So what does it all mean? And does it really matter?
The warm up asked everyone to work on to parts of the running stride.
1. The lift phase
2. The contact phase
With many an interpretation of running methods out there, we are consistent to coach physical engagement and never deliver opinion that asks someone to unsubscribe from how they are already moving.
The aim is to strengthen, lengthen, speed up, empower and improve our clients body and mind.
A simple exercise of counting to 4 (or 8 or 16 and so on) and repeating it to one self at a particular point in the stride cycle WILL enhance control, power, efficiency and endurance.
The stats can help and it does tell us something that can be utilised.
The regular stride rate of the client from the first graph is 170 steps per minute. 85 per leg turning over on the longer runs. Fine, not a problem. Injury free and enjoying the outdoor efforts.
During the sprint drills the cadence has increased to 178-182 spm. The group were only asked to employ the count to initiate lift or in time with contact. No one was asked to ‘speed’ up their tempo.
Awareness of each lift is actually helping them to fall quicker to the next step, and the power of the lift increases stride length. Likewise, placing focus into the contact phase is allowing the power of the hips and leg muscles express themselves, also increasing turnover and stride length. Fuller recruitment which WILL enhance the ability at steady state pace.
Win win. Practiced often enough and the individual will experience the benefits crossing over into endurance runs and faster splits over 1-3 miles.
If this approach to run training has been of interest then come and join us at our group training sessions in Poole or contact Madmule for training advice and training programme support.
Best in training & health
Just about every professional can translate their method of work into a successful method of how to train.
Whatever your professional template is, it has a structure that leads to a successful outcome when followed through. Over the years, I have established, one of the best ways to get a client to achieve their training goals is to ask them to relate to their work knowledge and experience. There has never failed to be a crossover that links that individual to getting closer to realising their ambitions.
We can talk all day long about the anatomy, training effects, percentages of intensity and delivery of movement. One of the ways to help someone connect the dots and place value to the recovery practices, nutrition prep and holding the recommended intensity is to ask what they do for a living, and how do they operate in that environment to be successful. From this, we establish the positive traits they bring to the workplace, and therefore these are attributes that have to be mirrored, directly and indirectly, to the training plan.
Just like the workplace being "up and down" from day to day, so will any effort to build a fitness platform over a year.
What are you doing about the down days at work? These strengths of overcoming a hurdle are frequently seen during a hard training session, an event or completing activity when you least feel like it.
What is happening during the up days at work? Enthusiasm and motivation to follow through with the system that got you there, and normally achieved by persevering with confidence that the result will come. Again, these directly correlate with how you might approach your personal fitness and activity.
What are your strengths in the workplace?
How can you better make use of them in your personal health and fitness?
It is likely, that by answering the above, you will be better placed to use your strengths in achieving your personal goals, which in turn will lead to better health to take to the workplace.
Up and down is what we have experienced in 2018.
It is going to be exactly the same in 2019.
Just by how much the divide reveals itself is to be discovered.
Remember, it is normal and no one is getting it right 100% of the time.
Best in health and happiness.
Apply your strengths at work to your personal activity plan and who knows what you'll see.
What about a fresh approach to your weekly visit to the local Parkrun on your doorstep.
* you are a regular
* you are experiencing a plateua
* one of your only opportunities in the week is the Parkrun
* you love attending but do have a desire to get quicker
* it's hurting more with little or no gains
Here's the proposed change and plan of action. I will stress this is only to focus on the park run visits, and for the sake of time, presume the other sessions remain and develop in line with the key session on the Saturday. The best case scenario is to contact us for a personal plan to be coached, speak to your running club coach or qualified coach at the gym.
You have nothing to lose by committing a few visits that leave you with a renewed vigour. Lessen the intensity overall by training smarter, sharper and with a spring in the step.
The real purpose of this blog is to highlight how easy it is to under perform by thrashing hard all the time. It is also true that many people experience over training efforts at very high thresholds, and then underperforming whilst experiencing the same high loads. that's when it becomes a case of concern. If you are pushing harder than ever and getting slower one of the following has to happen. Either make a change and approach with a new plan or continue and wait for something to break. And it will break.
None of us can go far wrong in turning up and enjoying it. We are very lucky that such an event is organised for the local community and encourages so many people to get out and move. At the same time, if you have lost your mojo, you will find it again. Change up the training, renewed time spent on planning, get out there and do it. Experience the rewards later.
Best in health.
Tonight at HILL, someone mentioned a tightness on the body that just felt a little unusual. Nothing that stopped them from moving well or had caused any discomfort. Here’s an immediate checklist that I go through when I experience any unusual feedback while competing a fitness training session.
# nutrition - with an uptake of training comes the uptake of good food, recovery and hydrated state. Muscle soreness can be directly attributed to something lacking pre/ post training. In my case it’s essential for the post meal to be in within 30 minutes otherwise my body is going catabolic and weight falls off on a heavy training week... not positive.
# shoes - are they worn and am I in need of a fresh set? Often, the simplest solution.
Observations of a critical mind
People are not active enough
People plant their own fears and doubts
People detrain their body
People complicate simple tasks, coaches included.
People depreciate themselves
People will continue to ache and break from inactive lifestyles more so than those who are active.
Observations of an optimistic mind
People are triers
People are capable of greatness
People are the most efficient, complex battery packs when charged frequently
People are at their best when mobile
People will ache more and break less with an active lifestyle
People are intrigued with unknowns and that tells me boundaries are for critical minds
People have attributes of animals that require nurturing.
People deserve to reward themselves with care, nourishment, borderless adventure and interaction.
Observations of this Madmule mind
People are complex artistry in motion
People's minds dictate how detrained their body's become.
People improve by thinking whilst doing, whilst regress when thinking about doing.
People are resilient, versatile and adapt with exposure to frequency of any experience.
People are mad. Each with his or her own understanding of what that means.
Since the beginning of all fitness related activities, circuit training has been at the forefront of how we have participated.
Bootcamp, HIIT, trademarked gym franchises, military fitness, body transformation gurus and never forget the multi station gender biased fit rooms. It's all circuit training, redefined, repackaged, realigned, repeated.
There's a reason for this. Circuit training is one of the most all rounded methods to link all our skillsets and conditioning into one effective workout that everyone can try. Every exercise can be regressed or progressed for an individual within a mass group. Circuit training is the bread and butter container. It is the very thing that moulds how the bread and butter turn out.
A positive group training environment will always leave you feeling empowered in what you have accomplished that day. Everyone will have walked away with a way of describing the experience differently. One individual may have out pressed everyone else and yet fallen over several times during an exercise that requires balance and coordination. The key with any long term engagement of circuit training formats is that is not overly formatted. Otherwise it narrows down the field who it relates to (unless stated of course). Circuit training will present new challenges, frequently, whilst always visiting the foundation exercises that demonstrate strong foundations are maintained.
20 years on from my time in the Marines, I have presented thousands of hours of circuit training to 1-1 and group clients. The Madmules keep coming back because " we never repeat a session". If everyone who turns up has a common specific goal then the session would align itself with that. This is what happens at H.I.L.L on a Monday night. Everyone has desire to run better for longer and faster. So the circuit is defined by this objective. This does not happen at the PARK i.T sessions. The common goal here is that everyone's time is precious and this hour is to help inspire positive lifestyle choices during the other 163. Whether that is grabbing the fresh air, topping up on the heart raiser, complimenting their own specific physical interesting other areas of training and exercise.
The format to achieve positive outcomes at a Madmule circuit session is K.I.S.S
Keep it simple stupid.
Within every session we have jumped, thrown, pressed, pulled, lifted, coordinated, balanced, reached, rotated in different directions, learned a new skill or refreshed an old one. We will have communicated to our bodies that all is well and had a firm reminder to keep moving to ensure it stays well. There is always laughter, always the chance of rain and everyone feeling better when finished. ALWAYS.
Whatever format of circuit training you are involved in, keep the frequency up, always feel challenged, know that competence in the basics is second to none and never shy from asking for a regression or progression of intensity or complexity for a given exercise.
To experience keeping it simple, get out and do.
Moving. Outdoors. It's which came first. The great nutrition or the effort to go and get great nutrition. Well, the madmule way is we have to move to get our food. Then the reward of eating afterwards. I'm not talking about fasting. It's just that at some point we all had to get off our butts and earn to go and get food. At some point it was no longer provided for us. So the first step is to remind ourselves that this is the case. The fitter we remain, the more likely we will be able to provide food to keep the cycle going. So, #1 on my list is to move. Move outdoors for at least 20 minutes everyday and place stress on the body. The rewards are only experienced by doing this frequently and the food choices will help to keep the string of movement consistent. then the two will blend in and support each other. Strip it back. get moving. get some fresh air.
The Autumn and Winter months provide just as much time to be active as the brighter side of the year. Less daylight can be instrumental for an individual to disrupt the strong foundations of health, fitness and vitality that has been acquired in Summer. It's also a time, particularly January, when many will throw themselves at catching up. This can have unfortunate results due to overtraining/ new activity induced injury, poor nutrition to support increased output and a drastic reduction in frequency by the end of February due to lack of planning, enjoyment and direction.
A challenge on the immediate horizon
Set a challenge that requires immediate action and isn't too far away in time. I've seen it many times where a client has a place in a Spring marathon such as London. They get the place in November. 6 months is a long way off to remain highly motivated for a single event. A typical outcome is that training consistently gets delayed, because that event is ages away, and training starts in earnest middle of January. Now, all that is going to happen is a game of catch up, mistakes and stress. A Madmule programme takes this into consideration of course ;-) . A nudge is all that it takes and we all respond to a positive nudge.
Reward and challenge yourself on a weekly basis. The relevance to long term goals helps, though is not essential.
Are you ready?
Wait for the Winter to pass and life itself will pass you by. You are not a bear. You cannot fly South. You have to make the most of the time available for activity in a world where you demand so much of your yourself. Look after the foundations. The foundation is you. Maintain it and it will be the biggest step to making gains you ever experience.
Best in health and adventure.
This Saturday 17th November will see me on the start line of the Wendover Woods 50 mile race.
Organised by Centurion Running, it's a hilly undulating course of 10 miles, repeated 5 times. With a total ascent of 2000 ft per lap, it will surely be one for pacing with precision and care.
Writing about events after they have been completed is usually the protocol. Breaking with tradition, these are my thoughts prior to race day and how I will attempt to place method into this madness.
* the mindset has always been to complete Ultra races with intelligence, ownership and happiness. When I don't go over the start line with that outlook and maintain through the session, then DNF is the result. Sure, there were a couple of races in the past that created so much pain I thought about giving up. It was uncomfortable.
These extreme efforts placed upon the body will hurt. At no point, have I experienced suffering. An expression that is batted around the Ultra, weekend warrior, "extreme" fitness community, to name a few, with complete abandon and disregard for the self titled banner it has become. It's an opinion, and dare say there are many of the afore mentioned participants who can describe their experiences as ones of suffering and express that with validity.
However, when taking part in a race, that I have voluntarily entered, I now have absolute control over the destiny of my experience. When there is a hint of self pity or doubt, I coach myself to remember the training, put to practice the methods that get you through those difficult moments and most importantly, always remind myself there are people out there truly suffering. The position we find ourselves in a race can be stopped or managed down a level at anytime. Therefore, there is no longer an experience of suffering within the race. This is an experience of stupidity and irrational behaviour.
* Ultra running is a practice of patience under stress. Getting the stress point correct is relative to how well the brain stays tuned to demonstrating patience. The day when the two collide is a good day. Good planning. Great mindset.
These are my observations prior to the 50 miles ahead on Saturday. A sub 9 hour race and it will cap off a steady year of training and added more insight into the practical factors that increase success and happiness when completing these adventures. I'll be sure to give a word of encouragement to others along the way as I have recieved gladly from fellow competitors over the years.