Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting Back Into It

I know it has been a while since my last post and I told a friend of mine that I would start posting daily training updates to my blog, so here goes.

Basically since the San Antonio marathon I have not been doing any serious running. I was not sure what was wrong, but my lower back was killing me. It hurt to sit down. I started doing Bikram Yoga at the begining of Decemeber because I really had no other alternative.

When you can not do your kung fu, run or hell, even sit down I gave it a shot.

After seeing me in severe pain and struggling just to sit up or lie down during the yoga poses, one of the instructors talked with me about using a foam roller and doing some hip stretches. He sent me some information all about hips and how to restore and or increase mobility in the hip musculature.

Basically, after a year of running ultra distances with very little stretching of the hip flexors and adductors and abducters, I had a type of adaptive shortning in my hip flexors. Try to do the tree pose with really tight hip flexors, you will get one hell of a laugh. It just does not happen. Or even a bow pose, ha!!

Anyway, I checked out the documents and have been learning how the glutes, the hip muscles and the hamstrings work together to provide stability while standing, running, etc... If you find yourself with tight hamstrings all the time, the issue is in your hips, not that your hamstrings are tight. The hamstrings are working double time, trying to provide stabilty which is the job of your glutes.

With that said, I have been making a real effort to stretch the hip flexors and other muscles of the hips and uppper legs.

I also looked at Rogue Running's website and found some running drills I have been incorporating into my workouts. Take a look at these, especially the sideways cross-legged running drill.

Also, I have decided that I need to make more of a commitment to kung fu and tai chi. I started back at tai chi last night and we did some excersises call I Ching Chings. Some forms are similar to yoga poses, but the real benefit are the breathing excercises which is also a benefit of yoga. I really want to see if chi (some mysterious internal engergy) is real, if I can develop it. We also did tai chi 24 which is the first 24 tai chi forms we learn, which I actually used to know but I forgot them and looked like an idiot. Dammit. I have some work to do there so I can get back started on tai chi sword. Kung fu is going well, but I need to polish off all my material so I can test for my first brown belt. It's been a year and half and most of the folks I started with are half way to second brown. My goal is to do all my kung fu material and tai chi material each day along with some key I Ching Ching exercies. For yoga I want to get to where I am going 4 times a week.

I bought some new excerise gear to supplement gym work and running. I have been in the gym lifting weights since I was about 13 or 14 years old. So that is like 17 or 18 years and, frankly, I am getting bored with the same ole excersises. I have plenty of strength and power front to back, but no power lateraly. Basically, because I have no core strenght. I have not done serious core work ever I dont think.

I bought flooring for my garage to make a place to do my kung fu and tai chi and also to do core type excersies that I dont feel comfortable doing in the gym. Namely hip thrusts and swiss ball crap. Also foam roller stuff.

Here is a list of of the equipment I have bought and plan on learing how to use to build a strength base for my summer hundreds and to generally experiment with some new stuff that actually is very old school.

Medicine Balls 9 and 12 lbs.
Indian Clubs. 1 and 2 lbs
Kettle bells. 34 lbs
Resistance vest.
Heavy Jump ropes.
Hand grippers up to 140lbs tensile strength.
Running parachute.

I am considering ordering a set of Bulgarian Bags, but I want to spend some time with the stuff I have now and then maybe those. They do look really cool though.

Here are the weblinks if you are interested in any of this equipment:

Here is a link for heavier indian clubs: ( I want to learn how to use these before stepping into the big leagues)

Here is what I did Monday for training:

5 hill repeats with the 9lbs medicine ball.

Also spent an hour walking and carring the ball to the side and front using both one and and sometimes both, trying to keep my abs tight the whole time and working on breathing. I wore an old school resistance vest I bought back in high school. A Bo Jackson resistance vest. These things have come a long way since then. I wore ankle weights during the walk.

On Tuesday I went to kung fu and tai chi for an hour a piece. Did lots of kicks and stretching. In tai chi we did some of the I Ching Chings so I got a good workout doing breathing exercises.

Wednesday morning we did 2 400 meter sprints on the track and 2 800 meter sprints.

1st 400 was in 1:36
2nd 400 was in 1:32
1st 800 was in 3:22
2nd 800 was in 3:36

After each fast lap we did a recovery lap. But on the first straightway we did half lunges and half frog hops. On the 2nd curve we did sideways cross-legged running. On the second straightway we did backwards running. I did the lunges and the curve and straightway with the 9 lbs medicine ball.

Okay, thats it for now. I am off to lunch at home to do some stretching and and abdominal work. I have done this the last two days and plan to make it part of my routine.


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