What is a training block? A training block is a period of focused training that hones in on a specific discipline. During these blocks, you back off on the volume and intensity of the other two disciplines to allow more time and energy to be spent on the third, which in this case is the bike. What are the benefits completing a training block? First, we need to talk briefly about the concept of progressive adaptation. In a nutshell, a stressor is applied in the form of a training session. This taxes the body systems which, in turn, respond by coming back a bit stronger than they were before (achieved with proper recovery!) so that they can better handle these stressors the next time around. Rinse and repeat. The tricky thing in multisport is that these stressors are spread across three sports and must be carefully balanced, and combined with appropriate bouts of rest and recovery, to avoid overtraining and injury. Throw life’s other demands into the mix and you’re left with a finite amount of stress you are able to apply within a given period. By scaling back the intensity and volume of two disciplines, you are subsequently able to scale up these factors in your third discipline. When executed in a strategic, smart manner, this can yield incredible fitness gains in a much shorter time than one would see utilizing their traditional approach. But won’t I lose fitness in other areas?! Nope! Your aerobic fitness will maintain, if not increase, throughout this training block. By strategically interspersing shorter, technique-based sessions of the other two disciplines each week, you will maintain neuromuscular sharpness in these areas without cutting into your primary focus area. So what now? As we wrap up race season and roll into the “off season”, this is the prime opportunity begin addressing our limiters in preparation for next year. Training blocks are an epic tool to doing so. So give it a shot! Switch things up, focus in and get ready to ROCK. We have developed a series of training blocks with various foci for the 2017-2018 off-season that are fully customizable to meet your training goals. The cycling block begins Monday, October 2. Sign up to get in on the fun!Read More »
LETS THINK OLD SCHOOL“Superfood” is a popular buzzword you’ve probably seen on health blogs, in grocery stores, and from well-meaning friends. It sort of scares us away because it seems that something is new and involved every time we turn around. Whether the latest fad is a rare fruit from the Amazon or a seed that cures every disease known to man, most superfoods build on hype, not evidence of real health benefits. HOWEVER ... your grandma had it right! Here are some foods that are MOST EXCELLENT FOR YOUR HEALTH. And they are easy. And cheap! Garlic has strong evidence to suggest it can improve circulatory health by facilitating blood flow, reducing blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels. Garlic also provides antioxidant benefits because it supports the activity of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. There is also evidence to suggest garlic consumption may ward off upper respiratory infections. It even has an anti-cancer effect. Including cloves of garlic in your diet is one of the healthiest habits you can have. What you really want to know, garlic can positively impact ...
- Acne, especially the big ugly ones under the chin
- Special issues in bikini area, like those ingrown things from biking!
- Bacterial infections, in the groin area, on the butt, etc.
- Eye twitching brought about by stress, deficiency in a B vitamin
- Cracks in the sides of your mouth, another deficiency in a different B vitamin
- Immunity, happiness and cardiovascular health
- Macular (eye) health
- Clean up and nurture the liver and cardiovascular system
- Provide iron and other plant nutrients that helps the body to deliver oxygen more efficiently, meaning better athletic performance.
YO! Did you know that Juice Plus, the Orchard, Garden, Vineyard Blend along with the Complete Protein Powder covers all of these!Read More »
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4898486/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480"]Read More »
[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4778216/height/90/width/480/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/" height="90" width="480"]Coach BK and Chris Russell wit RunRunLive.com and author chat about Chris's experience as an endurance athlete and doing a Spartan Beast. Coach BK - Braving Karma Coaching www.BonnieKissinger.com Athlete Health Assessment: www.bonniekissinger.com/aha Chris Russell http://runrunlive.com/Read More »
The yoga pose "forward bend" is an excellent way for athletes to stretch their hamstringsThis is an excellent visual on the goings-on of the standing forward bend. This pose is awesome for becoming friends with your hamstring. Most athletes probably HATE this pose. Those that practice yoga laugh, when we say we "hate" a pose, that's usually the pose that we need to practice more than anything. Doing this pose with some thoughts in mind, listed below, will help you to gain big benefits that will have a great impact on your running, as well as feeling better before and after running. I'm mean really, who would love to have a back that doesn't hurt? Thanks for the picture, Daily Bandha. [divider style="normal" top="20" bottom="20"]
What Athletes and runners need to know about forward bending:[tie_list type="starlist"]
- Hinging at the hips is important.
What this means for the runners; most likely the runner has either one or two tight hamstrings is that you MUST be patient at this stretch. If you are only bent at the hips a little bit, that's ok. Practicing forward bending with a flat back. This helps you to focus on stretching the hamstrings and not involving the back too much.
- Understand that the hamstrings are connected to the back.
You have two hamstrings that are separate and can be different in length. So what are we talking about here? Tight hamstrings can cause the pelvis to tilt backward, which causes the lumbar spine to flatten out. And it really doesn't like to be flattened out. The lumbar spine is designed to be curved (lordosis). To compensate, the back muscles and maybe the psoasis (etc) work (excessively) to correct the imbalance. You get this tug of war with the athlete ending up with a very sore and cranky back. Then add that one hamstring might be more tight than the other, which causes a side lilt in the pelvis as well. This results in the athlete having one side of the back more angry than the other. This imbalance continues up through the back and can cause shoulder and neck issues as well.
- Do not get aggressive with forward bending.
The hamstrings need to be treated like babies. They work alot. They probably have been neglected and expected to work a lot for little pay. If you stand a lot, they are constantly engaged. If you sit a lot, they get short and angry. So when you are working with the hamstrings and back in forward bending, always go slower, be more mindful. Ensure that when you are stretching the hamstrings, that you feel the stretch in the belly of the muscle, NOT in the back of the knee or at the sit bones.
- Use a block.
If you are working on lengthening the hamstrings and you are doing a standing forward bend, use the block. Some athletes are resistant to using the block because they feel like it's an indication that they can't do it "right". Using the block can be necessary to get a good connection with whats going on in the hamstring and the back. If you do this, you will stretch better. If you stretch better, you will have a greater chance of the hamstrings becoming longer and staying that way. If you do that, you will have a greater chance of getting to not needing a block faster. So...use the block! Also, there is this interesting thing that happens if you use the block: Having your hand on the block, mildly engaging the upper body, feeling a bit of push off from the block helps you to engage the entire back fascia chain. This means that kinetically you get smarter, experience a more whole body response. And that feels AWESOME.
Let's be clear. In yoga, "not right" is whatever hurts your body. For the runners, you want your yoga practice to help you race, be strong and stay in the game.
- Forward bending engages the parasympathetic nervous system.
This calls you down. Turns off your body's stress response. Most of us, the runners, are very driven and perhaps prone to "running at high speed" all the time. In the gym or at the office. Forward bending can be very nurturing for the body. If you allow yourself to slow down for a bit, and during your yoga practice don't skip the boring and slow stuff, you allow your body to recharge, rest and recovery.
Side Plank is an excellent way for athletes to build strengthThis is an excellent visual on the goings-on of side plank. For those that are interested, the yoga name is Vasisthasana.
I’ve recorded a video for you on the in’s and out’s of this wonderful pose.[embed width="100%" height="auto"]http://youtu.be/oh9OPSajKYA?list=UUkWjAz3CajW_TF1W2fwMDSQ[/embed] [divider style="normal" top="20" bottom="20"]
Athletes check out the plethora of benefits:[tie_list type="starlist"]
- Great for developing/maintaining shoulder strength for the athletes. Or rehabbing an athletes injured shoulder. When done with proper instruction, the athletes can learn to activate and stabilize the shoulder girdle in a very strong and positive way. Working to external rotate as well as internally rotating the forearm which is on the mat, helps to “co-activates” the infraspinatus and teres minor (external rotation) and the subscapularis (internal rotation) muscles of your rotator cuff.
- Good place to work to develop core strength, and to learn how to put the entire kinetic chain together. Foot to trap. By pressing the edge of your lower foot/side of the foot into the mat, and then gently draw it upwards towards the shin to "evert" the foot activates a series of muscles-including the "lateral subsystem", which connects yours shoulders and legs to your core. When you press the side of your foot into the mat, you activate the peroneus muscles as well as the abductor muscles up at your hip (the TFL and gluteus medius). These muscles have a fascial connection to your abs, specifically the external oblique (which attaches to the rim of the pelvis). The external oblique connects to your shoulders via the serratus anterior muscle. The serratus anterior is a scapular stabilizer that works in concert with the rotator cuff. So the whole operation helps to integrate your feet, legs, pelvis and lumbar--all the way up to the shoulders.
- Will slim down the athletes waist. :)
- Can give the wrists a much needed rest if you are an athlete new to yoga.
- Can help athletes to identify imbalances in the core/shoulders one side to the next. And also provides you with the pose to work on to even things out. This will benefit the athlete in a really big way in the pool especially, but in general as well.
With cooler temperatures now is a popular season for running. Whether you're an experienced runner returning from a season off, or you're ready to start your very first running routine, these helpful tips will get you started on the right (and left) foot!
- Wear the right shoes
- Carefully choosing your sneakers will prevent injuries and frustrations, thereby boosting your running confidence right from the start! Your local running store can custom fit you for a pair of shoes based on your gait analysis, characteristics of your feet, and the shape of your arch.
- Find a running buddy
- Running with a friend makes things more fun and holds you accountable, so you’ll stay motivated in your new running routine. Partners can range from an experienced runner acting as a coach, to another beginner looking for encouragement. A quick search on Google also reveals that most cities have local running groups, if you prefer a social run!
- Start slow and steady
- There’s no need for speed in the beginning (or ever!) of a running program. Responsibly build up your distance to avoid injury or burnout. Remember that it’s okay to take walking breaks – use the tried and true “run-walk” method, "popularized by distance coach Jeff Galloway, a member of the 1972 Olympic team." (NY Times)
- Set realistic goals
- To keep exercise enjoyable, find practical ways to fit workouts into your schedule, setting you up for success rather than frustration or disappointment. Just because you start a running program doesn’t mean you have to run long distances or sign up for a race. Avoid comparing yourself to other runners. Do what’s best for your body and your schedule!
I knew the race would be difficult. I felt prepared. I was organized. Felt pretty calm. Leading up to the race I took exceeding good care of myself. Got good sleep. Didn't do anything crazy in yoga. Walked with CAUTION everywhere. Practiced the swim in my mind everyday. Visualized. Those that know my things about the water. When the officials said no wetsuits in the age group competition I got a little worked up. Mainly because there was a decision that I would have to make. I just wanted all the decisions to already be made. I'd never done an open water swim without my wetsuit. I could wear my wetsuit and go in the last heat but I might run out of time. After asking the coaches and my heart, I decided to wear the wetsuit and go last. My biggest goal of the race was to get the swim done without having an asthma attack. The water was really ROUGH. 2 to 3 foot swells. IT WAS AWESOME. I started out, didn't panic, worked to keep calm, felt fine, just couldn't quite get the the rhythm of the freestyle. Without drinking a ton of water. I got pretty good at getting a nose full of water and snorting it out. So I did a lot of breast stroke. Found a rhythm. Found a way to ride the waves a bit. Stopped drinking so much water. In the back of my mind I was aware that I needed to get around the buoys faster. So I'd go back to the freestyle, where I managed to find this feeling of moving through the water better. Then I'd drink some more water. And move back to breast stroke. I was getting there, slowly. The chic I was keeping up with was pulling away. I was getting a little nervous. Then the guy in the kayak told me I had 12 minutes to get in. I had three more buoys left. I said "F$CK", measured the distance, concluded that I wouldn't make it. And said "F$CK" again. I start to sob a bit. WHAT??? CRYING IN THE LAKE??? It's hard to cry, breathe, swim, sight for the finish and not get drowned by the waves. At the point, I had resigned to not getting in on time. And I wanted to finish this $250 dollar swim strong. If this was the last of my race, i wanted to do it well. So I pressed on. Hard. The guy in the kayak said "You got to do your very best." So I start swimming harder. More than what I thought I had. On my weak side. Faster. Breathing becomes more forced and here it comes, the wheezing. The asthma. I had this fleeting thought that one wrong wave and this sharp edge I was forcing myself on could really suck. But the kayak guy was right there with me. Shouting me on. Then I hear the announcer of the race yelling my name. And everyone else. That was pretty cool. I ran out of steam. Asthma attack. I had nothing left. I'm looking at the last 50 yards thinking "I JUST CAN'T DO IT". I can hardly get to the boat ramp, knowing my time is (has) running out and I just have NOTHING left. I'm pretty sure I didn't make it. Then I hear the announcer say I'm the last swimmer. My first thought "SWEET!!! That swim didn't cost me $250 just 5 bucks". Second thought, you got to breathe. I hardly see anyone, until I see Anna. A friendly face asking me if I'm alright. I say "I don't know". And just keep walking to my bike. Time in the water: 1:11. Side note: Chomps before the swim do me good. Getting on the bike was easy. Getting going was easy. I had my feet under me. I was thrilled. As I crossed the dam I left the swim behind me and started looking up for the next person to pass. It was DIFFICULT to see bikers coming in, but heck... I kept telling myself, "You're the cut off swimmer. You MADE it." At first I passed a few people. It wasn't as triumphant to pass the ones on the side of the rode with flats and what not. But I took what I could get. Side note: I can't pee in my wetsuit for some reason. So... after passing a legitimate racer (someone still moving forward), I stopped and did a QUICK pit stop. I did spy for bad plants. Didn't need that kind of drama. QUICK QUICK, I'd be @#)$( if that guy passed me back. Didn't find the bike ride THAT bad. Not after that brutal Atlanta 70 mile training ride. The tea pot song wasn't helping much. So I changed it..."just keep pedaling, whens this gonna stop, heck if I know..." I'd look up, damn hill wasn't done yet..."apparently not yet, just keep pedaling, whens this gonna stop, heck if I know..." Hahaha. I got to mile 25 with just 7 F-bombs. I was pretty proud. I was trying to keep it under 10. Though I counted the ones in my head, not just out loud. Maybe that was being to hard on myself. Every person I passed was AWESOME. I knew that at about mile 36 things were gonna get easier. And the killer wind was gonna be my ally. So when we turned, I hit it hard. AWESOME. I actually enjoyed the bike ride. Besides the left butt bone. And the wasp. So flying down a BIG hill, 40 miles an hour (not letting up) something flies into my shirt and I get a sharp sting. The F-bombs just started flying. I look at my hands, at my speedometer, at my boobs and decide to just ride it out. I totally forgot that they can only sting you once. That would have helped. So I'm sort of freaking out that I have a bug in my bra that's gonna keep stinging me. I get my arse but the next hill. Come to this awesome streaking halt and flash the sheriff sitting there directing traffic to release my wasp. DUDE. That was the only time someone passed me. For about 30 seconds. Finishing that ride was AWESOME. I felt great. Perpetuum. That nasty drink at the aides stations sucked. I ate 2 salt capsules every hour. A lot of chomps with caffeine and the orange yummy beans. I almost took a dive into the "BIKE IN" blow up thing. hahaha. Didn't quite get both feet unclipped. Managed to save it and get on with the day. Bike Time: 4:01 Starting the 13 miles was hard. My legs felt ok. It was just plain HOT. And the run was so incredibly boring. The highlights of the run: Running with Glen for a bit. Seeing Dan a bunch. Seeing Ashlea's rockstar @ss. Kelli on her last bit, getting myself an "another lap to go kiss". The honey badger sign at the aide station. She recited the video to me, so that was cool. "He's so NASTY...He doesn't give a SHIT. He just takes what he wants!" The water hoses. And the seasoned triathlete that said this was a really hard race. I walked at each station. One cup of water over the head, one down the back. The cup of ice down the cleavage. (Thinking back...I wonder if this helped the wasp bite not get angry.) Two cups of water into the stomach, refill my little hand water thingy and off I went. I only ate two Gu's, which surprised me. The one that I kept in my pants tore me up!!!! I kept up eating the salt capsules. I felt pretty good until I got to the pit of hot hell, down by T1 and the porta potties. NASTY. The water hoses had such a big impact. I would get TOTALLY drench and feel SUPER FABULOUS until dry. I passed a lot of runners. I tried not to walk. I walked more on loop one. Average pace was 12:20. Loop two got better. ALMOST DONE. Pace quickened to 11:00. Still feeling pretty good. Knees started hurting the last 1/2 mile. So I slowed down. That last bit SUCKED. I had it in the bag and my legs were saying "hey, missy, we are REALLY tired". Rounding that corner though, into the shoot was awesome. I saw someone walking and thought to myself "WHAT!!!! This is where YOU DO NOT WALK!" This is where you dig deep and pull yourself together. Icing on the cake. The announcer saying "Here's Bonnie Kissinger, boy I'm glad to see her finish!". That was TOTALLY AWESOME! Run time: 2:33.
Running is passion. The freedom of the it. The drive. The zone. I use to run a lot. I played soccer. EVERYDAY. Twice a day. None stop. I was in love. That's where I felt free, where I belonged. And then injury brought it all to a SCREECHING halt. That was a hard one to stomach. And now, looking back, it didn't have to end that way. There were options, though being young and inexperienced without a good mentor, coach, etc... well, water under the bridge...pick your fav cliche...Here I am. I learned a lot. And my passion has shifted a bit. I can't run anymore but I have found this thing called yoga. And just let me say this: It's not just stretching folks. There is a ton more to yoga than stretching. You haven't made it to the right class or teacher if you're bored, if your runner's heart hasn't been challenged. Yoga is about balance. Balanced action. On the physical level, joints that are SUPPORTED and ALIGNED. Strong hips muscles and loose hip muscles. Long hamstrings and strong quads. Strong back and strong abs. Injury comes when something gets out of balance, then a joint experiences too much wear and tear. Yoga is about warming up the body and muscles, then stretching and strengthening, a big key in injury prevention. Warm muscles stretch and work better. Yoga is about consistent activity leading to consistent results. Muscles have memory, so that short hamstring will want to stay short for a while. Consistent and nurturing stretching will encourage the hamstring to remember longer, not feel like it's being abused which can lead to rebellion and injury. For example, in your triangle pose you'll learn to respect the limitations of your inner thighs and hamstrings, use your quads to help the hamstrings loosen. You'll find the back stretch and the upper body strength and mobility to align the body in a wonderful expression of strength and freedom. Then when you have that down, you could progress to really deepening your core strength by using your own power to align. What does that mean...barely touch the floor or block with that bottom hand. Lengthen that bottom side. There will always be room to grow. Each yoga pose will have it's challenges. It's a super cool thing to find the openings and the strength which leads to a new level of body and mind awareness. On other levels, yoga will help with mental focus and breathe awareness. This is where a deeper, more steel like ability comes into play. And wisdom. Remember balance. We learn how to stick with it and when to pull back. We learn more about our bodies, where we are in space and how to be solid in some of those crazy poses. It can get real juicy. It's always a dance, but when you learn to dance well, your performance goes up and your injuries go down. And you feel like a ROCKSTAR! Bottom line. Here's what yoga will do for the runner. With consistent and teachable effort. Injury Prevention, Better Performance, Flexibility/ Range of Motion, Lung capacity, Mental Focus, Longevity, Endurance and Strength It doesn't matter what you know about yoga, how flexible you are, what clothes you wear, how old you are, how young you are, if you are man or woman. Yoga is so flexible in how it's taught. Find yourself a GOOD teacher. And stick with them awhile. You'll learn some really cool things, get stronger. Calmer. More grounded. Might learn things that will totally blow your socks off if you want. It's not just about mastering a certain pose, it's about the fun that you'll have getting there!Read More »