How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

Maintaining your fitness and wellness habits can be challenging, especially when life gets
busy. However, developing simple and effective strategies will help you stay on track and
keep your health a priority. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to
staying fit and healthy, complete with tips and techniques that you can implement in your
daily routine.

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6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Tri Tip Tuesday: My MOST Important Running Tip

Tri Tip Tuesday: My MOST Important Running Tip

On Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, I will do my best to give one simple fitness, triathlon or running tip, trick or piece of information that will provide some value to in either helping you to become more efficient, prevent injury, increase performance, have more fun or at the minimum give a review of knowledge that might not have crossed your path in a some time.

I find myself observing other runners while running and sometimes just hanging out here in Tampa.  Due to the weather here lending itself to year-round training, I have no shortage of material to choose from.

My #1 Most Important Run Tip

My coaching practice’s number one priority is form, technique and injury prevention, so I routinely use other runners, with my clients to reinforce the form training I have provided.  (Sorry, Tampa runners.  If you happen to pass by me with a client, most likely you have been observed and surveyed for comparative analysis.)

With all of my observations, the number one issue that I see are runners that sit in the bucket.  Of course, the question most people ask is what does sitting in the bucket mean?

Basically, it’s when the glutes(or bum) are not in line with the torso.  The body looks like an “L” from the torso to the hamstrings.  Natural running which when learned is much easier, more efficient and greatly reduces impact on the joints.  The torso hips, glutes and ankles form a straight line.

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The interesting thing is, that running should be instinctual right?  Unfortunately, not anymore.  Sociological factors have played into our bodies to a point where most Americans, cannot just decide to take up running without going through periods of injury.

For example, sitting at a desk all day will tighten the hip flexors so that it becomes extremely difficult to push the hips under the torso.  The same thing is evident for playing video games on the couch for long periods of time.

The figure on the left is actually still a lot better than I have noticed out and about.  The torso is still tall and the chest is still has a little bit of lean to it causing forward motion.  A lot of runners I notice, sit in the bucket and lean back.  What is this doing?  Basically, gravity is working against the runner.  The objective is forward motion but the glutes and the torso are sitting back, so in essence, the body and gravity are working against itself.

Another perception you will see is the heel strike of the runner.  When that heel strikes the ground the impact reverberates all the way from the ankle through the legs, spine, neck shoulders and head.  This is where most of the injuries take place.

By simply starting to incorporate, tilting the hips under the torso and leaning from the ankles instead of the waste, the body will start allowing gravity to be used instead of the legs as the sole source of momentum.  Suddenly, the feet are striking the ground underneath the center of gravity and only the calf down to the metatarsals absorb the majority of the impact from the ground.

I continue to instill in my clients, running is powered by the core, not the legs.   Use gravity as momentum and allow the legs to just go for the ride.  To remain consistent, the core must be strengthened and hip flexors stretched to keep the glutes from returning to the bucket.

There are many techniques to help modify the behavior to allow for an efficient, safe and effective change of form.  All it takes it the will to want to change and get better and you will.

The #1 tip – get out of the bucket.

 

Are you running in the bucket? 

Did this information shed some light on any area of your running that might be in need of improvement? 

Carpe Vitam!

(Seize Life!)

Guest Goof Review – Flashdance:The Musical

Guest Goof Review – Flashdance:The Musical

I was courted to review Flashdance: The Musical at the Straz Center for their opening night on Tuesday, but other commitments kept me from attending.  Rather than give up my tickets and sacrifice a review I sent volunteers, Mrs. Miranda Lessie, Mrs. Amy Eck and Bennett Eck in my place.

This is my first Guest Blog as it is written by Miranda Lessie.

Flashdance: The Musical – Straz Center for the Arts, Tampa Florida.  19 Feb 2013

Move over Las Vegas, there is a new party in town and it’s called Flashdance. Can you remember the iconic water works scene in the original movie? You won’t have to imagine it for long once you sit down for this new musical.

Flashdance The Musical

Flashdance The Musical

If you love the 80’s music, hair styles, dancing and most of all the legwarmers, you will be right at home with this production. Even if you don’t adore these things, you will find yourself moving to the live orchestra which sounding more like an 80’s hair band than an orchestra. Perfect for this play.

The play starts off with a running start and gets right into the story line. It was a fast start for me who prefers more of a background building and character development. Once all the characters were introduced throughout the play, the story line begun to come alive and I fell in love with each character. Kudos to the Casting director who found the perfect character for each performer whom seemed to have been born to play their particular part. The leading lady Emily Padgett was a dead ringer for the original movie character.

I found some characters had a shaky start with their first song but each ended with a bang. The singing in the play was equal to, if not better than, the dancing. All the performers were superb singers, dancers and actors.

The set and lighting was a plus for this play. I never questioned what location we were at in the play because there was a huge display at the top of the stage at every scene change. My only question about the set is “just how did they do that water dance scene?” It was so perfect.

Costumes were exquisite but not over the top. They were very believable for the time period. They were also just on the edge of being rated a little more than PG-13. The language was appropriate for this type of play and slang was kept a very minimum.

As I walked out of the playhouse, I wondered why I didn’t attend more productions. I absolutely fell in love with this medium and will be back soon. The actors made this play but the scene and music made the actors. ~ Miranda Lessie

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Goof Views and News #1

Goof Views and News #1

Hey there boys and girls, guys and gals.  It’s the Goof comin’ at ya from Tampa, Florida to give you the first episode of what I hope to be one of many.

The Goof Views and News.

These will be personal perceptions made during specific times or events that may resonate some of you and news of events that have happened or will happen in the future.  For instance, as I have posted on FB and Twitter, I have registered for the Chicago Marathon as I did in 2011 prior to the Florida Ironman.  Ta da!  The first news of the post.

The Views (Seeing through the eyes of the Goof)

I was at Disney World this weekend enjoying some rest and relaxation and I wouldn’t say it was an epiphany, but it was a clarification of sorts.  I just happened to be in line at Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrow Land when I saw a couple coming toward me. He was a larger man riding in one of those motorized carts, and she was walking beside him.  She wasn’t a small person either.  They obviously were not concerned about their conversation being overheard and I heard him swear at her for some reason.  She yelled back at him, “Well if you would do something about it, you wouldn’t have to ride around in that thing.”  He snapped back with, “You think it is that easy, well you try it.”  She ended up retorting with, “I am! You <insert explicative here>!  You don’t see me needing a <insert another explicative> wheelchair. Do Ya?”  The large man pushed what I assumed to be the accelerator and moved ahead of her.

This is what I recall, it may not have been their exact words, but it did make me look around a bit more during my weekend visit.  Without being completely rude I started focussing on the more obese adults and I noticed something.  Ninety-five percent of the adults that were obese looked miserable.  I am not including people that just had a few extra pounds on them, I am talking about adults that were obviously fat.

There was not one of them that looked like they were having any fun.  Here we are in the happiest place on earth, with perfect weather, scents of food, and sweetness in the air, upbeat music, not a noticeable speck of negative energy in the place and these people are miserable.  Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?  Don’t get me wrong, I have never been that big.  I have been fat where I needed to take some pounds off, but never obese, so I can only imagine how hard it is, but to willingly stay in misery, just sounds exhausting to me.

Later, I sought out children that were, let’s just say, were in need of some more activity, which took all of thirty seconds.  While there were some that were running around, in my estimate, seventy to eighty percent of them were whining for somewhere to sit down.  Sit?  When there are rides, and new things to touch, smell and see?  Of course, most of them had parents that were in the same condition.  Go figure.

There are articles on articles explaining the epidemic we have in this country of obesity, but they are words on a page and maybe a picture.  I was able to watch this before my very eyes and they burned with disgust, pity, and sadness.  The next morning, I got up and ran six miles to clear the images from my head and come up with some kind of dream resolution.  The next time you are at an event or a place where there are families and a lot of people become aware of this. (Athletes: the Gasparilla Distance Weekend coming up, would not be a good place for this kind of perception.)

After mulling this around for the last few days, my desire to help has increased.  I know there are an abundance of people with this same desire and some of them more so if they have been able to overcome this obstacle for themselves, but I really want to help and the kids even more so.  We need to bring this epidemic more into the open and encourage people to move around and do something for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.

On to the News

I have entered into a partnership with Brenton Ford from Effortless Swimming.  He has a new program called Swimprove where a swimmer can log into a website and access an abundance of material to help them swim faster and more efficiently   As I have stated in numerous posts before, I really need help on my swimming.

I will be accessing his website and will be following his advice to the letter and bringing you my results, epiphany’s and observations.  This program of Brenton’s is not just for beginning swimmers, but for triathletes, open water swimmers and masters swimmers that would like to improve and become faster.  Included is not freestyle but the butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke as well.  I am really excited to get started and document what I have learned.

Gasparilla is this weekend and I am taking on the Beck’s Lite Challenge, so I will be running the 15k and 5k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Which races are you running?

I am currently coaching at FitNiche on Tuesday’s with a new program called the Technical Tune-up.  I have a number of runners just looking to have a structured workout that includes warm-ups, and cooldowns and gives them access to a coach running with them paying close attention to their form in order to create more efficiency and keep them injury free.  Most of my runners are return clients, but I do have some new clients that have joined the flock.  I am really excited to be coaching again.  The program goes for 8 weeks and then renews.  I still have some slots available, so if you feel like you are getting injured a lot or just not making any progress, or just want a structured workout, come on out.  Tuesday Nights starting at 6:30 pm at FitNiche in Hyde Park Village.

The owner and I are working on the marketing for a new course as well, but I will announce that later when the details are flushed out.

That is it for this episode of the Goof Views and News.  Have an amazing week and train hard athletes, but also train smart.

Carpe Viam!!

Thinking about Ironman, and help for a great cause.

The political season is over!  Finally, the earful of negative spouting and cursing from each candidate is finished and our communities can get back to the business of living and of course, working out.

I have an affinity for doing my best thinking in the shower.  I know, kind of weird right.  It must be because there is nothing in there except the overwhelming peace of the hot water being sprayed all over….uh…..well, you know what I mean. (At least I hope.) Anyway, I was trying to figure out how can I possibly complete all of my workouts for Ironman without it obsessively impacting my life as it did last year.  I am still having an issue with it, but I think I figured it out to a point.  I know I have three workouts in each event, plus 3 strength workouts, and hopefully 1 yoga class per week.  Here is what I have so far:

Monday – Interval Swim, Strength
Tuesday –  Tempo Swim, Interval Bike (2-a-day)
Wednesday – Interval Run, Strength
Thursday – Tempo Run, Tempo Bike (2-a-day)
Friday – Long Swim (as recovery)
Saturday – Long Bike ( Subst. Bricks), Yoga
Sunday – Long Run, Strength (Subst. Swim Bricks)

As you can see if I can pull this off then I only have two nights a week where I have 2-a-days and they are bike workouts and can be completed in front of the TV using commercials for intervals.  Saturday will still be long workouts, but Sundays should be done by late morning.  It works out within my groups as well, since Wednesday morning is track with Coach Dror,  my interval workout, Thursday, I have been running with Jackie and crew since they do their easy runs which is tempo for me, and the weekends will continue to be long bike workouts and bricks with the A-Train.  I am also contemplating swim workouts on Monday and Tuesday possibly being at the University of Tampa and their masters program which may provide some instruction, but mainly accountability.

I really do not have to start all of this until January if I decide to do Ironman Louisville, or March if I decide to compete only in Ironman Florida, but it has been rattling around inside my brain because I really want to perform much better this time.  I am planning on pushing my body to its limits at IMFL and to find out what I really can do, and that is going to take planning, commitment, desire, passion, but most of intelligence.  It is going to take smarts to know when and how to recover which is not something I have been all to familiar with.

I am not sure whom is all reading my blog but for those of you whom are not followers of Sneakers & Fingerpaints, or Crazy Running Girl, there is a virtual run campaign for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  I donated my 7.5 mile PR this morning, and I hope you will help as well.

The American Red Cross is still taking donations to help the Hurricane Sandy victims from this past weekend. Also, now not only are they recovering from that storm and rebuilding, but they are awaiting a snow storm on their door step. To Donate, click here.  Any amount, big or small, can make a big difference!

Crazy Running Girl did a post on a Virtual Run to help the victims of Sandy.

With a minimum donation of $10, you can go to the link above to register to run in the month of November – there are also prizes to be won as well & all proceeds would go to the American Red Cross too! Nothing like a great, virtual run, for a great cause!

Carpe Viam!!

Workout Wednesday

The Revolution 3 Florida 70.3 is 5 days away and I feel like I am still working out pretty hard for this “so called” taper week.  The workouts are shorter in duration but a little more intense.  Yesterday’s workout ended up being a 4 mile tempo run on Bayshore.

I started, as always with a warm-up of Dave Scott drills, ballistic stretches, high knees, hamstring leg-ups, booty kickers and bounders.  My main set consisted of a 1 mile run at an 8:15 minute mile, Four 3 minute sprints with 45 seconds rest in between, and another 1 mile run at 7:45.  I cooled down with my usual routine of 50 walking lunges, 50 monkey lunges, 50 squats, 50 crab walks and static stretches.  Does that sounds like taper week to you?  At the time I didn’t, but afterward I understood.  I was fatigued to a point where I was recovering fast, but I felt like I could do more.  I am not sure if it will actually do anything for me as far as strength or speed, but it did boost my confidence, which was just fine with me.

Bayshore Tuesday Morning

This morning (Wednesday), I looked  at my plan and an expletive was about to come through my mouth for two reasons; a) I didn’t sleep well the night before, and b) I really thought this was taper week.  As I perused the scheduled butt kicking I was about to give myself, I realized I might have been wrong.  Here was my bike trainer workout this morning:
Warm-Up – 50 single leg drills on each leg, 100 single leg drills on each leg, 10 minute spin in the small chain ring
Main Set – (and get this) Pyramid Intervals: 1 min sprint, 1 min spin, 2 min sprint, 1 min spin all the way to 6 min sprint, 1 min spin and back down to 1.
Cool Down – 15 min spin and 1 mile transition run

I didn’t expect a workout of this intensity this morning, but at the conclusion, dripping with sweat, I realized how ready I was for this weekend.  I might not do as well as I did in Augusta, but I am sure going to give it one hell of a try.

Speaking of workouts, the off-season is coming up and my goals are to develop some leg strength that will allow me to average 24 mph on the bike comfortably, arm, core and back strength to allow me to propel in the water, run faster, and stay in the aerobars longer on the bike.  I also would like to increase my flexibility to keep relieving pressure on the injury in my lower back.

Here is one of the first workouts I ever did to comeback from my back injury which helped me attain the base cardio, core and strength I have today and which has allowed me to enjoy the success I have been having. (Well, at least I think it’s success.)

Warm-up: (1 set x 10 reps)

  • Walking Knee Hug
  • Lateral Jumps
  • Fwd Lunge w/ Overhead Reach
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Reverse Lunge w/ Twist

Core (3 sets x 10 reps)

  • YTLI Raises
  • Swiss Ball Plank
  • Single Leg Glute Bridge

Strength – Supersets (3 supersets x 10 reps)

  • Prisoner Squat/T- Push up
  • Dumbell(DMB) Reverse Lunge/Inverted Row
  • DMB Single Leg Romanian DeadLift/DMB Push Press
  • DMB Lateral Lunge/Pull up

Cardio Ciruit (20 reps of each exercise x 3 rounds)

  1. Kettlebell Swing
  2. Burpee
  3. Squat Jump
  4. Shuttle Run

It’s a pretty good workout and can be done in about 45 minutes with minimum equipment obviously.  As with any workout whatever you put in, you will get out and with this workout it is no different.  I thought I would share it as a portion of Workout Wednesday.  I will continue to bring you different workouts each week whether I get them from my past experience or from research I find.  If you have any workouts you are passionate about or WODs (workout of the day) you enjoy.  Feel free to submit them via the contact form and I will post them and credit you with a guest posting.
Carpe Viam!