About the author  ⁄ Kristin

 

If you have read my previous posts, you most likely already know that I am a mother of a [beautiful] three year-old daughter, Audrey, and my second child is a 100-pound black lab, Turner. If you are just tuning in, welcome, you will be reading about my family and an outdoor lifestyle frequently. I have always been naturally drawn to the outdoors and only hope to instill that same affection in my daughter.

Recently, my husband and I decided that it was time for me to quit the 9-5 and become a stay-at-home mom. This was terrifying to me; don’t get me wrong, I adore my child and am grateful to have the opportunity to spend more time with her, but the “stay- at- home” phrase terrified me. How do you teach, encourage, engage, and entertain a three year-old, all day every day? I have found my answer to be creativity and Mother Nature.

We’re still working on a routine, but our typical day includes a trip to the gym (some social interaction for Audrey at day care, and some mommy time for me!), a long walk with the dog, and playtime at the park.  We check out different flowers, leaves, and bugs on our walks and talk about our surroundings (she actually walks or rides a bike the entire time, she doesn’t even ride in the stroller if it is presented as an option).

I have decided to take a bit further and combine educational activities with movement and exercise. On the weekends, my husband and I love to take Audrey to discover new parks or beaches. We also love to stand up paddleboard (SUP). Currently, our favorite family friendly beach location is Doheny State Park, Baby beach. It’s calm water, easy for the kiddo to play in and we can SUP in the small bay with Audrey on the board (PFD and wet suit always on) OR we trade off staying on the beach with Audrey while the other SUPs the harbor loop. How does this apply to education for Audrey? Well, Audrey loves to sit on the board out in the water and discuss all kinds of life that lives in the water. We talk about how the sand feels between her toes, and count the seashells we find on the beach (or rocks, same objective). How much more fun is it to learn counting by lining up seashells on the beach than sitting inside working on an activity sheet?

I’m not a certified educator, but I am a mom trying to live a healthy lifestyle and raise a healthy, confident child. We love being outside, and if I have said it once, I’ll say it again, SoCal’s temperate climate is perfect for outdoor activities! I plan on taking Audrey out on bike rides, pulling her in the trailer, and stopping to discover new parks; discussing how honeybees are beneficial towards making beautiful flowers and delicious honey or learning her ABC’s and spelling by using street signs as well as the plants, trees, and animals surrounding us.

One of my favorite activities is when the whole family walks to the soccer fields near our house and we run sprints together. I’m sure there is a learning opportunity for counting, spelling, science, or even art, but I absolutely LOVE spending the quality time with my family. We probably look like crazy people; our sprints turn into a game of tag or “AHHH! MONSTERS” and tag turns into passing out on the grass, but I love it.

No, with kiddos tagging along your outdoor time may not always include training for a marathon (mine hates the stroller). Overall, adjust your expectations for excise and focus on the activities outside. Ultimately we’re all trying to live a healthier life, the only way to teach a new generation those values is to lead by example.  Think outside the box and you will find it’s easy to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, while enjoying what matters most: being with those you love.

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What dog doesn’t love a long walk?  Why not shake things up, get out of the neighborhood and go for a hike?  Orange County has fantastic open space and park areas where you and your four-legged friend can spend time on the trail. Today we are going to focus on gear and preparation for hikes with your dog.

 

Trail Etiquette and Regulations

 

Not all Orange County Parks or State Parks or dog friendly. We will review local Orange County Dog Hikes in the near future.  It is important that dogs be kept on a leash at all times.  I recommend that the leash be no longer than 6 feet and that good old-fashioned leather or webbing leash be used (not a retractable leash).  This ensures that your dog is close by (for his safety and the safety of others); also, a retractable leash failure on a hike can result in a lost dog.

 

Always be cognizant of your surroundings.  Pay attention and watch for approaching people, other dogs and children (especially if your dog gets excited, nervous or aggressive).  Not everyone appreciates a sniff or slobber from a strange dog!

 

Hydration

 

We have a black lab, he may have been a fish in a past life, and I have never seen a dog drink so much water!  It is important to ensure that you bring enough water for both you and your dog.  Never rely on streams, lakes or ponds for your dog to drink from (unless you bring a filter with you). Dogs, just like humans, are susceptible to giardia.  Giardia is a bacterium that causes gastro-intestinal distress. Turner (our dog) was on the receiving end of a nasty bout after drinking from a puddle formed by reclaimed water used for watering grass.  Trust me, you don’t want to experience the awful upset doggy tummy that goes along with giardia.

 

Water filters range from about $50 to $200 depending on the brand, filtration system, model and capacity.  Unless you are going for a multi-day hiking trip, packing extra water and a collapsible bowl is probably the best way to ensure your dog has enough water.  Alternatively, the Ruff Wear Palisades pack has a built-in hydration system.

 

Cooling

 

Dogs pant to lower their body temperature (one reason ensuring your dog has enough water is so important).  However, there are other measures you can take to help your dog keep cool on the trail.  The first, and most obvious, is to hike in the morning or evening hours when the sun is not at its peak (be aware that early morning and late evening hours are also the time that predators are most active, so extra vigilance is required).  Alternatively, you may consider the kool collar to help keep your pet cool.  Also, for dogs who seem very heat sensitive (like Turner) you might try the Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler dog vest which allows for evaporative cooling of your dog.

 

Paw Protection and First Aid

 

Dogs paws are pretty tough.  But they aren’t always as tough as the terrain you’ll be hiking on. We found this out during one hike after a very long 6 mile hike in Colorado, our dog tore open a pad.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any booties for him and he had to limp the last mile back to the car.  One option to address this are Ruff Wear’s Dog Boots.  Unfortunately, your dog probably isn’t going to like these, so it is best to do some trial runs around the house and neighborhood before trying to use them on the trail.

 

Just as you should be prepared physically and mentally to deal with an injury to yourself or others on the trail, it is part of being a responsible pet owner that you prepare yourself to treat and injury to your dog on the trail.  Consider bringing a first aid kit with you (there are pre-packaged versions on Amazon), ask your veterinarian for suggested supplies and be sure to review a book such as Field Guide to Dog First Aid by Randy Acker, DVM or attend one of Petco or the Red Cross’s dog first aid classes.

 

Hiking with a dog can be a very fun and rewarding experience.  It is also a good way to make sure you both get an uninterrupted nap in the afternoon! With a little bit of thought and preparation, you can be fully prepared to tackle the trails.

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About a week ago we posted about Paddle for the Cure.  As we’re only a few weeks out, it is time to start some specific training on and off the water to be ready for the event.  Paddle for the Cure isn’t a race, but if you want to complete the long paddle (4 miles) it is probably a good idea to put in time out on the board as well as in the gym.  Those workouts will focus on overall fitness as well as injury prevention (the most common injury for new paddlers is rotator cuff injury).

 
Pre-habbing for Shoulders
 
Shoulder mobility and stability is essential for paddling efficiency and injury prevention.  As we age, shoulder mobility tends to decrease.  In order to counter act this try the following exercises:
 
1. Lie on your back, clasp your hands behind your head and touch your shoulders to the ground.
2. Lie on your back  and place a lacrosse ball underneath you and roll the ball between the C-5 and T-2 vertebrae.  (Right side for right arm, left side for left arm).  Move your arm in a swimming motion, find the sore spots (this may be painful given your overall flexibility).  As an alternative, place the lacrosse ball between you and the wall and do the same.
3.  PVC bar pass over.  Grab a PVC bar (or broomstick), place your hands in a snatch grip (hold the bar with arms straight, making a “v” shape over-head so the bar is approximately 3 inches overhead).  Move the bar from waist level in front of you, slowly overhead and behind until it touches your lower back.  Keep thumb and fore-finger in the same position on the bar.  This is also known as “shoulder-dislocates” and you have probably seen baseball players do this during batting practice.  The key is to keep your chest puffed up and don’t hunch your shoulders.
 
On-board Fitness

Workout 1

 
Paddle 20 mins, for distance:
Every minute on the minute, perform one of the following in rotation:

  •  20 pushups
  •  20 over head squats (use paddle as bar)
  •  20 “flutterkicks” (lie on your back, hold paddle over head, a few inches above the board)
  •  ”Warrior pose” for 1 minute
 
Workout 2
 
Paddle for 1 hour at a conversational pace.  Every 5 minutes do 30 seconds of short-quick pulls with the paddle or long-hard pulls with the paddle.  On short pulls, the paddle should enter the water approximately 2 feet in front of you and you should remain relatively upright.  On long pulls, the paddle should enter the water 4 feet in front of you and you should bend significantly at e waist to power through.
 
See this video for paddling technique basics http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mHGHEtcJI0A&feature=related
Gym Fitness
Paddling is a full body workout.  It requires the paddler to use strength while maintaining balance. The best strength training for paddling are exercises and groups of exercises which require active stabilization (not curls kneeling on a boss ball) and incorporate compound muscle movements.  Barbell complexes, kettlebells and Olympic lifts are fantastic.  Get ready to get super-fit (don’t worry women, this doesn’t mean bulky).
Workout 1 – Barbell Complex
Do the following exercises grouped together without setting the bar down between exercises:
  • Straight-leg dead lift
  • Hang power clean
  • Overhead press
  • Overhead squat
  • Back squat
  • Barbell good morning
  • (Bring bar back down I front of you)
  • Bent over row
The overhead press will likely be the limiting lift weight wise.  So choose. Weight at you can do 8 repetitions with (for me it is 50 lbs, for my husband it is 135 lbs).  You can do this 3-4 times per week.  I recommend switching between 3 sets of 5 repetitions and 3 sets of 8 repetitions (using lighter weights for the 8 repetition workouts).
Workout 2 – Kettlebells
Do 50 repetitions total of each of the following (you can break up the repetitions anyway that is necessary).
  • 1 arm swing
  • 1 arm snatch
  • 1 arm clean
  • 1 arm press
  • Goblet squat
There are a number of great videos on you tube demonstrating these exercises.  Try googling Pavel or Dan John on kettlebell and barbell complex technique.
See you on the water!
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Recent medical studies have demonstrated the benefit of moderate sun exposure on overall health.  Vitamin D receptors in cells, receptors in the epidermis as well as the role Vitamin D plays in immune system health and gene expression, it is obvious that having adequate amounts of Vitamin D is important to our health.  However, the primary source of Vitamin D for humans (and the most effective) is exposure to sunlight.

There are several issues associated with this (over-exposure which we’ll discuss today) and under exposure which we’ll discuss another time.
We have all seen them.  Active, healthy, outdoor enthusiasts who have the body of a 25 year old and the skin of a 65 year old!  So how, do we, as outdoor loving adventure enthusiasts prevent ourselves from looking like a baseball glove?  There are two key aspects to limiting and dealing with sun damage: moderation and supplementation.
Moderation
The best and most natural method to dealing with sun exposure is to limit exposure to the sun during times when the sun is the strongest, either by covering up or by shortening exposure time (or a combination of both).  Spending most of your outdoor time in the early to mid morning and evening to dusk will allow you to forgo sunscreen and enjoy the suns rays and absorb vitamin D.  Alternatively during high-sun times, the judicious use of lightweight long sleeve cover ups, a hat and sunglasses will do wonders to protect your skin.
Supplementation
Two types of supplementation will allow us to effectively deal with sun exposure, oral supplementation and dermal supplementation (I.e., sunscreen).  The use of oral supplementation such as taking fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) drinking tea (anti-oxidants) allows our bodies to deal with increased oxidative stress, free radicals and DNA da,age that go along with over-exposure to sunlight.  Studies have shown that the ingestion of lycopene (found in tomatoes) provides significant protection against sun burn and sun damage (try 3 tablespoons of tomato paste daily in one of your meals).
The use of sunscreen is important.  The most important use of sunscreen is likely in your daily facial moisturizer, shoot for an SPF of 20-25 in your daily face product.  For beach days SPF 30 applied every 2-hours should do the trick.
The use of these methods should keep your face and skin looking as good as your body.  Please remember to visit the dermatologist regularly and have your moles checked for early signs of skin cancer, as early detection leads to substantially increased survival rates
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That is fantastic, really, it is.  The honest truth is that fitness is just one small aspect of most people’s lives. Unless you are a professional athlete, outdoor clothing test subject or come from a long line of distinguished philanthropists, you probably work…a lot.  You also clean, buy groceries, run errands, go to the dentist, go to family get-togethers, get the oil changed in your car, attend school plays, watch TV, sleep, read and stop to smell the roses (for only one second).

 

Most of the time, there are enough hours in the day to stay fairly fit, have some alone time and get the obligations out of the way.  But, there is one small problem.  You really, really, want to do a triathlon (or a marathon, or hike Mt. Baldy, or race mountain bikes, or climb El Cap., etc.).  In order to accomplish these things, training is important, but so is everything else.

 

Good news, everybody, training for endurance events doesn’t have to be a long slog. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that high-intensity intervals over short durations can deliver the same improvements in fitness as long aerobic workouts (chronic cardio).  Furthermore, it seems, that the application of shorter workouts to endurance events results in a lower incidence of injury, lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation as well as increased levels of overall enjoyment (once the workout is over, not necessarily during…).

 

So what does that mean, in practical terms?

 

Assuming you have a “reasonable” level of experience swimming, biking and running:

 

If you want to do a sprint triathlon, 3-6 hours of training is adequate per week.

If you want to do a half-ironman, 6-10 hours of training is adequate per week.

If you want to do an iron-man, 12-15 hours of training is adequate per week.

 

How is this possible?  The key is to focus on quality, high-intensity workouts.

 

Swim

  • Swim long once per week.  This swim should be no longer than 60 minutes and focus on feel and technique with some interval work.
  • 2-3 other swims should be interval focused. Limit swims to 30 minute maximum (i.e.,10x 100m or 20x50m)

 

Bike

 

  • One long bike ride per week (2-4 hours) outside
  • 2 or 3 30-60 minute interval sessions (on a trainer or in spin class is ideal, check out sufferfest videos for inspiration)

 

 

Run

  • NO LONG RUNS…Seriously, no runs over 2-hours
  • Runs should be 30-90 minutes of hard work.
  • Run workouts should consist of:
    • One interval session (12x200m or 4x800m or 6x400m),
    • One hill workout (5-10 .25-.5 mile repeats)
    • Two “long-ish” runs (2-3 mile circuits for up to 90 minutes)

 

Lifting/Mobility

 

In order to reap the benefits of low-volume high-intensity training, it is essential to ensure your body can keep things together over a sprint, medium or long-course race.  Strength/resistance training will allow you to maintain form as fatigue sets in. Mobility work is also essential to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries (foam rolling, lacrosse ball trigger point release, yoga)

 

Mental Preparation

 

Here is the tricky part:  Belief in your training.  Leading up to a long-course triathlon mental preparation is critical, you will not have had the opportunity to test yourself on a 200 mile bike ride, 2 mile swim, 26 mile run (and that is a good thing).  As long as you are prepared mentally for the task you are about to undertake.  I suggest visualization, meditation and yoga.

 

One disclaimer, the swim in an Iron Distance race is daunting.  Failing on the swim can easily lead to death.  Please, know your own abilities, practice in open water, do an open-water swim course that focuses on fear mitigation.  Panic in the water kills.

 

Now get out, crush some intervals, accomplish something BIG and get fit in the process.

 

For more information on high-intensity training try the following (these articles have great links to the studies which support the information above):

 

http://robbwolf.com/2012/09/21/10-ways-ironman-triathletes-avoid-chronic-cardio-self-destruction/

 

http://www.lavamagazine-digital.com/lavamagazine/201112?pg=154#pg154

 

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-we-dont-sprint-anymore-plus-a-primal-health-challenge/

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We have had some gloomy days this past week here in SoCal, which honestly makes me want to curl up with a warm cup of tea and a good book on the couch. Reality check… I have a three-year-old daughter and a 100-pound lab that make that vision nearly impossible. But it’s alright, being a Colorado native, I grew up knowing and loving most of mother nature’s elements (wind would be the exception). I am grateful to live in a temperate climate to enjoy almost year round outdoor activities; rain definitely won’t keep my family inside!

Remember jumping in puddles? Why does that just have to be a memory? My daughter and I grab our rain boots and jackets and take the dog on a puddle hunt. Yes, we all need a warm bath/shower afterwards, but it’s totally worth it when we’re breathless running from puddle to puddle. Trust me, when it comes to running, I need as much motivation and distraction as possible. If there isn’t a margarita on the line this time, at least I enjoyed some quality kid time with a decent running work out!

Grab your mountain bike when there is a break in the light drizzle that fell earlier in the day and enjoy the tackiness of the dirt. When the rain is light, the dirt gets slightly tacky, which helps improve your lines; it’s honestly my favorite way to ride. If the rain picks up into more than a drizzle, stay off the trails though. Once the dirt turns into mud, all your accomplishing is rutting out trail and creating erosion to the surrounding greenery.  That just leaves a headache for following riders once the ground dry’s out and can result in closing access to Mountain Bikers if the trails sustain damage.

Paddle out and enjoy yoga on a SUP board. What’s more relaxing than being on calm water, listening to rain, and performing yoga? Granted you need to acquire SUP skills and yoga skills to actually make this relaxing, but honestly, just being on the water and sitting on the board is relaxing and will help you clear your head!

Go for a hike. You won’t believe how fresh your surroundings smell and your senses will be invigorated. Find a good spot that gives you an amazing view at the top.

So, stay off the couch and get moving, because there is plenty to do outside when it’s raining! Just make sure you have the appropriate clothing to stay [mostly] dry.

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Over the last several years there has been a fledgling racing scene brewing in Irvine.  The Great Park Racing series is back for 2013 and is a great opportunity for experienced and relatively new cyclists to get out and race.  The series is on Thursday nights at the Great Park in Irvine.  Categories are Pro/Cat 1, 2 and 3 and Cat 3, 4 and 5.  If you’ve never raced a bike before, you’ll be in the Cat 3/4/5 race.  If you ride a bike like Kevin Costner in American Flyers or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush, you’re going to want to hit the Pro/Cat 1/2/3 races.  The races are set up as a point series and should be a lot of fun.  Are you a poor bike handler who wears silly helmets (triathlete)? Come on out, there is also a time-trial point series!

The excitement kicks off Thursday, March 7 and continues weekly throughout the summer.  Even if you don’t plan on being the next big name in the Tour de France, sans performance enhancing drugs, it should be a great time for the competitive or amateur athlete.

 

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Before my daughter was born, and when she was younger (a little bump on a log) my husband and I enjoyed getting out to paddle board at Baby Beach in Dana Point.  We had one board and took turns paddling or hanging out on a blanket in the grass with our daughter.  Since Audrey turned three we haven’t gone out as often due to the logistics of taking turns and hanging with the kiddo.  I think we have a solution now.  Last week my husband bought me a new paddle board for the 10th Anniversary of our first date!  Now he can put Audrey on his board and we can all paddle together as a family.  We are going to get Audrey a toddler wetsuit and canoe seat pad to sit on (with a PFD on – of course) and head out this weekend for our first paddle.  We are thinking that the back bay will be a perfect first paddle.  It’s isn’t too crowded, has close parking, clean restrooms and plenty of wildlife and boat viewing opportunities to keep Audrey entertained…it’s also close to home so it will be easy to bail out if things don’t go well.  This has me thinking about SUP events for the year.

Standup for the Cure – May 5th

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This is a good event for beginner paddlers as it is all in the protected water of the Back Bay or Newport Harbor (which has a no-wake policy) so there should be few waves to deal with.  The cost is a pretty reasonable $35 and options are for a short paddle to a 6k paddle.

 

Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez, Battle of the Paddle- September 28th

 

This event isn’t until September 28th, and that’s a good thing.  It will take months of pretty serious training and open water paddling time to get ready for the amateur races offered here.  The 2012 races made the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest ever SUP race” with over 400 participants in the Open race.

One option is a quick 4 mile loop at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, the other is an epic down and back to the San Clemente pier!  If you’re not racing, but are still in the mood to soak up some aloha vibes, join in on the annual world record attempt for most SUPs on one wave and enjoy the only time of year you can Stand-up paddle surf north of Thor’s Hammer at Doheny State Beach.  There are board demos, swag and plenty of vendors to enjoy while waiting for the paddlers to come in.

I am very excited to get out on the water more this summer.  While getting into SUP isn’t cheap, the family time on the water for virtually free (after the initial buy-in) is totally worth the investment.

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ep•ic \ˈe-pik\ a : extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope

We are moving into the New Year; it’s the first week in February. If your life is like mine, chances are that January has been pretty decent. Maybe you’ve seen some gains in the gym (maybe not). Maybe you are feeling better about your new years resolutions (or dropped them); maybe you’ve just survived the flu or a nasty cold (hooray me!). Maybe you have had an adventure, taken a trip, got out and experienced something out of the ordinary (or watched the Discovery Channel/National Geographic/Netflix).

Whether January has been exciting or rather ordinary, there is good news. We all still have a little under 11 months to have an adventure for 2013! To get out and DO something, have an epic…

Is that term overused? Doesn’t matter. For modern day explorers and extreme sports enthusiasts, epics can be legendary tales of adventures gone wrong, heroic tales of subsistence living with little more than determination separating them from the void. Or for most of the rest of us, epics can be stories of a laughable debacle that you can file away to tell your friends at the bar, family at the next get-together or your children when they’re old enough. There are very few trips that my husband and I plan that don’t turn into epics or debacles:

  • Gone camping with no sleeping bags, pillows or blankets? Done it
  • ! Concussion while snow-tubing? Crushed it!
  • Ordered crab soup in the second story restaurant of a Mexican flea market? Oh yeah!
  • Leisurely bike ride that turned into a 75 mile suffer-fest? Thanks Hubby!
  • Tandem kayaking tour of La Jolla that almost resulted in divorce? Still have the un-filed papers! (Not really, but kind of…)

My point is that even mundane outings can lead to an adventurous twist. But if you’re just hanging out on the couch, the weekend is almost certain to be mundane. Here are two ideas for this year’s epic (adventure, debacle or otherwise). Ascent of Mount Whitney Mt. Whitney is located in Sequoia National Park and has a summit of 14,505 ft. The most popular way to summit Whitney is via the Whitney trail, a 22 mile round trip hike with 6,100 ft in elevation gain. Most hikers do this in two days…for a guaranteed epic, try it in one (but make sure you are trained, are prepared, have a bail-out plan and notify someone regarding your route and anticipated return time.) A word of caution, this hike is extremely strenuous and requires a departure well before dawn. Ascent of Angels Flight Angels Flight is a funicular railway in the Bunker Hill District in Los Angeles (yes, beyond the Orange Curtain). The original Angels Flight ran from 1901-1966 and connected spring street and hill street. After an almost 40 year hiatus, it has been re-opened between Hill Street and California Plaza. Rides are only 50 cents, which is a bargain to experience a historical landmark. For a real epic, take the MetroLink Train, then the Metro (subway). Have lunch at Grand Central Market (Cuban Sandwiches!) and drinks at the Standard’s rooftop bar and pool before hopping the Metro and MetroLink Train back home. Wherever this year takes you, don’t forget to embrace the adventure and enjoy your own epic.

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Whether you are an avid runner or find yourself in the staunch no-running crowd (I struggle with the in-between), there is a case to be made for speed.  For runners looking to reduce their 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon times there is no better way to take minutes off a PR than working two or three speed sessions into weekly workouts.  For non-runners weekly speed-work sessions can be a kick-start to fat burning and muscle building.  Recruitment of the fast-twitch muscles used in sprinting can lead to rounder backsides, stronger legs and increased agility.  Here are a couple of simple speed-work concepts that are easy to employ, with silly names you wont forget, guaranteed to bring you from slow to silly-fast:

 

Tabata (tuh-bat-tuh)

 

This method uses 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of active rest for a total of 8 rounds, resulting in 4 minutes of work.  This can be done on a track on a neighborhood football/soccer field or on paths/sidewalks. (This can be a great rowing workout as well.) Once you have warmed up completely, it is easiest to set up a watch timer for 10 second intervals.  Sprint for 20 seconds (two sets of beeps on your 10 second timer), then walk for 10 seconds (one set of beeps).  Repeat continuously for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes).

 

In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state work 5 times per week.

 

Fartlek

 

Fartlek, which means “speed-play” in Swedish was developed in the 1930’s as a solution to increase the speed of Swedish cross country runners while also reducing their overall level of fatigue by reducing overall mileage wile increasing the quality of the workout.  The original fartlek protocol is as follows:

 

  • Warm up: easy running for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Steady run at hard pace for 1.5–2.5 km
  • Recovery: rapid walking for about 5 minutes.
  • Start of speed work: easy running interspersed with sprints of about 50–60 m repeated until slightly tired
  • Easy running with three or four “quick steps” now and then
  • Full speed uphill for 175–200 metres
  • Fast pace for 1 minute.

 

The whole routine would be varied in terms of length of each portion of the routine based primarily on feel and is then repeated until the total time prescribed on the training schedule has elapsed.  For many runners the “by-feel” nature of the workout above can be unnerving and requires discipline and solid running experience to execute correctly.  As a runner employing the technique above, knowledge of your own limits and strengths as well as honesty regarding the level of effort put in is essential.  For most runners, simplification of these principles is appropriate.   Some simplified variations are included below:

 

  1. Fives

Warm up: 5 minutes

Steady state: 5 minutes of quick running.

Active recovery: 5 minutes of brisk walking.

Transition: 5 minutes of jogging.

Repeat the steady state, active recovery and transition until a total workout time of 30-60 minutes is reached.

  1. Mean Minute

Warm up: 10 minute jog

10 second sprint

20 second jog

30 second walk

Repeat for 15-20 minutes

Each workout try to cover more ground than the last workout in the same amount of time.

 

Try mixing these into your weekly workouts and reap the benefits of speed work.

 

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