Monday, 26 September 2011

Squat Program

I have always liked looking to other sports for training ideas and as I searched for a quality strength program and reading a interesting article on Max squats and the Jon Broz method, I thought with a little tweaking this same principle could prove invaluable as a runner and Nordic skier with a history of hip and low back instability.
So as I set out to prepare for this years Nordic season and next years trail and road running season I have set out the following plan for strength training. John believes that everyone can and should train every day, as with runners so do Olympic lifters .He starts lifters off right away with daily heavy squatting and broomstick or empty barbell Olympic technique work.
Over the course of few months, the goal is to gradually work my way up to 13 strength training sessions per week, twice a day Monday through Saturday, and once on Sunday the same as I do with my running workouts.
Morning sessions will last between 12 and 24 minutes plus the same time running with evening sessions lasting the same length of time after my regular running workouts.
Each session will involve only six exercises as John outlines in his article with fronts squats being the main focus:
  1. back squat
  2. front squat
  3. snatch
  4. clean & jerk
  5. power snatch
  6. power clean
Each of these 13 sessions will include heavy squatting plus two other Olympic lifting style exercises plus pull ups and specific posterior core exercises.!
Every session will involves a specific warm-up squatting with an unloaded barbell followed by working up to a 1-rep maximum with perfect form on every lift for the session with the following progression;
  • 6 reps
  • 3 reps
  • 1 rep
  • 3 reps
  • 6 reps
It will take some time to adjust to this new program as it did adjusting to my current run specific training but with time we can see if this style of strength training combined with my current run training will bring me to new levels of strength and speed.

During this period of transition there will continue to be a reduction in the speed of my intervals and a very slow progression with weight lifted. The focus thus far is on technique and not progressing to quick so while I mention 1-rep max so far I am working with a broomstick and it is fairly fatiguing:-)

Sometimes the answer is not found by staying in one’s comfort zone.

Monday, 19 September 2011

My new page

Welcome to my new page, as we set out together on another wondrous year of adventure I wanted to start a new page that would allow for more interaction, brighter pictures, video links and a few other bells and whistles. 
A new page outlining my passion for training, racing and pushing my limits while overcoming life's little obstacles along the way. A place where enthusiasts can go for advice and to get ideas about their own training and racing. 

I like to do intense stuff and through this page, I hope to inspire others to do intense stuff!

Impossible is nothing!

As I look back on a year of running and look to find ways to improve for next season the underlying issue, as it has been for a number of years is my ongoing battle with back pain and the degeneration in my spine.

All the corrections I have made over the years have only offered a minimal shift in my mechanics and without any substantial change I continue to reinjure my back, the nerves in that area get inflamed and I am unable to run and or walk.

The reason there has been so much back, and hip pain, I am now learning, is due to faulty movement patterns causing persistent inflammation and what I need to focus on now is rebalancing my body, correcting damaging movement patterns and strengthening the muscles that will keep my back stable including the entire posterior chain and the deep supporting muscles that affect every movement I make.

Once I learn to brace my spine, strengthen my hips, hamstrings, upper and lower back muscles and the entire posterior chain I can change from using my spine as my main mover and use my hamstrings and glutes for movement and hips to absorb shock.

As I continually adapt, tweak and try new things that will make a lasting change, I have set out a path to focus on building my posterior core strength, changing my poor movement patterns while continuing to run the weekly workouts at a slightly reduced pace. 

As my deep core strength increases, building a solid foundation, I will also begin to increase the pace of my weekly workouts and over time as my body rebalances I will start to look at setting some new goals. 

Without a solid foundation I will continue to break down.

Excited to get started, impossible is nothing!