Never Give Up, There Is Always A Way!

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up.” That is one of the most motivational quotes I have ever read and of my favorites. It is so fitting for those rough days or times when things just are not going right. Let’s face it, there are many days when we could pack it in. I lecture my clients often that if it is important enough you will find a way. If something is important enough it will change your mindset.

This past Saturday I dealt with just that thought process. I was working with a long time client of mine. From way back when she started with me many years ago we knew she would one day need a knee replacement. Actually she would need two. So we have always modified the exercises based on how she was feeling, what she needed, and what exercises we needed to avoid.

We are a little less than a month before her second knee replacement surgery. We need to work around the issue but we really want to make sure that she is keeping her legs strong ahead of surgery. After her first surgery she was still so strong that she was way ahead of the curve in regards to recovery. The two of us had to find an exercise that would allow us to maintain her strength. Even her PT was impressed!

I came up with a new use for my cable weight stack. We have been using it for about the last three weeks. It has been great training option for her as any knee dominant movement like squats, lunges, step-ups, etc are difficult and painful. We have been doing forward and backward walking while using a triceps rope handle. It has been an awesome way to train.

I really like the fact that we can walk and pull going both forward and backward. I feel this maintains an optimal muscle balance, and hits the glutes, quads, etc, without having to use the movements mentioned above that aggravate the symptoms.

While this is not a perfect alternative to direct knee dominant and even hip dominant (kettlebell swings, deadlift variations,etc), it has been allowing us to get in a positive training effect. At the end of the day if you can walk away from any type of training you are doing with a great effect that is a win in my book any day. Never give up!

Happy Training!

Hitting Reset

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B,A,B, A. That was the ultimate video game code from one of my all-time favorite games, Contra, for the old Nintendo Entertainment System or NES. It provided you with 100 lives. Those extra lives were more than enough to get to the end and reach your goal. If only running were that easy. You could simply start right off where you died. At worst you could hit reset and start over.

Ok well thankfully and much less dramatically I did not die, so that is a plus! However my April training has in a sense died in its forward progress. I have had to overcome so many obstacles this year in my training that I have decided to not run in this year’s Connecticut Master’s Games. The last two years I had competed at the Games. This always the main race in my schedule and is usually one of my first which is only adding to my disappointment.

My April started off great! I was hitting some really great numbers in regards to weekly mileage, number of quality runs, and pace. That is until the week before Easter and we had  to help my wife get to Florida for work.  Kids on vacation, many of my clients away, new tires, an oil change and we were underway on our impromptu ‘family’ vacation.

I had many mixed feeling of this. Recently I had been complaining to my wife that we had not had a real ‘vacation’ in forever. Well now we were and not only that we were going to the Star Wars Celebration too! This was going to be an incredible experience I could share with my daughters. From lunch with two sets of aunts and uncles to an airboat tour this was going to be a busy trip.  However with the crazy hours my wife has to work there was literally no time to get any training in. I literally did run one mile.

This should have been my last big push before the Master’s Games. I really needed to get some quality speedwork sessions in on the track since that is where the competition is held. With the late Winter snows, local high schedule, and my daughter’s schedules, track workouts, my bread and butter have not been consistent

I got home from Orlando the Monday after Easter around 1:30am. As tired I was I dragged myself out of bed. I trained a client then went for an easy run. The goal was five miles but ended up being 4.30. I threw in a couple striders then headed home. I started to feel really tight in my right quad. I thought to myself, you did not run all last week why run faster than your easy pace? Well the next morning my quad bothered me even more. Fast forward to the weekend and between weather, local high school sports, and my quad once again there is no speedwork to be done.  This weekend brought more of the same as my daughter had a soccer tournament both days.

Factoring all these things in I have decided to not run in the Master’s Games. I am actually ok with it. I was leaning toward that decision on Sunday anyway. While at my daughter’s soccer game on Sunday there was a baseball game going on behind us on an adjacent field. I used to play on a softball team and even got to go play in the U.K. and Scotland one year. After that, I also began playing vintage base ball (yes two words in 1864 the year of the rules we followed). I stopped playing both once my daughter started playing travel soccer, I never wanted to miss any of her games. I thought I would miss it, but I never did. That is how I knew it was right for me to stop playing.

Oddly enough I feel the same now. I’m disappointed at losing the opportunity to compete but am totally ok with my decision.  I refuse to look back on the great trip I had with my girls to Orlando and the Star Wars Celebration with anything other than the joy and happiness I felt there. It was truly an experience I will never forget. That fact that I shared it with my daughters is even better. I was getting so focused on my training I was losing sight of the bigger picture, which was one of the things I blogged about in my “Everything I Know About Running I Learned From Start Wars” blog post, specifically #38.

What I will do though is hit reset on my training. Like those old school video games you could hit restart or revert back to your saved game. While I cannot back and start right where I left off I also do not need to throw out all my training and start over. I will be smart and ease back into it.

I have now set new goals. I have a Father’s Day race coming up in June, and will that as a tune up and springboard into some summer Cross Country races, and maybe I will still compete on the track this summer.  I have now had three weeks, one where I had no running at all, and two others with very reduced mileage and inconsistency.

My focus has been not on myself but helping my oldest daughter and her soccer team by filling in a bit in the coaching area. My other focus is on my youngest daughter who has been dealing with some challenges. We have been trying to work through them and rather than focus on my own running and victories I want to celebrate hers. 

I am now feeling mentally ready to take on my first real training in almost a month. I feel renewed mentally and physically. Today I find myself ready and looking forward to the miles! I believe I should have backed off my training earlier in the winter but that is neither here nor there. I am where I should be based on circumstances, with my feet pointed straight, my laces double knotted, and my Garmin trying to connect.

Everything I Know About Running I Learned From Star Wars

I am back from a long week of vacation down to Orlando Florida. My wife had a business trip planned at the same time my daughters were on spring break from school.  She had an issue with her flight and had to find a way to get to FL.  So, since most of my clients were also going to be away for the week we loaded our two daughters and drove straight through the night.

I have been a fan of Star Wars ever since I first saw it on the big screen when I was just four. I have been obsessed with it since. My daughters have also become huge fans. So getting to go to the Star Wars Celebration was an amazing experience I got to share with them. The celebration was especially amazing since it was the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars. I cannot put into words how incredible and surreal it was. From the people I met, the things I saw, and best of the fact that I spent I did with my two daughters is priceless. The people dressed up really at times made you feel as though you were in that galaxy far, far away.

I saw a really cool image from the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars that had 30 life lessons from Star Wars. I thought that was a great idea and decided I would create and share with you my own list of things I learned from Star Wars and how that applies to my other love, which is running but with a 40th Anniversary spin. Besides my faith and family, which of course come first Star Wars and running are a huge part of my life. When you are passionate about something it is not just something you do, but something that becomes a part of you. Here is where I warn you of the many pictures and Star Wars puns, pictures and references that are coming. After the first lesson they are not in any particular order of importance. I find #39 particularly insightful.

Everything I Learned About Running I Learned From Star Wars 40th Anniversary

1)      “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” –Jedi Master Yoda Put simply if something is important to you will focus your efforts toward that pursuit. Saying you will try implies you are not putting you full heart into it.

 

2)      There are always two. A Master and an Apprentice. Never stop learning. There are always ways we can make ourselves better runners.

3)      Embrace being a Master (runner). I embrace the fact that I am getting older. However running and taking myself keeps me younger. The alternative is not being able to run.

4)      Anger, fear, aggression lead to the dark side.  Don’t chase the easy oath. Do not cheat, cut courses, compete using banned substances, bandit races, etc. You do not just hurt other but yourself in the long run.

5)      “Size matters not. Judge me by size do you?” –Jedi Master Yoda.  Do not judge others. We are all runners now matter our size or shape.

6)      “Don’t underestimate the power of the Force”- Darth Vader Believe in yourself. You can accomplish so much more with confidence then you can with negative thoughts.

7)      “Great kid! Don’t get cocky”- Han Solo Remember there is always someone faster or that can run farther than you. Do not put others down, instead build them up. We are all in this galaxy together.

8)      Faith in your family and friends is an asset not a weakness. Our families and friends are truly so much a part of our success.

9)      Running has been the best way for me personally to keep myself from looking like the guy behind us. Find modes of exercise that fit your needs.

10)   “I have a bad feeling about this.” (Who hasn’t said this line in Star Wars?) Let’s face it. There are times when we are training when even before we start we are not quite feeling it. We cannot give up in those moments. If we gave up everything we aren’t 100% or into it, we would hardly ever train.

11)   Find new ways to motivate yourself and others. Along this line Star Wars songs from the soundtrack can really help motivate and make a run feel epic.

12)   “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”- Obi Wan Kenobi Do not attribute your successes or failures to luck. A lot of preparation and work goes in training. Do not minimize your effort and do not make excuses for a lack of it.

13)   “It’s a trap!” Admiral Ackbar You cannot out train out run a poor diet. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you can eat anything. Most people do not have that kind of metabolism.

14)   “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve par secs.” –Han Solo Speed work is a huge part of getting faster. It cannot be ignored.

15)   “Stop taking my hand! – Rey in The Force Awakens. When I first run with my daughters they have always wanted to hold my hand. I have since let go and though we still run together I have let go and let them run on their own but stay close to support them.

16)   “Is that possible?” -Rey to Han Solo. “I never ask that question until after we’ve done it.” –Han Solo in response. Never sell yourself short and do not be afraid to try new things.

17)   “If you want to be successful in a particular field, perseverance is one of the key qualities.”-George Lucas

18)   “Always pass on what you have learned.”-Yoda to Luke That is why I love training clients and helping people to run faster. I love to share my knowledge and help others achieve their goals. That is another great aspect of the running community. There are so many in the running community who are willing to share things they have learned.

19)   “Your focus determines your reality.”-Qui-Gon Jinn  

20)   “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”-Darth Vader If you don’t believe in yourself who will?

21)   “Be brave and don’t look back. Don’t look back.”-Shmi Skywalker When  you are running focus and run the mile you are in. Do not stress and use energy on the miles already behind you or that lay ahead.

22)   “Never tell me the odds.”-Han Solo Don’t worry about odds. Most runners might never win a race but if they focus on that it takes away from what they can accomplish. You don’t know what you can truly do until you try it.

23)   “Sometimes we must let go of our pride.” -Padme

24)   “You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plough straight ahead.”-George Lucas

25)   Don’t end your training until it is finished. Do not choose the quick and easy path.

26)   “Patience you must have my young padawan.”- Yoda Keep your eye on the big picture but see the many steps it takes to get there.

27)   Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment. I feel this is so important and goes perfectly with #26 so I put them together.

28)   “There’s always a bigger fish.”- Qui-Gon Jinn There are always more accomplished runners. Do not adopt an elitist attitude.

29)   “You taught me well. I can handle anything.” Ahsoka Tano At a certain point there comes a time where we must let those we love succeed or fail on their own.

30)   Acting quickly does not always yield positive results. Pace yourself and good thigs can come to you at the end.

31)   “Would it help if I got out and pushed?”- The late Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia to Han Solo Sometimes we all need that person helping to push us on those tough days.

32)   “Stay on target,”- Gold Five Stay focused on your goals.

33)   “This is a new day, a new beginning.”- Ahsoka Tano Had a bad race or run? Tomorrow is a new day. Move on and let it go.

34)   “Let them pass in peace.”-Chirrut Imwe in Rogue One When on the track please move to the outer lanes if there is a faster runner or you are walking.

35)   “Nothing will stand in our way.”-Kylo Ren Refuse to be held back. Do all you can to reach your goals.

36)   Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself at times. Don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Laugh at your failures, learn from them, but it is ok to laugh.

37)   “It’s a chance for you to make a fresh start.”-Mon Mothma in Rogue One. Each race is a chance for a new PR or to get a positive training effect.

38)   “Be careful not to choke on your aspirations”-Darth Vader in Rogue One Do not get tunnel vision where all you do is run, and train, at the expense of family and your loved ones.

39)   “Arrgg grrrrr arrrg”-Chewbacca ( That is deep Chewy)

40)   The Force will be with you…always.

May the Force Be With You. Happy training.

Take Your Speedwork Off The Traditional Track For a Change Of Pace

It’s  time to get speedwork in on the track! I am not sure about where you live Spring has definitely sprung here. We are still having some chilly wet days, but for the most part the weather has been seasonable. Even better yet, the snow is gone except for some stubborn piles pushed into mounds that are doing their best to resist the inevitable.

With the return of Spring comes the ability to get more speedwork in in the local track.The thought of that makes me estatic!  In bad weather, hills and the beach provide the best locations for speedwork. During the week the local high school track is off limits to the public. This is when I bring my speed sessions to the track at the local city hall. It is a mixture or dirt, clay, and crushed gravel. It is by far not the best to use when trying to maintain a certain pace or hit certain splits. If you throw out the pace and other numbers there are a few reasons I love taking speedwork off the road, beach and even the high school track which is made up of polyurethane or rubber.

1)      Running on the dirt/clay/crushed gravel is  less impact on the legs than running on the high school track. It is an ideal way to still get in speed work without the wear and tear and pounding on your lower body.

2)      The track outlines the baseball field. I will sometimes run on the inside edge of the grass. This slows me down quite a bit but I like to use it the instability of the grass to help strengthen the small muscles of the feet, ankle and lower leg.

3)      Running on the grass further allows part me to reduce ground reaction forces even further for parts of my run.

4)      Running on these types of surfaces are like strength training while running. If you can run hard on less than optimal surfaces that can translate to faster speeds when on surfaces that allow for increased speed.

5)      It allows you to focus on things others than your watch. I am sure you are like me and at times catch yourself glancing at your watch too often. Believe me I understand there are plenty of times where hitting certain splits is important. On different surfaces I can ignore paces and splits and just focus on other things, foot turnover, running mechanics, and perceived exertion.

6)      The particular track I use during the week is not your typical oval. This can be a good option for you the runner since unless you need to know exact splits you can do striders on the straightaways and jog for recovery the curves. With the less than oval shape of the shape of the track there are actually three curves and straightaways. If you can find one similar this gives you different options and can provide your running a different stimulus.

With the five reasons I gave above for why I love not always using a traditional track for speedwork I hope it challenges you to try it out. If you are not already using a track for speedwork now might be the time. You might save yourself some wear and tear and start running faster.

Happy training!

Falling Starts Drill: Using a Sprint Drill For Better Running Form

We are finally in the last week of March and finally closer to more spring like temperatures. But, it sure doesn’t feel that way here in Connecticut. It’s been cold and there were still some last vestiges of winter on the local high school track this weekend.  However, I decided one way or another I was going to get some quality sprint work in.

Since my driveway was clear of snow and ice I decided to use the Falling Start drill. I really like using falling starts a lot. You see them mostly used in sprint training. If you saw my blog post from a couple weeks ago adding some direct sprint training can be helpful to distance runners. I would suggest going to back and reading it.

A runner being able to maintain proper posture when running is very important to run efficiently and can help reduce the ground impact forces. Without a good forward lean you can have a harder time propelling yourself forward. This can result in loss of running efficiency, slower speeds, and more impact on the joints. So, whether running for distance, sprinting, or doing intervals posture plays a big role.

Falling Starts are typically used in sprint training. There are a  variety of reasons I have used this drill with clients, Speed Agility and Quickness classes I have taught, coaching soccer, and within my own training. Below are some reasons why I like this drill.

  • Falling Starts make it easier to land with your feet under your body and on your forefoot. This makes it easier to avoid certain negatives aspects of running such as heel striking.
  • It allows your strides to stay shorter especially at the start. No matter the type of running you do this will help you. You cannot accelerate while your feet are in the air. The more ground contact you have the more acceleration you have.
  • As with the above I like this for distance running since it helps to remind me to keep my feet moving resulting in a higher cadence or steps per minute.
  • By having a forward leaning posture you maintain a more optimal shin angle. The angle of the shin helps to determine the force application. A slightly different example of a positive force angle is a lateral lunge. If you step out far enough your knee stays inside of your ankles and allows your body to push yourself back to the starting position optimally. Distance runners will not likely have as steep an angle as a sprinter.
  • Many distance runners, and those doing intervals do not usually make sprints a part of their training. I like the falling starts since there is a little momentum ahead of the actual sprint. Sprinting is a ballistic movement and if the body is not prepared for it there can be pulled muscle or worse even a tear. Falling starts can help to reduce the intensity of the start phase or drive phase of the sprint.
  • This drill can help with triple extension of the ankle, knee and hip.
  • Falling Starts may be a good way to transition an athlete whose recovering from injury to higher intensity running.

Here are some quick coaching cues before you get started.

  • Be sure you allow yourself plenty of time to be sure you are thoroughly warmed up.
  • Aim to land with your feet directly under your center of mass or hips, possibly even slightly behind.
  • The body can be out in front at a 45 degree angle slightly less so if distance running.
  • Engage and brace your core. This means keeping it tight but not sucked in.
  • Drive those arms! Do not let them drop below waist height.
  • Keep driving those arms. Think cheek to cheek. As one arm drives back your hand goes back and toward your glutes. At the same time your other hand should come up toward your facial cheek. The arms are roughly kept at 90 degrees.
  • Aim to complete 6-12 total Falling Starts. Allow yourself up to 60-90 seconds recovery in between each repetition. Even if you do not feel you need it your body needs the recovery time to allow the chemical processes that make up contractions to replenish themselves. Slowly build your way up to the 12 reps.
  • Finish running your falling start up to 30 yards.

It is important to remember that sprints, falling starts included, are not the same as striders that many runners add at the end of easier runs. These are very hard intense runs at close if not maximum speeds. These can be a nice addition to your training.

Happy training!

Feel Good Friday: Care For Your Feet

Since last April it seems my family is being cursed with ankle and foot injuries. First it was my wife and her broken ankle and then this summer my foot/ankle was injured and finally the last couple weeks my oldest daughter had been fighting off an ankle injury from soccer. Fortunately for my family and I we do not believe in curses. The next step then is to treat the ankle and feet from the ground up.

One of the strength coaches, whom I follow, said and I paraphrase, “When there is an injury do not just look at the area injured. Look above and below the injury when trying to discern the cause of the injury.”

So when treating or pre-habbing (hopefully we avoid rehab) I look to the bottom of the foot first. We start at the bottom of the foot because that is where the back fascial line begins. First let us take a quick look at what is fascia. I do not want to get too scientific but a quick introduction to fascia will help as you read the rest of the article and see how you can benefit from the exercises.

The fascia is basically a connective tissue made up from bundled up collagen fibers.  The fascia envelops a muscle and can affect how our muscles are functioning and thus can affect our posture. If there is tension in one area such as in our example the base of the foot and the start of the back fascial line begins, then it could have implications further up the line. There have even been links to headaches being caused by lower extremity issues all the way down into the foot.

The back fascial line travels up from the plantar fascia (the bottom of the foot), then up the calves through the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius, where it then passes through the biceps femoris (hamstrings), then the sacrotuberous ligament on your “sit bones”, through the lumbar spine, and then finally ends its trip at the base of the skull then stopping at the top of the head to your eyebrows.

It is no wonder with how many areas of your body the back line fascia travels that it can cause a multitude of injuries. From plantar fasciitis, to Achilles tendonitis, tight or injured hamstrings, low back pain, neck pain, and even vison and breathing issues, among some others, how important it is to take care of the fascia in your feet.

Now that we have gone over what fascia is and how any injury or issue with it can cause injuries or problems let us now look at a couple simple things you can do at home to treat yourself. We are still thinking prehab before rehab. Believe me the latter will be longer and much more frustrating.

As a runner I know my feet can take a pounding even when I focus on landing softly and not heel striking. While I wimg_0548as dealing with my own ankle injury I would spend between 10-20 minutes per day post run doing an ice bath. I would suggest watching TV, reading a book, or having your phone close as a distraction. The first five minutes can be pretty tough but I felt it really made a difference and once I started using the ice bath I feel my recovery increased.

Another form of self-treatment and care is self-myofascial release or SMFR. http://www.on-your-marc.com/dynamic-stretching-foam-rolling/ I am sure many of you have used or at least seen someone using a foam roll. I like to perform SMFR on my feet prior to running as a way to wake the feet up and get them ready to run. The foot has a few large nerves, but as with the palms it has many more small nerves that are very sensitive, performing SMFR can help to wake them up.

img_5434I start off performing foot SMFR first using a tennis ball because at first it can be uncomfortable especially if you have never done it before. Then eventually we will move on to using a lacrosse ball which is much denser. After that we graduate to using a golf ball. The golf ball is much denser and being of a smaller diameter you can really pinpoint certain spots on your feet a lot more precisely. You can spend between 1-2 minutes per foot preferably before your other leg stretches.

img_5439There is also a great stretch you can do that would benefit anyone but runners can really get a lot from this. Sit carefully back on your glutes and tuck your toes under and you slowly and I repeat slowly, lean back and add some of your upper body weight back and more centered over your feet. You will try to hold this static stretch for at least 10 seconds. Eventually you can build up your time to 30 seconds and even up to 60 seconds. Some studies show no increased benefit from holding stretches over 30 seconds, so the length of your hold can be to your personal preference but should never hurt. I would also be careful doing this stretch if you have knee issues as the increased torque from having them bent under you can be painful.

img_5441Now that your feet are stretched out and ready to go yet another way you can help out those feet that are such hard workers and may be bearing the brunt of over 2x your bodyweight is to wear compressions socks. They can increase muscle firing and help reduce ground reaction forces that are so tough on everyone and not just runners.

I hope I gave you some tools in your arsenal to help keep not just your feet healthy but possible other body parts further up your back fascial line. As always happy and healthy running!

Feel Good Friday: Soleus Calf Raises

Well it is another Friday and time for another Feel Good Friday blog post. This week we will return our focus to the ankle complex. If you recall from a blog post a couple weeks back the ankle plays a large role in running. Even more of a role for runners as they get older. Today we will look at and target the soleus muscle which plays a role in ankle movement.

The soleus muscle is one of two large muscles in the calf. The gastrocnemius is the muscle that you typically see especially as you watch someone perform standing calf raises. The soleus sits underneath the gastrocnemius and aids in deceleration of the tibia. This is the lower leg, and during running it comes forward as the ankle dorsiflexes and the tibia angles forward. Dorisflexion is the foot bending backward toward the shin.

The soleus is not worked enough through the standard standing calf raises. Today I will share an exercise that you can do to target it. The soleus muscle makes up the Achillies tendon. As such strengthening it can help prevent and reduce Achilles tendon stress.  The soleus calf raise can help build strength endurance since the soleus helps to push. Building strength endurance will allow you to apply your strength repeatedly over a long extended period of time. Running is a great example, but also activities where a lot of stress takes place around the ankle complex.

Some progressions of the exercise you can do can would be to add weight in the form of dumbbells, or a weight vest. Another progression could also be to begin doing the exercise unilaterally, one leg at a time. You can also progress the unilateral version of this exercise by increasing weights the weight used as well.

Happy Training!                                 

Beware the Slides of March

It is going to be a tough week to find time to blog. My daughters were home after school canceled yesterday. Now they have a two hour delay. In between getting them ready for school I thought I would try to post something. We have received a last (hopefully) blast of winter here in the Northeast. Thankfully the snow turned to sleet which kept the snow totals down. However it did leave everything a complete sheet of ice. Beware the slides of March.

My driveway and the roads are just not safe today. Here in Connecticut many roads do not have shoulders to run on. That forces the plows to push all the snow onto the sidewalks. With these factors it makes sense to move training indoors. It can make for dangerous running as everyone slides around. That goes for both runners and drivers.

I know for many it is a badge of honor to run in all conditions. I take pride in this was well. However today I will swap my outdoor training for a strength training session. I’ll take tomorrow as it comes. I do not subscribe to the “No Pain No Gain” mentality when I train clients, and I follow that rule of thumb for my own training. I believe in avoiding injury so it is possible to train.

Be smart. I know we all try to run outside during all conditions. In this case beware the slides of March! Injuries can derail the best laid plans.

Happy and smart training!

Feel Good Friday: Resisted Psoas Holds

Core strength is important for running, strengthening, and most movement. I include the hip flexors in core training as they play a role. We need to move away from the thought of core training as the just the “six pack” rectus abdominus muscles.

The exercise that I am going to show will involve many of the muscles that make up the core. I like to use mini resistance bands for this. This exercise can be used as a warmup. Psoas holds can also be used as a specific core exercise. One quick note on progression before I share the video. Once you can complete the 2-3 sets of 10 second holds you can increase the resistance of the bands. You can also bring your knees higher toward your chest over the 90 degree angle. That would work the illopsoas. It does not get challenged until above 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your lower back, lumbar spine in contact with the floor or mat.

Happy Training!

Today Is My Birthday And I Don’t Care

Today is my birthday! I do not give a rat’s rear end about it. Oh sure, I’ll celebrate with my family later this evening. I have earned it with all the hard work I have been putting in. The family time will be what I really celebrate and look forward to. I also look forward to hearing from long time friends.

I usually do not care about my birthday. In fact there have been some I did not even acknowledge like my 40th. It came and went. I find it helps me keep a competitive edge not acknowledging it. So I will allow my family to celebrate it, especially my daughters. While the number of my age has changed at the end of the day I am only one day older than yesterday.

Father Time is undefeated.  While I do not feel my age I know someday this is a battle I will lose. However if Father Time thinks I’m going quietly he is severely underestimating me. It reminds me of the poem by Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
 
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

As you saw in the workouts I have sharing, sprinting and strength training I will do all I can to fight. I will lift, run, sprint, push, pull, jump, claw, scratch. Whatever I have to do I will. Father Time is in for a battle. Rage!