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Exercise Without Assumptions: Train for Power


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We rarely enjoy it when individuals make assumptions about us based on our beliefs, how we look or our age. When it comes to moving better and exercise don’t let assumptions about your potential hinder you. Regardless of your age, you should be training for a physical experience – life.  The benefits allow you to move muscle more quickly. Read more about the research behind power training for older adults here.

Power

Not many of us are powerlifters…but all of us do power moves in our daily lives. We don’t move as explosively or straining under enormous amounts of weight – but not every move we do is a fluid or slow movement.

Consider opening up a refrigerator whose magnet is not budging much. A slow and easy pull may not do the job. Instead of tightening your grip, contracting those muscles and giving a forceful pull allows you to open that door.

Other examples of when we use power – climbing stairs, rising from a seated position or lifting objects.

Yes, there is strength involved – but speed is involved when it comes to power. For instance, if you slowly rose from a seated position you may fall back if you didn’t go fast enough. With the ability to stand up firmly without using your hands (or rocking forward) takes power.

We all trip over things – it is the catching that is important. Being able to move quickly and shift your foot so you don’t fall takes not only the ability to move the foot but to firmly plant it. Being able to reach out your hand quick enough to react and grasp something or catch your fall is very important.

Consider adding short bouts of moving with weight and moving as fast as possible to your regime. Of course, consult your physician before starting an exercise program especially if you are getting yourself back on track to train for life!

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The Fitness Triangle


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Draw a strong & healthy foundation for your life to rest on. Three important things are in play when moving better in life to improve your health or sustain what you have. Your mind has to be in the right place. Find out what really interests you. Also be consistent in moving, exercising, whatever you decide to do. Lastly, always mix things up and keep your body guessing.

Mind

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Where is your mind at? What motivates you? Taking the time to move better in life comes in many shapes in sizes. You can’t miss the countless gyms and boutique studios popping up. Depending on who you are – it can be welcoming or overwhelming. Follow that path if it attracts you & shop around for not only something that is good for your pocketbook but also makes you want to come back again! Join a group fitness class or get outside and join a hiking group. Sign up for a race & start training for it. Grab a friend to join you on your fitness journey.

Don’t turn that brain off from moving better those many other hours of the day when you are not exercising. Using your feet as a mode of transportation, taking a break from sitting at your desk and standing up is also so good for you. Do what you can with what you have – start with that.

Where is your mind at when it comes to what you are putting in your body? Moving well is only one piece of the puzzle. Be mindful of what you use for fuel. This does not mean an all-or-nothing take on what you eat…it means that you have balance. Seek out qualified professionals to help you if you want to get advice about what foods are good for you and how to compliment all the work you put in moving better.

Consistency

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Be consistent just like Forrest Gump…you don’t have to run though.

After you find what you like to do – DON’T STOP. The movement, exercise, activity that gets you blood flowing & raises your heart rate that you keep on doing is the one that is good for you.  Make it more than one activity. There is no substitute, pills or supplements for consistency. Be consistent about moving.

Think of an analogy of driving a car up a gradual incline. If you take your foot off the gas pedal the car will eventually stop and start coasting back. If you keep your foot just enough on the gas pedal you still are moving forward. You don’t have to (or should not) slam that foot down and floor it for your workout regime. You need rest days for your body to heal & rest!

Yes, this also means being consistent about what you are putting in your body too! You are only as healthy as what you are eating. Make sure that there is more of the good stuff coming in than the bad stuff. Also, Water…lots of it.

Variation

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Mix it up and go for a hike! Find a challenging trail & put one foot in front of the other.

Variation to your regime is the magic potion. You are consistent at moving every week – but are you doing the same exact exercise at the same exact pace/weight/stance/etc? If so eventually your body would get bored.

Think of eating your favorite meal every single day for 365 days. No matter how much you loved it, it would get old. Think of reading a article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same…

Got it?

Mix it up! Change your intensity. Change the speed. Change your stance. Change from standing in place and moving weight to moving with weight. Your workout routine should not be the same every week.

Of course there are other important things to keep in mind when focusing on a lifelong journey of health. Just keep in mind these three things on your journey to continue to build on that foundation that you have built. Drop me a line if you want a coach in your corner to help you set that foundation!

-Damien

 

 

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What It Means to Listen to Your Body


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You may have heard this many times or read it…

listen to your body.

However there is often very little explaining of what it means and what you should be doing. It really is not that cryptic or ambiguous of a phrase. This is important, so let’s pull down the curtain.

Let’s keep it simple…

Scenario #1

You are walking barefoot on the sidewalk to get the morning paper and didn’t see a shard of glass. Pain happens, possibly some cursing – but it hurt. You stop walking and investigate if you can pull it out or hobble back to the front door & get some tweezers.

You felt pain, stopped and investigated.

Scenario #2

You and a good friend went out for some dinner. On the drive home on the highway you were behind the wheel and your stomach started turning…really turning. There are ten miles to go until your exit but there is a rest stop coming up before then.

You pull off the highway & take that rest stop exit because your stomach was doing somersaults… so make a b-line for the bathroom.

Yes, these scenarios are fairly straightforward – you felt or noticed something going on in your body and you were attentive to what was going on. You did not ignore the pain or uncomfortableness. Instead you were vigilant and decided to do something about it.

Now enter two other scenarios…

Scenario #3

You have been putting down a respectable running regime the last month on the trails. There was no pain or any issues. You are now up to 10 miles twice a week. This week you decide to switch things up and do the same amount of mileage on the pavement instead at the same pace. You find after the second round that halfway through you feel some pain below your knees. The following week instead of the 10 you decide to decrease the road runs to a respectable 6 and then work your way up over time. Also, you sprinkle in some more stretching. Over time that pain subsided and eventually went away.

You backed off on the mileage on the roads and worked your way back up. You also increased the time stretching after runs to target any tight muscles.

Scenario #4

A bagel and a coffee has been your go-to breakfast for a while now. However, you find that by 10:30 a.m. you start dragging and have to grab another coffee to keep on point the rest of the day.  Today you wake up and decide that you are tired of the never-ending battle to stay alert. You begin trying out different things to eat for breakfast and seeing what your energy level is. Soon you found your go-to breakfast that did not leave you wondering why you were always so tired.

You decided to change up your breakfast after you found that crashing before midday was a pattern. After noticing the pattern, you edited & kept on editing you breakfast until you found what would not send you back for another cup of coffee.

You know what it means…now listen!

Honestly if in any of the scenarios someone just ignored what was happening and kept on going – the outcome would not be good. The argument is made often that you can just push through it especially if it is pain related to exercise. I would counter that eventually that pain will come back & will not go away. The solution can be as simple as taking a look at what has changed to make your body react that way. It is one thing if you are uncomforable because of a challenging workout that is targeting those leg muscles during lunges. It is another if you are feeling a sharp pain.

Of course, there may be many things in the mix like stress, muscular imbalances or running form that can be a wild card. Just fight the urge to be stubborn and think that it will just go away (like never addressing tight calves -yes runners I am talking to you!). When it comes to what you put in your body, of course that can be complicated. But again, if you ignore what you are feeling and it is not changing – why not see what you can do about it?

Above all, if you listen and can’t figure out what is going on then talk to a qualified professional that can be your guide. She or he can use their experience, knowledge & objective view of what is going on to assist you. 

Empower yourself to take charge of what is going on with your body. You have a choice – be proactive! You don’t have to do it alone.

 

 

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Mature Adults & Seniors Deserve More Than Traditional Exercise


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We all live our lives differently. However, the one thing we have in common is the drive to live our lives with not much restriction. Not being able to do what we want to do, like to do or need to do can affect our lives is substantial ways. Outside forces are one thing, but when it comes to our bodies it can affect our independence. Traditional exercise even with its benefits is not a complete enough physical experience for mature adults and seniors. You deserve more.

If balance, mobility or a good range of motion are hindering everyday life and fun activities such as golf it can be life changing.   You want to be able to take that vacation abroad, sign up for that hike and above all do what you want to do – when you want to do it! At its core – these are the outcomes that you seek which fall in the like, need & want categories that Dr. Cody Sipe, Co-Founder of the Functional Aging Institute describes. Put simply – what do you like to do, what do need to do and what do you want to do?

As our population ages, it is no secret that age is nothing but a number these days. Working professionals and retirees such as my parents are active, busy and involved in their community. Sometimes I am lucky if I can get them on the phone! The reason that they are as active as they are is because of the results of being physically active in ways that allow them to make everyday life an independent experience. They are able to do their likes, needs and wants independently and easier.

Why traditional exercise is not enough for mature adults

While you may want to grind out a workout like your 20-year old self, you don’t care to be limping around at work the next day. Also moving in the only dimension that machines restrict you to is not reflective of your every-day life. Mature adults should not only be striving to be stronger but also to move in all directions better.  Their likes, needs and wants don’t fall into one category of strength or conditioning. You are not necessarily attracted to aesthetics as you are the outcomes of being active and the freedom of being able to do what you desire to do.

Priorities may change in regards to your health and your life. Buzzwords like strength or fat loss may be on your list but the words that may more appeal to the mature client are what you like to do, want to do, and need to do.   For instance, mature adults may want to accomplish exciting physical challenges like climbing mountains, challenging hikes or Triathlons. Or because of a fear of heart disease you want to lose weight to stay healthy – not specifically to fit better in your clothes.

Especially at this point in mature adults lives training for three-dimensional movement is pertinent. Re-setting, refining and correcting the grooves of movements of bending, lunging reaching or moving in different directions with weight is often left by the wayside for mature adults. We do not live in a one-dimensional world if we train as such as we age our range of movement and mobility suffers among other things. You deserve a training program that allows you to live your life with a positive view of aging.

Why traditional exercise will not fully improve or maintain independent lives of seniors

Often in traditional exercise, the assumption about the abilities of seniors sets the foundation. Plain and simple – you are fragile and should be handled with care. You should sit down doing most if not all of your exercises. Assumptions about any client before getting to know them is a disservice without a doubt. When it comes to seniors this restriction will not help you do what you want to do. This only holds you back and does not continue or improve a healthy way of life.

A training program should not reflect your age – it should reflect your abilities. It will meet you where you are and over time will change as you progress. The program should challenge you over time after you have set a good foundation of the step you are on. The program may regress – to help you even more. In time, you are ready to take another step forward. A program should incorporate things like power, strength, balance, and agility.

The risks of falling can be the elephant in the room with an aging population. The factors contributing to falls are 1. Balance and mobility problems 2. Medical conditions and medications 3. Vision and 4. Environmental hazards. According to the Fall Prevention Task Force in San Diego “In 2013, in San Diego over 17,000 older adults were treated and discharged from the Emergency Department and an additional 7,000 were hospitalized.”

Exercise can help to reduce this serious risk. However, automatically putting you in a category of doing exercises while sitting down, using machines that don’t allow you to move as you should is a disservice.

Why Functional Exercise is important to mature adults & seniors

In short – there should never be an assumption that just because we hit a certain age that our quality of life decreases and we are unable to do what we want to do.  The physical functions of mature adults and seniors are more than leg presses or a workout that does not ever challenge you because you are “old.” Instead, the activity should cover the areas that the Functional Aging Institute promotes for such clients: mobility, balance, neuromuscular function, cognitive, cardio respiratory & musculoskeletal function. These areas coupled with meeting the needs likes and wants of clients provide a better foundation for mature adults and seniors to build upon and enjoy their lives however they see fit!

If this sounds like the path that you want your fitness journey to take contact me for a free consult.

 

Damien

Functional Aging Specialist

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6 Important Things To Do In A Group Fitness Class


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Some individuals decide to go all in on group fitness classes as their choice of exercise. Others use a group workout as a way to mix things up in between their personal training sessions or their own workouts. However you decide to use group fitness classes to up your exercise game there are some tips on what not to do when you first start…or even if you are a veteran.

 

#1. Show up early.

Especially if this is your first class – get there early to meet the instructor and see what type of equipment that you will be using. Even if you are not able to go into the room because there is a class in session – you can get an idea about the class format, the flow of the class, music and energy level. Also, use this early time to meet the instructor and they will be happy to let you know what is on the menu for that day and show you equipment that you may have not used before. It could be a Silver Sneakers gym or another big setup. Either way you should still get acclimated.  Lastly, getting there early allows you to sign any paperwork that has to be done before your first class.

 

#2.  Let the coach know of any injuries or restrictions that you have.

Before class starts – always let the coach know that you have a sore knee, shoulder issues, some injury or for instance have broken something in the past. This gives the coach an opportunity before the class starts for a quick one-on-one chat about any exercises that you should avoid and what you can do instead.  If you are pregnant let the instructor know and what you can do. Often pregnant women know how to do alternative exercises, even so just let the coach know!

#3. Challenge yourself & give 100% effort.

One of the motivating aspects of a group class is the infectious energy that is in the room. This one of the reasons people love group classes because of a community that keeps each other going. Motivation is great. However comparing yourself to someone else and trying to do what they are doing could end you up injured. Allow them to motivate you to give your 100% effort. Use that!!  If your 100% effort is not matching their effort who cares? The instructor can introduce 1-ups to an exercise to make it more challenging for them. If you can’t do it yet – then use that as your motivation to come back next class and get better.

#4.  Pay attention as the coach demos the exercises.

The class has started and you are ready to kill it and get moving. There will be times during the class where she goes over what you are doing.  This is important. You may know how to do a squat or some other movement but pay attention to how the coach does it. He may have something he is specifically asking the class to do or is giving options that are useful especially if you are finding it challenging – or not challenging enough.

#5.  Ask questions before the class gets started.

If during the demo the coach does or says something that you don’t understand – ask her. If during the workout you want to know how to challenge yourself more without adding weight – ask her during a break. Of course, this is not a personal training session.  The coaches focus will be on the entire group & there are a lot of moving parts for her to juggle. Even with that in mind, questions to clarify how to do an exercise or a progression should be asked!

#5. If you know you will  – or do sweat a lot – bring your towel.

Sweating is a good thing. Sweating on equipment that a person in the class with you uses 30 seconds after you – is not. Don’t expect that the facility that you are checking out has towels. Be proactive!

Untitled design#6. Give out high-fives & fist bumps like they are going out of style.

Get some of that good energy flowing! Many friendships are started in group classes. There is a great community in group classes regardless of the type of workout or fitness level. You all may have different reasons why you are there but you came together to workout!

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Take a 360 Degrees Look at Your Health


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Exercise is an important piece of the puzzle – but it is important to take a good look at how you spend the rest of your day. An awesome 45-minute workout three times a week is great. Just keep in mind that you want to compliment that good habit.  Below are some of the things to keep in mind when putting your health in perspective. Compliment that good workout with what you have in your control to change in your daily life!

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Food & Hydration

Look at what you are eating on a daily basis. What are your eating habits? How much water are you drinking a day? Also, are you fueling your body before your workout and feeding those muscles after the workout along with enough water. Keeping a food journal is a great idea – if anything you will see some patterns in how you feel that day or later after eating certain foods. Consult qualified professionals that can give you some advice about proper nutrition in regards your body in particular. General advice such as the portion control tips that is helpful, but sometimes seeking a professional can be more useful.

 

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Stress

We all know how stress can affect our body and our lives on a daily basis. Between our jobs, life stress and the real struggle to step away from it at the end of the day – it can snowball and affect all aspects of our daily life…including our sleep. It can be easier said than done to lead a less stressful life. One of the tricks is to find what works for you to ease the stress in a healthy way. Yes, exercise can help relieve some of that tension or mind/body techniques like yoga.

A new baby is like thebeginning of all things-hope, a dream of possibilities.

Your Parents

Genetics is something that we really don’t have considerable control over (yet). We have diseases or traits that are in our family tree. Some argue that “genetics load the gun & our environment pulls the trigger.” In other words, the argument is that a small percentage of a disease is caused by genetics and a larger is influenced by lifestyle choices and environment.  Even stepping outside of the genetic argument – what habits (good or bad) have you learned from your parents? Sometimes the bad habits need to be broken.

 

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Environment

Our environment is just as it sounds, where we live, work and play. Living in a place where you are able to walk more than you need to drive can affect your daily health. We have all seen the numerous articles about the bad effects of sitting down every day – so jobs, where we are at a desk all day or are able to walk around often, can make a difference. Further, not everyone is able to benefit from living situations that are free of things in and surrounding their homes that can affect their health.

 

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Nine Fitness Tips & Tricks for Mature Adults


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Mature Adults are an ever-growing population. As we get older we can still keep, regain and improve our fitness level which includes endurance, balance, and agility. You are never too old to start exercising.  You are never too old to continue to improve your life by moving. This is your opportunity to preserve if not increase your quality of life – empower yourself!

  1. Talk to Your Doctors. It should go without saying that before entering into an exercise program you should consult your doctor. Other reasons can also include the medications you are currently taking that can already affect your balance or impact your workout in other ways. Get those eyes checked too. Especially as our vision does change over time we may not realize if it is fact has.

Yoga & Tai chi are good ways to train & regain balance.png2. Think Outside the Box. You can enjoy an exercise regime at your local big gymnasium. On the other hand, other individuals don’t find such an atmosphere appealing. Either way, don’t force yourself to do whatever everyone else is doing or what works for your friend or loved one. Ideas for other ways to improve your health through moving include: hiking, taking dancing lessons, building a garden or training for a 5K or marathon. You don’t want to commit to a single thing? Then don’t!

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Mix things up on your own or join Class pass, Lymber or other options that give you the opportunity to sample out different studios and gyms. Regardless of what you do, keep your body guessing & sprinkle in some variation.

3. Stretch and Cool Down. It is important to continue (and even increase the length of time that we do it) stretching and a good cool down as we get older. Sure you can still run the basketball court at full tilt with the youngins. But you need to incorporate some dynamic movements into your workout to prime that body better to do what you expect it to do. Keeping those joints lubricated and fostering mobility is key to keeping you off of the injured list.

4. Test Your Balance. Like everything else that changes in us as we get older is our balance. This does NOT mean that we lose it. Remember that saying – Move It or Lose it? Yes, that applies here too. Read for yourself about the importance of balance training for older adults.

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5. Thumbs Up To Strength Training. Some time of resistance such as dumbbells, body weight, resistance bands, sandbags, kettlebells machines etc. The numerous benefits include improving your bone density, helping to maintain your weight. Think about training for life. You need strength to do many movements that seem effortless because we have the strength and endurance to do so. Don’t wait until you are having difficulty carrying those groceries or squat down to get something off the floor. Improve your quality of life & avoid falling into the pit of thinking that you can’t preserve or even improve the strength that you do have. As with anything involving fitness keep on challenging yourself but allow for the time to learn and improve.

Check Out.png6. Think About What You Are Eating. Okay, do more than think – study. There is no denying that what you put in your body will not only affect your mood but also how your body runs and your fitness level. Take accountability of this fact. However, this does not mean being completely strict to the point that eating is a chore full of math and calculations. It does not have to be. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a qualified nutritionist that can help you on your lifelong path of health.

7. Improve Your Posture. Improved posture can be a byproduct of a moving in ways that get you on the fitness train. Contribute to that by looking at what you are putting our your feet every day. Yes, heels are bad for you. Maybe by this point that is not going to change this quickly – then take the first step to being proactive. Start showing your feet, calves and rest of your body some love and do the stretches. Also, it is time to ditch those favorite pair of workout shoes. Treat yourself and exercise on some old soles that are not making those knees happy. If yoga or other mind/body forms of fitness are of interest to you reset your body often so it does not get stuck in that sitting down all day or other habits that lead to bad posture.

say no to gimmicks

8. Avoid Gimmicks or Jumping on the Latest Fad. As the saying goes, if it is too good to be true definitely applies to fitness and your health. Do your research as if you were buying a used car, investing in a house or some other big transaction. This should be no different if not more important – this is your body. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For sure try out new things, just understand that there is no one-size fits all aspect to fitness and one’s progress.

Kid, consistent9. Whatever You Decide to do, Keep Doing It!  Securing a membership at the most killer studio with amazing equipment, flexible hours and great staff on hand to help you is awesome. But if the only thing you are doing is paying membership every month then that should be canceled asap. Setting up a walking date with a friend 3 days out of the week or committing to walking the dog longer every week is something to build on. Stick to something that you enjoy doing & set yourself up for success. Often gathering momentum is the hardest part, but be assured it takes effort to achieve your fitness goals!

 

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Mobility & Balance – Move it Or Lose It!


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Being able to move freely or easily is something can be taken for granted. Reaching back to put up your hair could be an automatic motion for you. You could not even fathom that tying a jacket around your waist to be an arduous task. Or let’s talk about your balance. It could be something that you only think of when you see gymnasts or when you try standing one leg. Walking up stairs seems more like an increase in elevation than a balancing act.  In addition, shifting a bag of groceries while walking does not seem like your balance is tested.

Mobility and stability are something that makes moving throughout life easier. When an individual is unable to do everyday tasks, this will affect their lives and well-being. Becoming empowered to regain one’s mobility and balance will put him or her on a path to being more self-sufficient, more confident and improve their way of life.

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What happens when mature and seniors lose their mobility and stability? If we don’t know someone like this we may pass them on the street or help them at the grocery store. This lack of good physical performance has a cumulative effect.  There was a study published in 2015 – Age-associated declines in muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance: impact on fear of falling and quality of life.  A excerpt is quoted below.

Summary: This 3-year longitudinal study among older adults showed that declining muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance are independent contributing factors to increased fear of falling, while declines of muscle mass and physical performance contribute to deterioration of quality of life. Our findings reinforce the importance of preserving muscle health with advancing age.”

The facts are glaring. In San Diego 1 in 3 seniors fall each year. In 2013 in San Diego 17,224 seniors were treated and discharged from Emergency Departments. San Diego Elderly Falls Report.

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Even though we may not consider climbing stairs as using balance…we do balance. When walking at some point one foot is off the ground and you are balancing while in motion. Photo Credit.

And you know what was two of the things that the fall was caused by? Yep, you got it – balance & mobility.

What can be done to decrease this chance of falling? Yes, exercise.

No matter what your age stay empowered to choose to move in the so many forms of exercise. If you don’t move it, eventually you will lose it. The good news is that it can be regained. Seek out your doctor to learn how other factors such as medication can affect your mobility and balance. Get cleared to exercise. Then seek out a qualified professional that can help you move better.

You have a great sense of balance and your mobility is good? Great, don’t stop! If you are feeling challenged seek out those that are qualified and excited to help you move better.

-Damien

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Use Your Body – Move It, Test It


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Only if we actually test ourselves or apply something we know do we find out our true capabilities. This rings true when it comes to our own physical fitness. You can run 4 miles with ease, you are good at climbing over things or you ride 10 miles on your bicycle a day. It is obvious to you that you can do it. However, the best way to assess and challenge your fitness level is to seek out a way to put it to the test. Sure there are aesthetic benefits to this, but instead of that you are more focused on what is even more important – results!! Below are some ideas on how to do this.

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Photo Credit – Westend61/Creative RF/Getty

Map a course, plan your own “event” & get a timer

One of the easiest options is to do set out the route, mileage or goal to accomplish. Then set some prescribed goal and go for it! Even if this is the same route that you always do, this time it is different with the timer running. It can be very motivating when something is under timed conditions when usually the goal was just to do it.

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Track your progress

Building upon the 1st idea…Create a simple excel document to make a tracking document. All you really need is the name of activity, date and time. You can add extra columns for notes that you can add after that day like how you were feeling, what you ate before etc. Now you have a bar set after day one of recording your time. Having this on the wall will not only motivate you but you will also soon see patterns in your performance. Perhaps you didn’t sleep well the night before, stretched out the night before or had one too many cocktails the night before. All of those factors and more can affect how you do. Now you can understand more about your own body and learn how to make your weaknesses strengths.

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Competitor Gear Run Guide gives some options

Use the technology & the gadgets

There is technology that allows you can tap into an online community to test yourself. Posting your times on a website will give you the satisfaction, motivate others and make you feel part of the larger community. Wearing gadgets that automatically posts times of your results is another way to enter into fun competitions of one’s physical fitness. The options are quite varied and more come out every day so there are many ways to use technology with yourself or as part of a community.

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Signed up, check, crushed it – check! 🙂

Sign up for a race, train and crush it on race day

Now unplugging from the online community you could show up on race day! Now you have shifted fully into training mode. Now you have your sights set on a particular day. It is time to truly channel that inner athlete and train. Avoid doing that specific movement every session. It is time to challenge the body in ways that can build the foundation around completing the event well. Do your homework on the event – terrain, what the course includes or gear that would make it easier is very relevant to your training.

 

 

 

 

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How to Use a Race as Motivation to Exercise – Part 2


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Okay, I am in! How do I figure out how to get ready for the event I have my eye on?

Awesome! First, check the website of the event. See if they have any tips, groups, meetups etc that can help you train for the event. Also as I pointed out above – do your homework. To explain, the terrain, climate and length are all important so you should know as much as you can before it. Some OCR’s may have some surprise obstacles but overall they will give an overview on their website. Next, you should know if certain gear/clothing is helpful. For instance I would suggest that you should wear different running shoes when on pavement vs. technical trails with loose dirt, rocks and inclines. Of course – end of the day your budget may decide what you can do! Lastly, I can’t emphasize this enough – give yourself 2+ months (depending on the length of the event) to train for the event especially if you are getting back on the exercise train!

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Bootcamp Challenge post a lil shower & in between obstacles

Alright, race – check…training schedule – check…wait this schedule is tough!

Yes, training should not be a walk in the park! It should start off at where you are at and over time increase in difficulty with some time to back off in some sections. My take on this is that I would rather be sore, exhausted etc during training than on the actual day. It is the cumulative work and effort that you put into your training that will allow you to meet the goal that you set out in front of you. Whatever happens you will be closer to meeting that goal on race day than trying to do it right after you clicked that button! Push through the tough days & don’t look back. Believe me there are some days I wonder if I just started working out. We all have those days/weeks etc. Just stay focused on that date!

Rally the cheering section

Forward your confirmation e-mail of signing up for the event to your friends and family. This is not a chance to be bashful, It is an opportunity to brag & get some support! You will do this! Nothing is better than having your own cheering section waiting for you at the finish line. A ride to the event does not hurt either, along with your personal paprizzi to document it all. Also you may inspire someone else to do it too, which leads me to the next section…

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Where our Ragnar team called home for 48 hours or so in Colorado…

Get a partner in crime

You don’t have to do this alone! If you work better with someone else training at the same time (if not with you) and showing up on race day with you then make it happen. Loved one, son, daughter, co-worker are great ideas for someone to do it with. Hey if you get a big enough group maybe you should give Ragnar a shot!

Celebrate after you crossed that finish line

Don’t forget about the sweetest part! Celebrate! I don’t think I have to explain how to do that 🙂 Then after that, when is the next race?

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What now?

Maybe you have a race in mind & your fingers are itching to click on that purchase button…or you already have. But then you are wondering how to best prepare even after reading this. There are many resources out there that can help you. There are many websites (paid but most are free) that provide a training schedule for 5k races to marathons and everything in between. Try one and make it your own. As for OCR’s many people blog about their experience in a specific race and how they trained. So check them out.  Especially for OCRs you want to have an idea about the climbing/lifting/crawling/fill-in-the-blank so know the climbing/lifting/crawling/fill-in-the-blank that you will be doing. Aside from online resources about whatever you plan to do – if you go to a gym talk to the people that work there. Or seek out a personal trainer that is experienced enough to work with you and set up a training schedule that is more personalized. You got this!