Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Crazy training regime returns

Its not sexy, the crazy training regime follows the old mantra, "trials by miles" A simple idea of doubling down on aerobic running not missing a day of training. 

In order to be able to get my mantra on, I decided I would run to and from the shop each day to maximize my chances of attaining my goal. I also wanted the runs to be as natural as possible, i.e. running through river valley and not city streets so each morning I drive down to Fort Edmonton Park and run to the shop from there which takes roughly 90 minutes and then after work run back for between 90 to 120 minutes as sometimes I run a little farther. 

This past week went quite well completing both runs everyday except for Wednesday's evening run when I had to work a little latter than usual at the shop and on Sunday I went for a relaxed 2 hour run.

It is not an easy routine but manageable and suits my personality and the best part my back pain has disappeared. For myself the aerobic pace training seems to be the answer to my ongoing back issues but when you go aerobic with your training to get the same benefits you have to increase the milage in a big way.

As I adapt to the milage and my body adjusts I aim to increase the pace of the runs working towards my best aerobic effort in one run per day while keeping the remaining runs easy and relaxed. To gain the best results for the time spent in training, it is important to run at your best aerobic speed.

For me it will be a balance of not running too fast or too slow, controlling the running efforts for optimum results so that I can maintain good spinal alinement and slowly increasing fitness levels. To train at speeds above this consistently results in the breakdown in the working muscles of my back so it will be a matter of continuing with this systematic long aerobic training.

The "trials of miles" and that initial grind of running all the mileage possible is of prime importance. The more miles that I am able to run aerobically in training, then the greater endurance I will be able to develop. In my mind there is really no limit to the mileage that I can run provided that the supplementary miles I run above the required faster aerobic running are at the lower aerobic speeds. 

The "trials of miles" continues...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Aerobic Program starts Monday

My new Aerobic Program starts Monday. With all the changes I have made to my program over the years I am still experiencing disc pain so after some considerable thought, it is time to try something completely different, something that I think will give me the balance I am striving for in my training and racing.

At the core of the program is aerobic training building my aerobic engine while building the endurance my back needs to withstand the impact of running and skiing. With this program there is no base building period followed by an intensity block, it is strictly an aerobic program whereby I complete a 90min workout each morning and evening with an even relaxed pace. There will be no intervals and no strength training, just aerobic training and mild stretching. Over time as my spine fitness improves I will use races as time trials and my only form of intensity to test the programs effectiveness and we will see if this methodology has any merit.

What I have tried to this point has only shown partial results and it is time to set down the manual and do what just seems natural and enjoy the pure joy of running and skiing in the outdoors at a pace that feels natural.

As I set forward there will be a considerable increase in volume running to and from the shop each day which takes between 90 to 120mins depending on the route. On weekends when I have more flexibility we will see more skiing as I will have the time to travel to the trails with some weekday evenings Shauna picking me up from the shop to go for a ski instead of running home.

The idea, build a huge aerobic engine, put as little pressure on the disc as possible and develop a steady pace where I no longer upset the balance.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Time to Nordic

The weather is a changin and as the snow falls my excitement for the nordic season builds and getting started with the Long Distance Nordic Program. Last week I took things easy, focusing on easy runs and my master cleanse. I am now 6 days into the cleanse and have dropped from 174lbs to 159lbs and feeling good. The idea being, by cleansing the body of some unwanted weight and training and racing at 160lbs instead of 175lbs there will be less load on my body and specifically my back. I can say the calm I feel while cleansing has a very relaxing effect and seems to play a role in seeing the bigger picture.

The goal this week is to get back to regular training with double downs and the addition of max chin ups and push press to my squat program of front squats, overhead squats, back squats, squat snatch and wall ball, coined the Nordic Squat Program.

There are still 4 more days in the cleanse but with the maple syrup the energy to train is good, the pace is reduced but the workouts are still good quality. On Saturday I will start to eat fruit and then vegetables and then work to keep the weight under 160lbs instead of 175lb and see if that makes any noticeable difference.

The aim will be to hit the squat rack once a day, run once a day and ski once a day over the winter with morning workouts being 6min easy, 24min tempo, 6min easy, the evening workouts being either 6min easy, 24min tempo, 6min easy on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the posted workouts on the shop website on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with the Nordic Squat Program each evening. 

With that combined with stretching I aim to hit the trails with a new strength.

2012 Long Distance Nordic Program

  • Athabasca Loppet 30km
  • Tawatinaw Loppet 30km
  • Canadian Birkebeiner Lite 55km
  • Keskinada 55km
  • Cookie Race 42km
  • National 50km Championships
Bring on the snow!

2012 Long Distance Run Program

  • Elk Beaver 100km - break course record
  • Sinister 7 - break course record
  • Death Race - break course record
Bring on the trail!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What now, we look forward, thats what:-)

With the Hamilton marathon now over it is time to reflect on the past season and set about planning for next season. This past season was a great learning experience and with the lessons learned I hope to build on the work I have done.

But before I get started down that path I have decided to take a break with a two-week aerobic block while doing what is referred to as “The Master Cleanse” created by Stanley Burroughs. This will be my sixth 10 day master cleanse but it has been awhile so I think the combination of easy running, prolonged light stretching and cleansing will be a nice break and a good start to the 2012 campaign.

With the new squat program and corrective core exercises my muscle imbalances are starting to balance; with the barefoot program my stride is smooth and natural; my diet of fruit, vegetables, seeds, quality wheats, fish and lean meat is always being refined and needs more consistency but I feel I am on the right track; the race day nutrition and mental plan I have is bomb proof and the training itself has always gone smoothly, I always want to go running so there is no problem with motivation. I think what has been missing is a consistent prolonged stretching program that is suited to someone who is very inflexible so that I avoid pushing to hard and reinjuring the area. 

So along with my race goals my main goal this season is to spend a little less time on the laptop and more time stretching and finding a peace that helps my insomnia. Over the past number of years the constant back pain, combined with insomnia has been difficult and it is time take notice of the signs and make changes.

As an aside I am continuing to look into surgical options but it has to be the right fit and needs to be safe and show positive signs of recovery.

The Master Cleanser
The following is an outline of my upcoming cleanse outlined in the book, The Master Cleanse,

November 8th
  • Prepare mentally:-) & laxative tea
November 9th to 18th
  • 10 days of lemon formula
November 19th to 21st
  • 3 days to break fast
November 22nd
  • Resume normal eating

Pre Cleanse
  • Prepare mentallyJ
  • 9pm mug of laxative tea

  • 10oz mug
  • ½ organic lemon with part of the lemon skin and pulp
  • 2 Tbsp. dark organic maple syrup
  • 1/10 Tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Medium hot purified water
  • 6 mugs per day every 2.5 hours
  • Laxative herb tea to start and end the day
  • Extra water as desired

  • 7am 30min light run
  • 7:30am herb tea & light stretch
  • 8am lemon formula
  • 10:30am lemon formula
  • 1pm lemon formula
  • 2:30pm lemon formula
  • 5pm lemon formula
  • 6pm 90min light run
  • 7:30pm lemon formula
  • 9pm herb tea & light stretch
  • 10pm bed time

Post Cleanse
Day one
  • Replace lemon formula with fresh squeezed organic orange juice

Day two
  • Continue drinking fresh squeezed orange juice every 2.5 hours
  • Fresh organic vegetable soup, consuming mostly the broth

Day three
  • Orange juice in the morning
  • Raw fruit for lunch
  • Raw salad for dinner

Day four
  • Normal eating resumes with raw fruit, vegetables and hemp seeds with small portions of fish and lean meats.

There we have things in a nut shell, a aerobic block of training with a cleanse followed by whole food, patient stretching, continued squat program and regular training with an eye to safe and effective surgical options.

Along with the regular run training there will be a slight shift in focus to Nordic training and racing as winter approaches with an eye on the Alberta Loppet Series, the occasional NorAm Cup and the possibility of the National Championships all things going well.

This has been a long journey, dealing with back pain since retiring from the National Ski Team in 1993, but I continue to be confident I will find my way, eliminating my back pain for good!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What now, no really what now?

Same sensation as Stewarts Cup, got up to speed off the start and disc space felt uncomfortable and things progressively tightened from there, unfortunate but I have a few more ideas up my sleeve. Still on the right track just need some tweaking with hip mobility and flexibility.

More to come....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Now things get interesting

With Hamilton marathon this Sunday things start to get interesting. This new territory in a sense being so loaded on squats and intensity. Dropping the squats/sprints 10 days out and now dropping intensity 5 days out we now have 4 more days with 30min recovery runs.

Stewart Cup was a good blast of speed at the end of the squat phase on Saturday, and would have been better if I had not put my back out the day before moving a shipment to the basement but we deal. After a quick visit to the chiro the power has returned.

I plan to make one more visit to the chiro on Wednesday before flying to Hamilton and then take it easy on days leading up to the big day on Sunday.

As for a goal, I don't think I am going to put a number on this one, I just hope to feel the pain of pushing my limits, and if I do it will be a good run!