ExciTING ways to kill gym boredom

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Trail Running Factory clients usually have heart attacks and numerous excuses when I ask them to visit gym for body strengthening exercises, as they panically believe that they will become Ms and Mr Universe after even one try.

Runners are not bodybuilders, so why the hell I am punishing them hard and sending to those labour camps. There are already numerous studies, which confirms that acquired strength in those iron prisons heavily contributes to injury prevention and though without proper training plan runners can still run themselves into dust, getting more power will help to be less injury prone, healthier and more constant on the trails. Moreover, strength training helps with running performance, as speed and running economy improve, because neuromuscular adaptations occur. I bet, right now you are taking it more seriously, but if even now you are still reluctant to put some time into this monotonous routine, try to change it and have as much diversity and fun as possible. Kill boredom and become more efficient runner by not running at all:

  1. Vary exercises.

Could you imagine if you practice just only one type of running instead of five existing? What kind of improvements would you expect to happen? So, don’t stick to the same exercises, which you have been doing for ages, rather explore and try something new that activate same muscle groups. You even be positively surprised that exists more than five exercises overall, which makes running kind of “extremely boring”.

  1. Vary repetitions & weights.

4-6 & 10-15 repetitions are equally great enough to make adaptations on neuromuscular function and strength gain. Using different weights will make the task easier by simply helping find out the proper balance between sustainable, perceived effort and repetitions. Do rate of perceived exertion (RPE’s) ring any bells? It should, as the best running measuring is done by RPE’s as well. Once again, strength training is not the rocket science and seems that fundamental principals are really close to all beloved running.

  1. Vary intensity.

Do you still remember all types of running, which involves different engines and distinct muscle fibres? This is exactly what you have to implement in weight rooms as well. Make those fibres fire at various levels of intensity, feel how lungs are burning and your mouth sinking with blood, while next time take it easy and even “smoke cigarette” while pumping the blood through your veins. Seriously, go for fast to moderate speed for concentric exercises and slow down for eccentric ones.

  1. Vary “strength schools”.

Are you currently working with CrossFit coach? What if you try TRX bands, Pilates machines and just simply jump from progressive plyometric training to progressive resistance training. Worth to consider, right?

  1. Vary motion range.

Let your body be universal and develop full range of motion. Currently there is no solid research done, what angle would be the best for runners. So don’t wait for papers to be written just do all them, as 90°, 45° or 20° movements do the trick.

  1. Vary surface.

Flat is boring! Make sure your gym is much alike to trails, as possible, because running is one leg sport, so try to implement exercises standing on one leg or balancing on bosu half ball. For those who are brave enough and have health & death insurance yoga ball could be an option.

  1. Vary handgrip and / or foot position.

While exercising, change your usual hand and / or feet position to wider and / or narrow one and try reverse or vertical grip, instead of horizontal one, which mimics grip of tracking poles. Those slight adjustments will definitely force you to feel some tension in areas, which you didn’t know could possible exist.

  1. Vary rest.

Shorten, prolong or even skip rest brakes between exercises, sets or repetitions that you are accustomed to.

  1. Vary tools.

Barbells & dumbbells are common practice, but what about introduction of medicine balls, resistance bands or just simply body weight routine on pull bar or gymnastic rings. If want to be more wild and natural go for woodsman workout with stones, logs and axes. There are many weight tools available around you, just have to be creative one and follow Rocky mind-set to be successful one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q57qB6Kwroo

  1. Vary muscles involved.

It is true that runners need strong core & legs and this is why you have been following this “diet” for ages, but what about upper body and type of muscles involved? Have you ever heard about superficial, intermediate and deep muscles? if not, it is about right time to go and google it. Become Ms & Mr Universe and age healthy while still running. Pump some iron in!

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The top ways to waste your time at aid stations

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Trail Running Factory coach Andrius and I put some serious read “The top ways to waste your time at aid stations”, so don’t waste your time to scan it, as it worth it!

THE MOST PLEASANT WAYS TO GET THROUGH AID STATIONS

1. Go gourmet! First start with the pretzels, then move on to the jam sandwiches, followed by grapes, gummy snakes, then wash down with coke. Repeat at all aid stations.

2. Pull out your cocktail shaker and Worcestershire sauce to fix yourself a Bloody Mary for your hydration pack. You’ve got to take hydration seriously.

3. Hide the critical gear your support crew is supposed to be ready with in the bottom of your bag so they can’t find it.

4. Assume that your crew have studied the course map in minute detail and has a superhuman recollection of every part of the course.

5. Pose to all photographers and cameramen and give short half an hour interview, be the star, this is why you started trail running, isn’t it?

6. Go totally mad on your support crew and/or volunteers if they mix things up and don’t have your favourite snack – dried Antarctica monkey kidneys, because you are the BOSS and they are working for you, right?

7. Aid stations are warm and sheltered, so it is the best place to wait while the rain or snowfall will stop and running conditions will improve.

8. Explain in great detail to anyone who will listen how you took a wrong turn from the course.

9. Change shoes and socks at every aid station. Because you like to keep your feet dry.

10. Pray for trail running gods and ask for the autograph of every Jim Wamsley you meet.

11. Whip out your iPhone and call your friends to inform them of your progress, and post your on-trail selfies to Facebook and Instagram.

12. Perfect skills with the gear you have never trialled before. Didn’t learn how to operate your headlamp or use your poles? The aid station is an ideal testing ground!

13. Number 13th, really? You should ask for the new number at each aid station, as it is the unlucky one and you are damn slow and tired because of it.

THE FASTEST WAYS TO GET THROUGH AID STATIONS

1. Have a nutrition plan and know precisely what foods you are going to be eating during the race. Know three natural foods and three processed ones (e.g. gels) that work for you and stick to your choice during the race. It is not the best time experiment with your stomach. In the months leading up to the race, train your gut to tolerate higher carbohydrate intake. Stomach comfort while ingesting higher amount of foods during long running events can be trained, and frequency of gastrointestinal issues reduced.

2. Rehearse your race plan before race day with your support crew.

3. If your support crew are crewing you for the first time, educate them:

– Familiarise them with your aid station routine

– Show them which pocket you prefer gels to be put in

– Teach how turn on and switch on headlamp for easier transition

– Teach them how to make an ice scarf and how and when put it on your neck (useful in hot-weather races)

4. Don’t stop at the aid station if you don’t need to. However, have a good reason for not stopping. If you are compromising your hydration, you will likely pay the price later in the race.

5. The aid station is not the finish line, so don’t relax too much. Stay sharp and focus on what you need to do. Have a mini action plan for each aid station and rehearse it in your mind before arriving. For example: “I will hand my two soft flasks to fill with water, while these are being filled, I will drink another cup of fresh water, empty pockets from trash and will put two gels into my front pocket. After taking filled soft flasks I will grab a piece of banana and eat it leaving the aid station.”

6. Open your handheld bottles before you enter the aid station so that they can be filled even quicker. If rules allow and volunteers can help, don’t fill your flasks by yourself. Use that time to do other things.

7. In some races, you may be permitted to exchange bags. If so, consider having a twin bag prepared to that you can make a quick exchange and keep going.
8. Have your most important compulsory gear (waterproof jacket/pants and head-torch) at the top of your bag, because it is the most likely gear that could be checked for a compulsory gear check. Or put it in a transparent bag as it is easy to pull out and show all the mandatory gear.

9. During the race and between aid stations carry only as much as you need:

– Don’t fill all the bottles and don’t take all the gels you possess in first aid station

– Use flasks rather than a hydration bladder if there are frequent aid stations

– Estimate your water and calorie intake and remember that your digestive tract can only tolerate and absorb approximately 1 – 1. 5 l/h and 60 to 90g of carb/h (depending on composition of carbohydrate meal or supplement), so don’t take unnecessary weight with you

– Trash (used gels etc) weighs several grams, so don’t forget to get rid of it at each aid station

– The lighter you are the faster you can run and the higher your VO2max 🙂

10. Be grateful to your support crew, as they are doing an important job. Your smile and positivity will boost their confidence, which probably means that fewer mistakes will be made and your run through the aid stations will be quick and smooth.

11. Having a nutrition plan and supporting race plan is important, but things can go amiss, so it is wise to develop a contingency plan:

– what if your support crew isn’t at the aid station? Should you wait in hope that they arrive soon, or continue and meet them at the next one? What if the nutrition that you expected to have isn’t available? It doesn’t matter what your decision is, but you must know it in advance.

12. Thank the volunteers before you leave the aid station!

BĖGA NE TIK ŠIRDIS

bega sirdisNorint bėgti reikia bėgti. Norint bėgti greitai, ilgai ir be traumų to neužtenka. Norint tapti geresniu bėgiku reikia užsiimti dalykais, visiškai nesusijusiais su bėgimu. Aišku, priklausomam nuo bėgimo narkomanui skirti laiko ne risnojimui yra be galo sunku. Dauguma yra tokie ambicingi, kad pamiršta paprasta biomechaniką, visiškai ignoruoja organizmo siunčiamus signalus ir stengiasi bėgti 24/7. Kažkada ir aš toks buvau, bet galiausiai patirta trauma privertė susimąstyti ką darau ne taip. Iš svetimų klaidų mokytis visada lengviau, bet kažkodėl daugelis renkasi skausmingesnį pažinimo kelią. Tie, kurie nuspręs rinktis jį, neišvengiamai susipažins su Santariškių klinikų reabilitologais.

Aš tas, kuris neserga ir nepatiria traumų, pradėjau byrėti, atšventęs savo bėgimo dešimtmetį. Traumas patiria tik silpnučiai, o kadangi aš toks “nebuvau” nutariau skausmą kairėje kojoje ignoruoti. Man pavyko save apgauti dar šešis mėnesius, bet galiausiai neapsikentęs vis didėjančių skausmų kreipiausi į specialistus. Įsivaizduokite mano nusivylimą kai tie “kvailiai” išrašė kineziterapiją. Nuo tada “rimtas sportininkas” buvo priverstas kilnoti kojytes su vos klibančiais diedukais. Mano nuostabai, keletas reabilitacijos veteranų tuos “bobiškus” pratimus atlikdavo geriau negu aš. Prireikė beveik mėnesio kol seni paliegėliai nebebuvo konkurentais ir dar vieno, kol kojos skausmai išnyko.

Ką aš darydavau ne taip, tiksliau, ko nedarydavau? Pasirodo bėgant, kaip beja ir senstant, trumpėja raumenys, kurie padeda keisti kūno vietos padėtį laike ir erdvėje. Ir, nors tai skamba truputi einšteiniškai, bet iš tikrųjų viskas daug paprasčiau. Dubens, juosmens, klubų, pilvo, stuburo ir kojų raumenynų visuma[1] atlieka šį milžinišką darbą, nes formuoja taisyklingą laikyseną, padeda išlaikyti pusiausvyrą, gerina bėgimo efektyvumą, suteikia judesiui jėgos, mažina smūgio jėgą ir padeda išvengti traumų. Bingo! Padeda išvengti traumų, todėl, kuo geriau paruošime pagrindinius raumenis, tuo ilgiau galėsime džiaugtis jų teikiamais privalumais. Būtent juos ir buvau pamiršęs, o pasijutę vieniši ir išnaudojami jie pradėjo keršyti. Norint išvengti šios vendetos užtenka nuolatos  atlikinėti jėgos, stabilumo ir  pusiausvyros pratimus, užsiimti lankstumo vystymu, tobulinti bėgimo techniką ir skirti daugiau laiko atsistatymui po krūvių. Neprireiks samdytis profesionalaus trenerio ar įsigyti specialaus inventoriaus treniruojant šiuos rafinuotus raumenis, bet reiks skirti laiko tinkamų pratimų paieškoms, nes skirtingi raumenys – skirtingam tikslui. Tad marš prie Google.

Visada galvojau, kad jei pulsas neužkyla iki 140 dūžių per minutę tai ne sportas, o pornografija. Šį savo nusistatymą dar vis sėkmingai taikau tokioms sporto šakoms kaip golfas, dartai ir tt., bet to nebegaliu sakyti apie kineziterapeutų gėjiškus pratimus, nes jie ne tik padeda išvengti traumų, bet ir padeda tapti geresniais bėgikais.


[1] Pagrindiniai raumenys

TIBIALIS ANTERIOR TENDONITIS

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Niekada neturėjau daug tikrų draugų. O laisvai taškantis savo tiesos bliūde tai – normalu, nes tik nedaugelis gali žiūrėti tiesiai į akis atvirai sakomai teisybei. Visada vertinau laisvę ir nepriklausomybę, o norinčius ją iš manęs atimti siunčiu kuo toliau.

Neseniai įsigijau draugą. Tiksliau, jis man pats įsipiršo. Naujasis bičiulis labai įkyrus, sekioja iš paskos, vis primena apie save ir jokiais būdais nenori likti vienas. Jo įkyrumas erzina. Blogiausia tai, kad jam apskritai nusispjauti ką aš galvoju. Štai toks tas mano draugas: savanaudis, savimyla ir visiškas parazitas.

Jis mane skaudina. Bet tik taip moka parodyti, kad myli. Visai nenuostabu, kad vėl noriu likti vienas, bet geri draugai nepaliks, o ypač tas, kurį turiu aš.  Iš pradžių bandžiau jį papirkti ir dėl naujos draugystės padariau viską: lepinau masažais, ėjau į pirtį, vedžiausi į jogos užsiėmimus, netgi bandžiau medituoti. Niekas nepadėjo. Fizioterapija jam patiko, kriosauna – taip pat. Visiškai praradau viltį, kad kada nors vėl galėsiu mėgautis vienatve.

Galiausiai neapsikentęs pabandžiau jį nuskandinti lediniame vandenyje – išgyveno.  Blogiausia,  jis man atleido ir vis dar jaučiasi mano draugu, primenančiu apie save kiekviename žingsnyje. Jis mane myli, aš jo nekenčiu. Jis mėgaujasi mano draugija, aš noriu jį nužudyti.

Kreiptis į medikus beviltiška. Kovai su  įsivaizduojamu draugu daugelis rekomenduoja aminaziną,  kiti – ibuprofeną. Deja, piliulių poveikis laikinas, o prasiblaivęs mano draugas pasirodys daug irzlesnis ir piktesnis, todėl vaistai – ne man. Nesiruošiu nešiotis nebylio ir nemokamai įsigyti dar vieną. Protingesni gydytojai kategoriški – reikia poilsio, nes kitaip skyrybų nebus.

Galų gale draugas prasitarė, kad dėl mūsų draugystės kaltas tik aš ir jei ne mano kvailos ambicijos jo net nebūtų buvę. Negalėjau tam prieštarauti, bet tas nedarė mano gyvenimo lengvesnio, todėl pasiunčiau jį ant trijų raidžių. Man palengvėjo, mano kojai – ne. Įžeidimas draugą laikinai nutildė, bet kartais jis atsibunda labai šnekus. Nežinau, kaip greitai pavyks visiškai jo atsikratyti, bet tikrai su juo nesitaikstysiu ir ateityje stengsiuosi išvengti naujų pažinčių.