVee  and hope to finish with 500 total (leads into 2010 goal of 1/2 iron man).  High point – learning to ride a ‘real’ road bike for CSG in June and somehow not totally embarrassing myself on HyVee bike portion.  Low point – taking too long to ask to borrow a decent road bike.
      Pike’s Peak Double is next week – in as good as shape as I’ve been since 1998,
      Lincoln Marathon – blew up and overheated at mile 21 – missed goal by 17 minutes was able to help a friend from high school finish her first marathon – was over’joy’ed with that,
      Des Moines 4:10 updated to sub 4 hours, why that when I blew up in Lincoln? Figuring out the root cause (thyroid / hydration / base mile / April stress) and am getting in much better shape.  I also have 4 to 5 “litmus test” races from 1/2 marathons to 10k/5k to validate.
    • My longer term, 2 to 4 year horizon, goals include 1) Boston Qualifying marathon of 3:30, 2) 1/2 Iron Man and once #1 goal is met, Iron Man Triathlon, 3) 10k swim without search and rescue and 4) matching PR’s in running (5k, 5 mile, 10k, 10 mile and 1/2 marathon).  Could I knock these goals off based on where I was at in December of 2008?  No.  But I can build each year.  Could someone new to any of these activities blaze by me with 6 months of training – absolutely!  And after tripping them I would applaud  – goals and measurements are personal.  The miracle is making it out the door.

Please  let me know some of your exercise goals and ways you use to measure.  Another method I’ve found fun to  measure is a through a couple of ad-in’s in Facebook: VOMaxer and RunLogger.  It’s been encouraging to see how virtual and ‘real’ friends are doing and to chart my own progress.

Finally wanted to share a cartoon the extols the benefits of beginning your program.

So what do I need to do for good health?

So what do I need to do for good health?

The following article from WebMD helps and encourages anyone beginning an exercise program or anyone who’s been in their program for years.  Sore muscles will occur – call it the acute pain of overcoming inertia.  I was thinking of this very topic during a 20 mile run today – which was relatively pain free.  There will be some pain from exercise.  That’s OK.  The key is to determine what is normal soreness and what may be an indicator of a more serious problem.  This blog concerns normal soreness.

Two Types of Soreness that are good

acute, immediate– this is the type of soreness that occurs during or very soon after you’re done exercising.  It can happen to newbees or experts.  There’s also some characteristics of soreness from different activities – here are some that bubble up high on the list

Running:  shins, quads, hamstrings, knee, feet and shoulders, oh my!  Each of those will be pushed.  Depending on current fitness level and body composition, your soreness in any one area will vary.  Here is one big hint. Learn to run on the balls of your feet (I’ll have an entire blog on fore foot running).  For now let me just say that our bodies are meant to run toe to toe or on the ball of the foot (walking is heel to toe).  The downside is most running shoes cater to heel to toe strike.  Test this yourself – run barefoot for 200 meters and see how your foot falls.  Its natural fall is on the balls of your foot right before your toes.

Cycling:  buns, quads, shoulders and back.  Lots of bending over on top of a bike.  Proper technique (smooth and fast rotation instead of straining or chopping your stroke) helps.  For the buns aka “saddle sore” a cycling or triathlon pair of shorts  is well worth the investment.

Swimming: a wonderful healing aerobic activity swimming can strain the shoulders and back depending on type of stroke and, more importantly, your efficiency with each stroke.  Other irritations include swimmer’s ear and even the dreaded google imprint on the nose.  Compared to running there’s far less soreness involved. 

Lifting: more related to DOMS and discussed below, the soreness from weight lifting is typically 30-48 hours after.  This is the old “bench pressed 205 yesterday and can’t lift my toothbrush today” syndrome.

Sore Muscles? Don’t Stop Exercising  http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/sore-muscles-keep-exercising?page=3
After participating in some kind of strenuous physical activity, particularly something new to your body, it is common to experience muscle soreness, say experts.

“Muscles go through quite a bit of physical stress when we exercise,” says Rick Sharp, professor of exercise physiology at Iowa State University in Ames.
 
 “Mild soreness just a natural outcome of any kind of physical activity,” he says. “And they’re most prevalent in beginning stages of a program.
 
delayed onset soreness (DOMS)   Ah, the joy of the two days after a marathon, triathlon or 100 mile bike ride.  Walking around with a little hitch in your giddy up.  I’ve included a link to a fun video about the day after a marathon.  This type of soreness will lessen.  It’s a profound how our bodies are wired to deal with pain.  It’s associated with the muscle tear down and recovery cycle.  Read more about why DOMS happens in the WebMD article referenced above. 

To overcome DOMS the most powerful and frequently overlooked treatment is the cold soak – within 15 minutes of ending your session.  This runs counter intuitive to what our body tells us (a message of let’s soak in a hot tub and grab a massage is much more inviting than lets sit in a tub for 20 minutes with ice and shiver like a Titanic survivor).  But it’s the best way to reduce inflammation and quasi secret method for Olympic and professional athletes to treat DOMS.  Another good method is to stretch, warm up, cool down and stretch – call this more of a preventive technique.

In the next Exercise – Brain blog we will share a bit about what to do about chronic soreness or pain that indicates a deeper issue.  Additionally some ideas on how to manage that pain will be provided.

 

The day after the Marathon

“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to,” says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.To be more specific, says Draper, who’s also a member of the heat-responsive pain council, delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric or a lengthening contraction. Examples of this would be running downhill or the lengthening portion of a bicep curl.