at-tack [uh-tak]
to set about (a task) or go to work on (a thing) vigorously: to attack the workout; to attack the job with zeal

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Roadwork Alternatives

So I have recently injured my wrist during some grappling, its getting better but its a real drag on my training. For a person who avoids conventional cardio like the plague having an injured wrist is like clipping the tips of a birds wings but only on one side, its possible to fly but pain is imminent. So to avoid the unpleasantness of pain and a longer rehab, I started doing what the vast majority of people do for cardio. Running. This running has actually been ok but I mix it up a little now just as I always have and I thought Id share a few ways to make things more interesting.

Running the trails.

Most cities have a park with walking trails that will go up and down and make things a little more interesting and challenging. If you are like me and aren't interested in a workout that doesn't kick your ass then you can sprint up every hill you encounter, for those of you that constantly stay in the aerobic training zones (<80% HRR) this will kick you into the anaerobic zone once in a while giving you new benefits from the workout. I had the "pleasure" (see; displeasure) of running in a park in grande prairie that had points spray painted on the trail, I was never sure what these numbers stood for and they didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason to them but sprinting from one then jogging to the next made it a challenge and a half since these points where not often evenly spaced, sometimes the sprint would last a loooong time. Anything can be used like this, you could jog any curved parts of the trail and sprint any short one or sprint on the curves that go left or right. Just for a few ideas.

Hill Sprints

Heres how you do hill sprints: Find a good hill thats relatively steep and at least 100m long, go to the bottom and run your butt up that hill as fast as your little legs can take you, lay down, decide that maybe you'll look for that lung you just lost later, go back down the hill, ask yourself why your considering this again, do it again. Hill sprints will help build your anaerobic endurance in huge amounts, they kick your ass and you don't have to do too many to really see a difference. You can also mix them in with bodyweight exercises or exercises using rocks you will likely find laying around. In the about me section on the side of the page is a photo of me getting ready for hill sprints in the summer, we sprinted up the old sledding hill/jumps to the right. We sprinted up the hill with a rock carrying it like a football in alternating arms, dropped and did 10 clapping pushups and then threw the rock down the hill (itd often land in sand so itd stop completely) however we felt we could (often a side throw to hit the obliques) and we did it just 5 times but we destroyed our lungs, then we finished ourselves off by pushing his truck.

Intervals are a close relative to the hill sprints described above, both can deliver feelings of lethargy. Doing intervals are simple, you can use either distance or time to measure your interval and then run at a pace thats near the absolute maximum speed you can maintain for that set distance/time. Some distances are more aerobic in nature and some are more anaerobic in nature, so heres a quick breakdown of some of the more popular distances.

200m interval=29% aerobic and 71% anaerobic
400m interval=43% aerobic and 57% anaerobic
800m interval=66% aerobic and 34% anaerobic
1500m interval=84% aerobic and 16% anaerobic

Sprint Pyramids
This is one I made up myself. All you need is a baseball field and somethings to use as markers. Id use paces (3 foot steps) to measure my distances, feel free to use whatever means necessary. Set 1 pylon at the start, another at 25 paces, another at 50 paces, another at 75 and the last at 100. Id do 4 sprints to the first pylon (walking/jogging back to the start), 3 sprints to the next (walking/jogging back), 2 sprints to the next, and Id sprint to the last one and work my way backwards. It's short but you can also do more than one pyramid or a larger one, or add bodyweight exercises to the start or end of each sprint.

Well that's about it for now. I'm going to get off my computer and do something now.

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