HOME Monthly Archives: March 2012

Monthly Archives: March 2012


29
Mar

UPHILL/DOWNHILL RUNNING

Posted in Training

by Brian Harkins of NYC Endurance

Running hills is often avoided due to improper form which causes strain or pain. This occurs not only with beginners but with runners of all experience to include professionals. Knowing proper technique will help a runner get faster and reduce or eliminate the pain associated with hill running.

Running form should not change whether you are running on flat or a hilly course.

The only difference is the angle of the ground which causes a the gravitational pull to be different for up and down hill.

Running Form for flat ground should be, keeping your body up right, shoulders back, head in a neutral position, arms at a 90 degree angle, pulling the foot from the ground up under the pelvis, foot landing under your general center of mass, and relax everything from the knee down.

Running up hill is the easiest concept, with running on flat ground the next difficult concept to grasp, the most difficult is down hill running. The reason is gravity will or will not allow you to do certain things.

clip_image002As for running up hill, it is difficult to reach/over stride/land on the heel as well as difficult to push off as it over extends the calf and hamstring. When going up hill runners need to increase their cadence, due to the angle of ground, this will cause a shortening of stride length (shorter steps). The angle of the hill determines the degree of the runners lean/fall, which utilizes the ankle as the fulcrum and the body stays in a straight line from the ankle to the pelvis to the shoulders. Runners need to embrace gravity do not work against it.  Good form is represented by the runner in blue.  Bad form is represented by the runner in red. 

The concept of down hill running is the most difficult concept due to the strength of the gravitational pull. To decrease gravity’s strength, a runner needs to decrease the amount of lean/fall, keep their body upright over your general center of mass and do not lean forward. A runner needs to keep their feet under their general center of mass, and not reach out in front for the ground, not push off as this will increase speed too much and place the runner out of control, Runners should not push off and straighten their leg as it leads to over extending their leg.

Gravitational pull will decrease the amount of muscular effort. A runner should pull their foot slightly off the ground and let gravity pull it back down, and increase the cadence as compared to running on flat ground. Running down hill requires more body control – body position, higher cadence, reduced effort.

Summary Up Hill:

Do:

Maintain position

Increase lean angle

Pull foot under pelvis

Increase cadence

shorten stride

Don’t:

Bend at waist

Push off

Straighten your legs

Summary of Down Hill Running:

Do:

Straighten body up

Land over general center mass

Increase cadence

Land ball of foot or mid-foot

Keep feet close to the ground

Pull foot

Don’t

Overstride – reach for the groun

Land out in front

Straighten legs

Push off

Author Brian Harkins is an endurance coach at NYC Endurance. 

Brian holds the following certifications:
Certified Road Runner Club of America Coach (RRCA)
Crossfit Level 1 Coach- ANSI certification
Crossfit Mobility and Recovery Certification
Paul Chek Holistic Life Style Coach
Optimum Performance Training Assessment Certification (pending)
American Heart Association CPR/First Aid Certified

Brian is also a Crossfit Endurance Assistant Coach and regularly participates in coaching Crossfit Endurance Seminars in the Tri-State area as part of the coaching staff.

18
Mar

Training for CMC: Let’s Get Specific

Posted in Training

by Joe Vennare

106Training for an Event like the CMC should include workouts that are focused on strength, cardio, and race specific skills. Your main training goals should be to increase strength relative to bodyweight, cardiovascular and muscular stamina, durability, and mental toughness.

Look to include compound, functional movements like Olympic lifts.  Train under a weight-bearing load, over an extended period of time completing resisted runs, sprints, hill climbs, and stadium stairs.  Finally, train skills specific to the race including relative strength, grip strength, core strength/stability, dynamic, unilateral, and non-linear movement, transfer of force/power, and transport a load.

While training for strength, size and brute force should not be your main goal.  For a powerlifter or body builder that might be the case, but you are trying to be an athlete; an obstacle athlete.  Start with bodyweight exercises to build relative strength then move onto compound movements and athletic or functional exercises like kettlebells.

Cardio should include one longer run that is at least the distance of your race, but focus the majority of your attention on shorter, high intensity workouts that mimic the start and stop nature of an obstacle race.  Hill sprints, sled pushes, and hiking or running with a weighted vest or pack are sound choices.

Finally, do not leave out race specific skills.  The race is outdoors right?  You better be training in the cold and mud if you expect to compete.  Find a rope to practice climbing, or use hand towels wrapped around a pull-up bar to train your grip strength.  Fill 5 gallon buckets with rocks and weight and perform farmer’s carries.  Find heavy, unbalanced objects and lift/move them.

If you want to DOMINATE an obstacle course race get specific and choose/design a training protocol that is designed for obstacle athletes.

(Author Joe Vennare is a successful entrepreneur and accomplished fitness professional. As the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, www.thehybridathlete.com, Joe develops innovative fitness programming for endurance, multi-sport and obstacle race athletes. Joe is also the co-creator of Race Day Domination,www.racedaydomination.com, a training manual designed to prepare competitors for success in any obstacle course race. In addition to his professional pursuits, Joe is a sponsored endurance athlete competing in triathlon, ultra-marathon, and adventure racing. Joe’s motivation to train and compete in endurance sports is fueled by a desire to test his physical abilities and mental toughness.)

18
Mar

GOTRIbal Joins in the Fun for the Tri-State CMC Event

Posted in Charities

The GOTRIbal Lounge is coming….

Since the launch of the CMC event series in 2012, the number of female participants getting signed up has been remarkable!  With nearly 40% of the registrants being female, CMC HQ wants show the ladies some love.  CMC has teamed up with GOTRIbal and is thrilled to announce the inclusion of the GOTRIbal Woman Competitor and Spectator Lounge at the Tri-State event! The lounge is for Women Competitors and Spectators and will be the perfect spot for socializing, relaxing, and learning. The lounge will feature access to private massage rooms, special beverages, even mini-clinics on the big plasma screen with Olympic coaches and GOTRIbal experts – the Lounge will have it all there to help promote and educate on how to live and enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle in style!

Here are the details!

When: May 19, 2012, 7:30-2:30

Where: Camelback Resort, Pennsylvania

For Who: Women racers and their friends, sisters, mothers… you get the idea.

What: The GOTRIbal Lounge will be featured at the CMC Run at Cambelback Resort, in Tannersville, PA.

**Can’t wait? Register now!  And don’t forget to use your special promo code before March 20…   you’ll save $10!

Code: gotribalcmc2012

So what can you expect in the GOTRIbal lounge?  Imagine your own oasis.   With mini-learning clinics and Q/A’s with top coaches, Olympians, nutritionists and sport psychologists.  Think luxury and fun wrapped up in one exclusive spot – just for you.

Where swank meets sweaty, and dirty meets the divine…

And this…

Meets this….

The GOTRIbal Lounge is guaranteed to have lots of surprises inside to help you relax, gab, smile and connect with friends new and old.

1. Learn from professionals you’ve only read about in magazines – Pro athletes, Olympic Sport Psychologists and world-renowned nutritionists teach you mini-clinics and Q/A’s!

2. Play and be pampered:  You’ll have fun like you did in high school as you jump in a photo booth and snap crazy  photos, have them digitally uploaded and then shared with friends! Plus….

3.  Get taken care of by one of four massage therapists in your very own private massage rooms. (If you’re NOT racing, you could squeeze in 2 or 3 rub-downs if you want! Bargain!!)

And if you are competing, get a rubdown before your event, after, and then maybe, once more before you go home!)

GOTRIbal – the only way to meet and build intimate relationships with other women who share your passion for living an active and healthy lifestyle through endurance and adventure sports.

—————————————————————————–

From March 6 – March 20

For GOTRIbal fans and members and friends. Whether you’re racing or supporting, this Lounge is for women who live the active lifestyle and those women who support us in living it.

Save $10 off the $40 Lounge Entry.

Use gotribalcmc2012 promo code.

If two of your friends sign up, YOU get in free!  (In registration, make sure they reference your name and email. We’ll contact you directly with your free entry code!)

REGISTER NOW by clicking here.

06
Mar

Dominate Every Obstacle: Part Two Strength

Posted in Training

by Joe Vennare

Individuals preparing for an obstacle course race must equip themselves with a unique skill set.  Cardiovascular stamina, muscular strength, and mental toughness are attributes that an obstacle athlete must train and possess if they expect to be successful.  However, the start and stop nature of an obstacle race combined with the numerous impediments encountered along the course requires racers to go beyond general fitness preparation.  Your training program should imitate the specific demands and elements of your upcoming race.

In Lungs and Legs, Part One of Dominate Every Obstacle, I presented a number of training techniques for improving cardiovascular endurance that translate directly to obstacle course racing.  In this post, I will outline how you can design a comprehensive strength training program based on exercises that are functional, compound, and dynamic.

ryanFunctional 

With respect to obstacle course racing, the strength segment of your training should be designed to improve functional, total body strength.  Aim for maximum strength relative to your size and bodyweight.  Using bodyweight exercises, derived from gymnastics, to train functional movement patterns and mobility allows the body to move more efficiently.

In order to acquire this type of relative strength, you should feature exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups, ring dips, and muscle-ups in your workouts.  After mastering the basics of each movement, consider adding resistance or explosive components to each exercise.  For example, perform pull-ups with a weighted vest, add jumps to the squat for height or try clapping between push-ups.

Compound

Other obstacles encountered along the course will assess a racer’s strength by requiring the ability to transfer force from the ground to the fingertips in order to lift or transport an asymmetrical object.  With that in mind, be sure to train compound Olympic movements using a barbell.  Using Olympic movements to train major muscle groups and the core enhances a racers capacity to move, bear, or transport heavy weight.  Be sure to use a heavy load that is challenging, but do-able.  Place proper form and the quality of each repetition ahead of the total weight or number of repetitions performed.

Begin incorporating back squats, dead-lifts, bench press and overhead press into your workout.  When you become comfortable with those movements, include front squats, thrusters (front squat-to-overhead press), and power/hang cleans.

Dynamic

Because you will be expected to maneuver your own body weight up, over, or around various barriers, it is not necessary to train until failure every workout.  Instead, devote aryan2 portion of your efforts to developing dynamic strength and power that will enhance your ability to execute athletic movements in an explosive manner.  Utilize equipment like kettlebells, a weighted vest, or a sandbag to create hybrid strength; wherein explosive hip drive is used to generate force.

In an effort to build hybrid strength, start with kettlebell exercises along with medicine ball slams and throws.  By including movements that require jumping, hopping, or bounding (e.g. box jumps or burpees), you will strengthen the glutes, hips, core, and lower back while preventing injury and protecting the knees.

Strength training for an obstacle course race should not be confined to power lifting or circuit training alone.  While CrossFit will certainly prepare you to qualify for the CrossFit games, it may leave you lacking some of the skills required to take on an obstacle event.  To ensure that you dominate your upcoming race, build the type of strength that will best serve you on race day. Use bodyweight exercises to build relative strength, compound movements for brute force and dynamic, hybrid exercises to increase athleticism and agility.

(Author Joe Vennare is a successful entrepreneur and accomplished fitness professional. As the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, www.thehybridathlete.com, Joe develops innovative fitness programming for endurance, multi-sport and obstacle race athletes. Joe is also the co-creator of Race Day Domination,www.racedaydomination.com, a training manual designed to prepare competitors for success in any obstacle course race. In addition to his professional pursuits, Joe is a sponsored endurance athlete competing in triathlon, ultra-marathon, and adventure racing. Joe’s motivation to train and compete in endurance sports is fueled by a desire to test his physical abilities and mental toughness.)

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