21 September 2010

CFE Certification

On Saturday September 11, I traveled up to CrossFit Morristown, to attend a two day CrossFit Endurance certification course. Before the weekend started I had a few specific goals that I wanted to accomplish in order consider the weekend a success. First and foremost I wanted fix my form and the form of my clients and athlete. The other was to gain a better understanding of the CFE programing. CrossFit Morristown is a great box with a great team of coaches and immediately I felt welcome and at home.
At 9:00 we started our course and we met our instructor Max Wunderle and he informed us that Brian Harkins would be joining us the following day to help with the certification. Right off the bat we got right into running mechanics and started with our initial form analysis. As I suspected, over striding was the root of all my running problems. We spent the next few hour working on drills to fix our form. At first I had a difficult time getting some of the drills as many of them go against many of the concepts I've been practicing for years. The more I relaxed the more the drills starting to click and now after a week of practice I seemed to have fixed my foot problems. I certainly have to concentrate a lot more now while running but a least it keeps my mind off the discomfort I'm feeling from the workout. Finally at the end of the first day we did the WOD(Workout of the Day) "Death by 10 meters." What that meant was every minute on the minute we would run 10 meters and the remainder of the minute would be your rest period. Each additional minute we were to add 10 meters. Each round that you add 10 meters you lose a few ticks off your rest period. In the end you eventually run out time before you complete the round. Max had suggested that we not kill the early rounds, in order to make it through as long as possible. Early on the rounds were pretty easy and I was able to focus on my new and improved running form. After the 10th round I started to realize why this workout was called "death by 10 meters" and the death part started to kick in. Max had informed us before we started the longest he had ever seen anyone go was 23 minutes and that was by Austin Malleolo , how close am I to a CF games competitor, I wondered. Lungs and legs were burning like never before but thinking I was in the lead I backed off the gas and and didn't make it to the 19th minute. When I realized there was still one guy going I was pissed that I hadn't given it everything that I had. Note to self never let up!!! Although it only lasted 18 minutes it was one hell of a WOD. After day 1 I stuck around for a bit and chatted with some of the other athletes and trainers who were attending the certification. I also noticed that they were having an Olympic Lifting seminar at CrossFit Morristown and decided to sign up. I'm looking forward the 29th.

On Day 2 I headed up early to CF Morristown and was lucky enough to get in a WOD, my third ever WOD in an Affiliate. My first two coming at CrossFit Reston, when I did my Level I certification. The majority of my WOD's taking place in my backyard or at RBR. It's my hope to one day open my own Affiliate so it's great to see how top notch facilities look and operate. With that being said I decided to stick with the CFE strength and conditioning WOD of 16 minutes AMRAP, 8 Dead Lifts @ #155, 8 chest to bar pull ups, 8 burpees. When I read the Rx I figured I'd have no problem doing 8 DL @ 155 but as usual I was wrong. After 6 rounds I looked at my timer and I still had almost 10 minutes to go I knew the DL's were going to kill me. Pull ups and burpees I have all day, throw a little weight lifting in a watch me squirm. Some where after 10 rounds I stopped counting and just focused keeping my body in motion.

Karianne Dickson, head coach of CF Morristown gave me some help on my DL form mid workout as she cued me to move my feet closer and to stick my chest out more. Having coaches around is a big help and especially when it comes to weight lifting, where poor technique can lead to injury. As I finished up, Max and Brian were starting to set up for day 2 so I cleaned up and got ready for more CFE goodness. As we headed outside for drills and filming it started to rain and within 10 minutes of being outside it was pouring out. In order to avoid the rain we headed to the parking garage next store. Unfortunately the parking garage didn't offer much room to really accomplish what we needed to do. In any case we made the best of it, got our filming down and headed back inside. After a quick lunch break we spent some time talking about the programing of workouts. Max even got into programing for high school cross country and track & field teams. My biggest concern when it comes to programing is when to know enough is enough. I will continue to use myself as a guinea pig and look forward to some up coming races to test my fitness under these new training methods.

All in all it was a great weekend of learning and I've already started to notice an improvement in my form as well as drops in times during my interval training.

10 September 2010

9/8 - 9/10 Workouts

9/8 : Hills, hills and more hills. Wednesday's workout called for 2 x 1200 uphill then 2 x 300 uphill and that means Hartshorne Woods. The one bright spot was that I didn't have to run hills weighted. I was a little pressed for time and cheated the warm up at little and left out the form drills. In retrospect I had plenty of time, I really just didn't feel like running back to the parking lot and the footing at the base of the hill isn't the place I want to be working on my form. The 1200's are only hard the last 300 and the 300 are hard because your running at least a 12-13% grade. After each interval I gave myself 1 minute recovery before a made my way back down the hill. After the hills and cool down I spent some time in the parking lot doing some general strength (air squats, walking lunges and lateral squat walks). From Hartshorne I headed over to Thompson Park to meet with one of my clients and then off to practice with my xc team. After practice I did my strength workout at RBR, 40 x squat clean thrusters w. 95 lbs. Tough strength work but I'm committed to improving my lifts even if that means being extremely uncomfortable. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

9/9's workout only called for strength training, consisting of 3 x 3 front squat w. 2 minutes recovery between set. After my third set I took 5 minutes recovery before I started 4 rounds for time of 10 x 55 lb dumb bell swings, 25 double unders. My double unders are getting better but still need to work on my technique in order to do them unbroken. It was a solid effort and I feel like I'm making gains in strength.

9/10's focus was on long intervals of 4 x 10 minutes w. 2 minutes recovery. I've never been a fan of long interval, mainly because they hurt and hurt for a long time. Before I started I knew there was a good chance I was going to have some problems and sure enough my foot was smoking half way through the first interval. My foot problem is definitely caused by my over striding, good news is with a little work and a little concentration I can fix this problem. Unfortunately my foot wasn't the only discomfort I experienced during the workout. It's definitely a gut check for me when I do long interval but I've come a long way since my early running days but at the same time if you're not thinking about quitting you're probably not going hard enough.

08 September 2010

Weekend Workouts

Here's what my training has looked like for the last few days. Again I've been trying to stick to the prescribed workouts of Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance as much as possible. On Friday I did one of the bench mark Crossfit WOD's called "Linda" aka three bars of death. The workout calls for dead lift, bench press, and squat cleans completing sets of 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 with no rest between sets. The prescribed weight is 1.5 body weight for the DL, body weight for bench and .75 body weight for the squat cleans. Since I'm still a relative newcomer to many of these lifts moving the prescribed weight can be a little difficult so I scaled the weight to 185 DL, 125 Bench, and 80 SC. Even with the scaled weights this WOD presented a challenge and took 27:47 to complete.

When I got up Saturday morning I could barely move from my Friday evening date with "Linda" and I found out that I had muscles in places I never knew. Shaking off the morning stiffness I headed up to Monmouth University to get in a workout before meeting with one of my athletes for their training session. 10 x 100 w. 90 seconds rest was the workout. The main goal was to run as fast as possible while staying as efficient as possible. Even with the focus on my mechanics I still managed to beat up my foot pretty good. I'm starting to think my foot problem comes from over striding. I'm going to figure this running stuff out some day. After I finished up my workout I headed out for my training session with on of my athletes, Craig Segal as he makes his final preparations for the Chicago Marathon in early October. Craig ran an 18 mile marathon simulation while I rode my bike to hand off, water, gatorade, & gels along the way. All I can say is Craig is fit and ready to run a great race in just about a months time.

Sunday workout out called for 4 DL's @ 70% of my 1 max rep, every minute on the minute for 8 minutes. Since I'm not really sure what my 1 max rep is I figured I could pull 250 from the floor once and decided to go with 175. After 8 minutes I took 5 minutes recovery then hit the C2 rower for 10 minutes. Unfortunately the rower I have access to has a broken computer so I just set my watch and pull. after the row I took 3 minutes recovery then did 2 minutes max rep push ups. All in all it was a great session considering I was still sore from "Linda" on Friday.

Is there any better way to start off your Labor Day then with a workout with your cross country team at Holmdel Park!?! Knowing that I have such a young group with the majority having never run at HP, I decided to keep the workout short and manageable. After 20 minutes of active warm up, I split the guys up into small groups and sent them on their way. 1 on 1 off, through 5k was their workout and the guys killed it. After our run we did a mini body weight circuit consisting of push ups, squats and burpees in sets of 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 with 60 seconds rest through 6 and 30 seconds rest from 5 - 1 . from Holmdel I headed of to meet with a few of my clients for their Monday sessions. I love when people don't let the holidays interfere with their training schedules!!!
After I finished with my clients I headed home to do some overhead squat work. Still only able to move small amounts of weight overhead I focused on stabilization and moving the bar up and down as comfortably as possible. 10 x 10

Tuesday intervals of 5 x 800 with 90 seconds rest and amazingly I had no foot problems. I started the session with a light 5 minute run then followed up with a 1600 m, active warm up and 3 x 100 meter progressive runs. I averaged 2:35 per 800 and not once did I feel like I was over extending myself. Each interval was faster then the previous finishing up at 2:32. After walking a lap I cooled down with an easy 1600 m run.

03 September 2010

9/2 : Workout

When will the heat end?!?! I think at this point I may be over it. No I know I'm over it. At 6:30 am. I headed over to the Brick Reservoir for my interval work. Today's plan was to run timed segment intervals of 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 4 minutes all with 2 minutes recovery and the goal was to cover as much distance as possible. I started off with a light jog of 5 minutes and from the first step I could immediately feel the effect of yesterday's heavy lifts. Having heavy legs is no way to start a workout but you have to do what you have to do, so that's what I did. After about 10 minutes of form drills and strides I set out on my first interval. The first interval was a little faster then I would have liked it to be but a little nervous energy will do that. As the pace picked up so did the discomfort of the hot spot on my right foot which is usually an indicator that I'm pushing to hard and over striding. After the first interval I reigned it in a bit and tried to run as comfortably fast as possible. For me the key to long time interval is not looking at my watch to soon. There's nothing worse then running a 6 minute time segment and checking your watch every 30 seconds. For each interval I was able to make it to the last minute before I checked my watch. I'm amazed at how much will power it takes to resist the temptation of checking your watch to early but for me it really makes a huge difference. After getting over the hump of the 6 minute segment I reminded myself that I only had 9 minutes of hard running remanning and that I've done that plenty of times before. Fatigue started to set in a bit toward the end but I managed to run a consistent workout and left the reservoir pleased with the work I had just completed. Unfortunately due to some time constraints I was unable to get my strength session in today.

01 September 2010

Olympic Lift : 9/1

I can't believe it's September already!?! One of my main goals this year was to start incorporating more olympic lifting into my training. Little by little since obtaining my Crossfit Level I certification I've become more and more comfortable with the movements of the olympic lifts. My main concern first and foremost is the movements, the weight is secondary. Today's plan was to focus on the clean and jerk. The workout today called for 6 C&J every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. Unfortunately because I'm still a novice at these lifts, it took me almost 1 minute to complete a set of 6 reps. After my first set I decided to scale the workout down a bit to allow me to still focus on the technique and I took 1 minute recovery after each set of 6 and went for a total of 25 minutes. I ended up completing 13 sets of 6 reps of the clean and Jerk. All in all it was a great training session and I walked away from todays session much more confident in my ability to clean and jerk. Next olympic lift that I need to work on is my snatch, and the snatch is a lift and movement the scares the hell out of me. I once read that in order to feel alive you should try to do something every day that scares you, does it count if you try to snatch everyday?

After my last set I cleaned up my mess and headed out to meet with the RBR boys XC team for their last summer practice. School starts tomorrow and my work and training schedule will change again now that practice will move from the mornings to the afternoons. We had another great session as a team and I think things are finally starting to come together. The guys are buying into the system and it's starting to show in all aspects of their training. The goal everyday is to improve by 1% from the previous day. I love it when a plan come together! After our run we headed into the weight room to do some general strength work (bench press, push offs and dips 3 x 15) and then the guys were off to enjoy their final hours of summer vacation.

After practice I hit my second strength session focusing on the squat. I warmed up with three light sets of 10 rep back squats. After my warm up I threw some weight on the bar for 5 x 5. My recovery after each set was the time it took to add more weight to the bar. Squatting with weight is another skill set that I hope to improve on in the next few months. The up side to this is that it is all so new, that there is only one way to go and that's up. Up in weight that is...