Weekly Workouts for the Online Team – Wed at 9am, coming in:
Two really icky type workouts that I love to push through on a challenge day.  Centering around learning to run uphill – everyone’s favourite style of running hey? – and getting your muscle fibres to adapt between training elements.
 
Uphill running is very very different to flat running.  The style is changed, you need to get heels down and use your bum more, otherwise your calf muscles are going to lock up and blow out faster than you can say “my lungs aren’t working anymore!!”.  And you won’t be able to say that, because your lungs won’t be working anymore 🙂  3 Rounds of varying hill steepness on a treadmill – it will test your lungs, your legs and your willpower.  Our greatest tip?  Don’t stop.  Change the speed as required definitely….manage you pace. Stopping on the other hand is acknowledging mentally that you have tapped out….and maybe you need to…..but usually, its because you WANT to, not because you need to….slow it down, walk, but don’t stop!
 
The Transitional Training is another aspect of training, particularly in multi-sports that doesn’t oft get practiced by newcomers, for the simple reason that it can be remarkably unpleasant.  Feeling muscles stiff, changing breathing patterns – this all takes several minutes to change over and its not a walk in the park.  It definitely gets quicker, and it’s definitely worth practicing, as experiencing it all for the first time on race day is a fabulous recipe to hit all sorts of walls.  Get some experience under the belt beforehand hey?
Come Take A Look At:
Enjoy that Hill Run – It’s an absolute banger supreme….lol
Pete.
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TRITAN RACE – Developing Our Own OBSTACLE RACE

You may have seen, and indeed been part of the fires that affected the O’Reilly’s region of the Gold Coast Hinterland.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected to be sure in such tough times.  Of a lesser note – there was the scheduled Gold Coast SPARTAN RACE due to take place that same weekend 7th Sep.  With the race postponed (but now rescheduled) the Assume Its Possible Crew (called “TRITAN”) decided to still put the weeks and months of training to good use by hosting a TRITAN RACE with all three distances (7km, 14km, 21km).

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How Would You Even Simulate It?

Good question – there is only so much treadmill running one can do before you go insane.  However, there are factors like elevation (Spartan isn’t a flat course) and obstacles to consider.  We implemented any elevated running on the treadmills and incorporated distances between obstacles that aren’t dissimilar to the Spartan event.  The obstacles were copied for some of the more notable ones like the “Spear Throw” and “Farmers Carry”, others were newly devised to make the race a unique event for us.  Things like Assault Bike charges and Skierg sets were also thrown into the mix.  The penalities for missing technical obstacles were kept at 30 chest to floor burpees – after all, we’d been training for that – wouldn’t want to miss out now would we?  The 7km Event was totally contained within our Host Gym Facility – EZYFIT HEALTH & FITNESS CLUB, whilst the 14km and 21km had sections that ran a 5km loop around a nearby water body, quite a lovely run actually.   You can see and download a full set of our obstacles, sequences and layouts below.

How Hard Was It?

Having completed a number of Spartan Races – and having podium-ed in all of them – these three distances, with the layouts and obstacles as they are….were right on par with how hard a Spartan Race feels in my opinion.  Of course, the two are quite different with things like swims, weather conditions, and obstacles all being different – but in terms of energy expenditure and body physicality, I came out of all three distances feeling like I did at the end of competitive Spartan.  From a Coaches perspective, this is an invaluable training tool in preparing your athletes for such events, to provide perspective, nutrition and hydration experience.  The 21km in particular was very good at planning out energy gel and hydration intake – and understanding the body when it started sending the signals.

How’d Everyone Go?

Incredibly well.  As friend to each and every one of the amazing people who did it – I was honoured to race with, and support them all.  As a Coach – watching people take on distances they had never even run before, let alone with obstacles….take on elements, burpees and challenges that pushed them mentally…..I could not have been prouder.  Every single person finished – the fastest 7km section was approx 55min, the fastest 14km around 2 hrs and the final 21km hit the 3hrs 2min mark for the fastest time. 

To have it based out of our home gym – to have a bbq cook up and drinks afterwards – made the entire episode an epic social affair.  And at the end of the day – that’s what these such events are about aren’t they?  There is the competitive side to it, for sure, but there would be no competition without other people.  There would be no event.  This was our event – our TRITAN RACE and it…was….sweet.

Can’t wait to do another one towards the end of the year.

Thanks for such a great race A.I.P TRITAN Squad.

Cheers – Pete.

Training For Running – Its About Your Joints, Not So Much Your Cardio

Running – you usually tend to fall into one of two camps:

  • Running feels amazing, it lets me think and de-stress, its an escape machanism

Or

  • Running is the highest form of torture and should be given to the deepest scullians of hellspawn as punishment…….

 

Regardless of where you stand, let’s talk about training for running events and how you can actually get to the point of enjoying this…thing….there are plenty of science articles detailing the mechanics and biometrics behind it, as well as providing programs – I do that too, but this article is going to be short and talk some honest truths.  Below is the summary of this article:

  • Start very short
  • Incorporate into existing workouts
  • Actually run to train running
  • Increase slowly
  • Stretch

Yep – that’s it, you can stop reading if you like – cheers for dropping by 🙂

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Starting From Scratch:

So first thing – no-one is a natural “runner”.  There are body types more inclined to running sure, but we’ve seen people of all shapes and sizes run well!  We’ve also seen some people who you’d think would be guns, start to move like they’ve been shot with a tranquilizer dart.  If you’re first starting, or it’s been a long time since you’ve run several things are going to become very apparent.  You are going to run out breath, your muscles will get tired and your joints will hurt.  Yep…Happens to everyone.  It continues to happen as you increase distances too.  This is where we need to talk about what you’re actually training.

 

Getting The Ball Rolling:

So you’ve decided to bite the bullet and actually do an event.  You should not start with anything close to 5km….NO!!!  Your first couple of runs should be a maximum of 1 – 2km beginner-runner-1-of-1-1024x684.jpgand bolted onto the back of, or be part of, an existing workout.  Break it into 4 x 500m bits spaced out if you like.  Two reasons, your body and joints aren’t ready for anything longer – and more importantly – your mind isn’t.  You do NOT want to hate this thing right from the start.  Make it manageable mentally by making it short efforts where the mind can emotionally recover. In my experience, it takes being able to run 5km without stopping (at any speed), before you actually start to mechanically enjoy running.  If you havent run for a while, 5km is a long way.

Kickstarter

To Get Better At Running – You Need to Run:

This is sounds so dumb….and yet – so many people I talk to training for half marathons and the like are hitting the bike, are hitting the pool, anything other than running….. So Why is that an issue?

If you’re a beginner, regardless of distance, you need to actually run to get your muscles into learning how to act together efficiently.  Like anything – running takes practice. There are a TONNE of muscles having to co-ordinate together at a very rapid pace.  You are NOT born being efficient at running. Some of us get good as kids by doing certain things in life….some of us do not.  Just like juggling – you need to practice in order to get more efficient at the muscle actions.  Secondly, your body needs to start the process of toughening up your joints.  Running has a fair bit of impact through the hips, knees,

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ankles and feet.  This process of getting the joint endurance up is FAR slower than that of increasing your cardio (more on this in a bit).  Riding a bike, will help your cardio….swimming will help your cardio…. neither will help that specific and repetitious impact tolerance.

There are a lot of good running plans out there. NIKE in particular has a great range for all levels of runner.  The biggest piece of advice I have?  Integrate it with other training aspects to keep it fun….don’t think “Right, today i HAVE to go for a run”.  When you do your workout, be it in a gym, or outdoors, integrate whatever required distance you are running into that workout – at least whilst the distances are small.

 

Ok – All Good But I’m On The Longer Stuff:

As mentioned before there are a couple of magic thresholds that tend to occur in my experience:

  1. Once you can run 5km unbroken at any pace, you actually start to enjoy the feeling
  2. Once you can run 10km unbroken, cardio training starts to be less a problem and more muscle fatigue
  3. 15km-20km muscles become less an issue and the joints become the focus

Let’s talk about those last two points.  Once you start to enjoy the process of running, it can actually become really easy to try and bite too much off too soon.  Your cardio range develops FAR faster than your joint and muscle endurance.  From what I see in my clients, it takes about an extra 3-4 weeks for the joints to be able to run a particular distance once the cardio has achieved it.  So you might be actually able to run 15km from a cardiovascular point of view, but the joints will cop such an ass-kicking that you will be limping for days, or may even actually injure yourself. Take it slow, build up a couple of kilometers per week, which can be frustratingly slow, but your body will thank you.  Once you have a certain distance nailed, its quite easy to maintain the fitness required to run that far.  But you need to get there first.

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Look After Your Body – Stretching:

I’m going to be open here…..FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – BLOODY STRETCH AFTER YOU RUN!!!  Don’t wait till you get home from where you are, or after that coffee….do it straight away.  If you wait any more than 5 mins, you start to cool and you lose a significant amount of elasticity in the muscles, tendons, ligaments.  Your stretching becomes magnitudes less effective and your recovery is severely impacted.  Just do it! Straight away, it takes 4-5 mins if you’re focused on it, and you will feel SO GOOD for it.  Once you start doing 20km +, this becomes non-optional.  If you don’t do it, you WILL (over the course of a short time) tighten up to the point where you hurt yourself with a tight ITB, knee pain, hip pain, back pain.  You put so much hard work into getting here, why write it all off now.  I’m going to dump a quick, short stretching sequence here….take it. Use it. Keep running.

Every Session Flexibilty Program

Summary:

Just like above – your key steps are below.  Use them, look after yourself, don’t rush, enjoy your exercise and the ability to put some focused hard work to use!  Running is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it can be done by everyone.  I am a “learned” runner.  I am not terribly great, but I’ve put a lot of work in and enjoy the feeling that brings when it serves in events 🙂

Memory Reminder:

  • Start very short
  • Incorporate into existing workouts
  • Actually run to train running
  • Increase slowly
  • Stretch

 

You CAN do it – its just about how much you want it.  Take the time, and you can do anything.

Pete.

Aug Workouts – Intro to Treadmills & Put Your Functionality to the Test

Let’s talk about the workouts this week.
 
Treadmill running – yep, if you just set and forget the treadmill speed and run for 20 mins it is boring as all hell.  When we hear people say that they find treadmill running boring, this is normally why, and its SO EASILY fixed.  The treadmill is a tool that has so many options – so USE THEM.  This week, we’re giving you an introduction to speed variation workouts on the treadmill over a 20 minute period.  The workout feels shorter because of the intervals, its more effective because it keeps your metabolism changing up and it’s interesting as you need to keep thinking about the next change.  With options for new starters, right up to advanced runners, this is a great kick into a quick cardio hitout.
 
The second workout is designed to give your functional fitness an all-around test.  We call it Inverse Working.  With runs that decrease in distance over time, and functional strength moves that increase over time – it’s going to push your oxygen management and fatigue levels.  Let’s see what you’ve got.
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This Week’s Online Squad Workouts

Coming out Wednesday at 9:00am

When Was The Last Time You Skipped?

Yep – we have two workouts for you this week.  Not one workout and a supplementary program – TWO workouts.
 
The first is a cardio specific workout, based around running for moderate distances and then interrupting the rhythm with functional strength that requires significant oxygen consumption.  With multiple rounds involved – how efficient can you be with re-establishing your breathing patterns?
The second workout is based around skipping! A fabulous workout mechanic, it burns a STACK of calories very quickly.  Besides, we’re guessing you guys haven’t skipped for a while, so it should be worth a giggle or two to boot.
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