Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rest as Cross Training

I decided to write on this subject when I fell asleep last night doing a blog entry. No matter what sport you train for, even if your sport is just living a healthy life style, the best cross training you do is getting enough rest. Without adequate rest your just continuing to tear your body down not build it up.

When we do a hard workout we tear up our muscles, the muscle fibers actually get microscopic tears. They get lactic acid, the waste from doing the motion, pooled around between the fibers and you feel soreness. When you don't get enough rest all these things continue to happen without your body having a chance to repair the damage and remove the waste.

When you do get enough rest, especially sleep, your body will repair the damage and build the muscle tissue back stronger that it was before. That's what Training is all about, getting stronger and being able to exercise longer.

Your muscles are like car engines, they get fuel and oxygen delivered to them by the blood stream, they do their motion, and expel the lactic acid (exhaust) back into the blood stream. When you do this over a long period your body can't keep us so you have more lactic acid built up than the blood can remove. But during rest your body can get rid of the lactic acid that was left behind. When it continues to build up you feel it as soreness. The soreness becomes deeper and more uncomfortable the longer you go without rest.

Some people wrongly think that more and more exercise is required to get stronger. You just compound the damage when you workout even harder with out getting enough rest. So make rest a part of your training routine and you will not only make better gains but feel wonderful while your doing it.

Rambling Panda

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Training to Walk Faster

This last couple of months has been a experiment in the art of walking fast while keeping legal race walking form. The faster you walk the harder it is to keep all your parts performing like you want.

There is so much to think about, I try to imagine I'm going down steep stairs no matter if I'm on flat road or going up a hill. That keeps me walking with my feet in a straight line and helps get the hip drop right. That hip drop is good for a few extra inches of stride.

Being old and stiff I will never have that smooth rolling gait that you see on the worldclass walkers. But there are things even I can do. Keeping a good, mostly to the rear arm swing is good for keeping my stride flowing and keeping me from feeling like I'm walking on stilts or like a robot. The other is making sure I'm landing heel first instead of getting up higher on my foot. I'm walking with another walker who breaks into a shuffling run when he starts landing more toward the middle of his foot.

The stride has to start from your glutes and hips and not just your legs. When you start trying to go faster this gets harder, you have to start the stride by moving your hip forward with power. I've noticed that when I do a hard race my upper glutes are pumped like when a bodybuilder works on one muscle group. Hip forward and knees raises , not like a runner raising and lowering his knees for speed hip forward and knee is raised as your leg pushes forward not up like a runner.

I've been getting in some good 200m and 400m times but I need to have someone video me to make sure that my technique is as I think it is.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda