Friday WOD

Day 11

15 x 50m hill sprint
Any hill will do, but the steeper the better.
2min rest (includes the walk down)

Photo Credit: Jim Sutherland www.hereandnowphotoart.com
(Does anyone know what effect this photographer used during shooting to make it almost look animated, or like there is a silver gloss? I love how dark all the depths are--e.g. right above the lead runners knee. If you know, please post to comments)


Thursday WOD

Day 10

5 rounds of the following

1 round = 10 yd Agility Box runs in one direction
+ 10 Push-ups (No piking your bum-bum in the air)
+30 sec rest
+10 yd Agility Box run in opposite direction
+15 sit-up (hands behind ears, feet on ground, toes touching)
Rest 90 seconds and go again. Complete 5 rounds

Agility Box Directions: Set up 4 "cones" in a square with each cone 10 yards apart marking the sides. 
Sprint the first side
Side shuffle the second
Backward run the 3rd,
Turn and sprint the 4th
(you should end where you started)

It should look like this:



Wednesday WOD

 Holy quadriceps development! Must have a good GPP program.
Day 9

Rest day
15-20 minute light jog*

*"Rest days" in the offseason are great times to do extra work to improve some sort of skill like endurance ability, coordination, gymnastics, bodyweight exercises, etc.

Athletes: I have received good response from you about these postings. Please let me know if you need an individual weights workout sheet--I would be happy to furnish you with one.



Tuesday's WOD and "The Omnivore's Dilemma"

First of all
Please take note of the new LibraryThing widget I added in the left sidebar. Go to LibraryThing and document your reading for yourself, as well as other readers.

Next, the WOD:

Day 8
4 x 800meter
(suggested rest 3:1. So whatever time you run your first 800 in, multiply that by 3 and that is your rest
example: 800 #1 done in 2:00min, rest 6 min; 800 #2 done in 2:15, rest 6:45min...)

Now a Book Review
Pollan, Michael, & Chevat, Richie. (2009). The Omnivore's dilemma: the secrets behind what you eat. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers. 
I also wanted to reflect on a book I just finished. For one of my master's classes I had to read an informational non-fiction book for young adults (teens). With this awesome opportunity I read Michael Pollans young adult version of The Omnivore's Dilemma: the Secrets Behind What You Eat. I would recommend this book to any young man or woman at all interested in where your food comes from. Pollan does a fantastic job of detailing our abundant use of corn in food. Pollan never really says why corn is bad, in fact he never really says it is bad at all...for humans that is. Pollan tells how the "industrial food" companies throughout our country are feeding corn to cattle, pigs, and chicken. You might think "well, that's great! I've always heard that things being 'corn-fed' is a good thing. They become big and strong." Well, Pollan will both agree and disagree--the animals get big, maybe strong, but a corn diet for animals is wholly unnatural. Never in history have cows, pigs, and chickens eaten corn naturally. So what's the big deal???? Well, I think Pollan is trying to say that there are many things wrong with how animals are treated, but also that some of the small problems we have with food may become larger ones. Not sure if I buy in whole hog (pun intended), but interesting for sure.

Pollan offers up a good book with many good ideas, but I will share with you what I thought were the best ideas that were located in the additional materials in the back of the book (page 287)

a. Don't eat anything your grandmother (maybe great -randmother at this point) wouldn't recognize as food. 
b. Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients or with ingredients you don't recognize or can't pronounce. Pollan does an excellent job of bashing the Twinkie, and the Twinkie with its 31 ingredients (18 derived from corn!) is an excellent example of something not to eat.
c. Don't eat anything containing high-fructose corn syrup. Your mom doesn't cook with it, why should you eat foods from corporations that have cooked it in for you. No where in nature is HFCS natural 

 a. Buy your food from the outside perimeter of grocery stores, and avoid the middle aisles. I think many markets have caught onto this tactic, but it still holds true for most grocery stores.
b. Don't buy, or eat, anything that doesn't eventually rot.  Foods engineered to live forever are unnatural and are usually filled with chemicals. Food should be alive and that means it should eventually die.
c. Shop at farmer's markets or a farmstand whenever you can.
d. Be curious and explore where your food comes from.

a. Cook your own meals. Take control of your diet, and learn how great cooking can be to alleviate the boredom that comes with fast food.
b. Garden. Guarantee yourself the freshest produce by growing it yourself. I believe that growing things is one of those things in life that teaches you so much that you would otherwise never know. My GF takes care of the growing around our house, and I am jealous of some of the things she learns while I remain ignorant.
c. Try not to eat alone.  Did you know it is almost uniquely American to eat alone, and that in many other cultures eating is a social thing to be done with others, and eating alone makes you look like a freak. Well, that's not our culture so you shouldn't be ashamed, but when we eat alone we tend to eat more than we need. 
d. Eat slowly and stop when you're full. Food companies want us to eat and drink to excess, because they make more money that way. Don't fall into that trap. 
e. Eat at the table. We snack more than we dine these days. Eat with your family, friends, and loved ones--it's so simple, and someday I think we will all regret not doing it more. To the parents reading this--the family meal is on its way to extinction, do your part to save it.

Excellent points that I agree with. Before I get called out as a hypocrite I would like to say that in-competition nutrition almost always has to be different, but I think every diet should have exceptions. Your diet should be relatively "clean" 90% of the time, during competitions your needs change (sometimes a Gu is essential...completely unnatural but necessary at that point). Basically, when we can control our dietary circumstances we should.

Thanks for reading


Monday WOD

Day 7

8 Rounds, for time of
150 meter run
Box Jumps (try to use an 18" box)
15 push-ups
15 sit ups

The other day I said I was going to post a sheet for weightlifting. The following form is based off of Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 program, which I believe, when done in concert with the assistance work is great for GPP. So, for any of you prepping for your next sports season, or heading off to compete in college, this may be perfect for you. This link to the Google Document to make your own is below, but please contact me if you have any questions--call, text, email, or comment.

Check out the Wendler program for yourself. Click here. You can buy the e-book at the linked site, and to be honest it's pretty good. Wendler is a former power-lifter that was looking for a program that offered more functionality and he came up with 5-3-1. He really knows his stuff, and his e-book is quite motivational and informative.


Sunday WOD

Day 5 Easy run Run 2 miles at a nice easy pace. If street running, run for 20 minutes
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Workout ideas

So finally I have a little time...actually I have less now than before...hmm? Oh well, maybe I have just thought of a better way to serve some athletes when I cannot dedicate my physcial presence for some workouts. Paige has been asking me for workouts and I have been scouring sources that I trust to offer her. Paige has said they are hard, which is a good sign they are working. So I will begin posting those workouts here, hopefully on a daily basis.

Their is no idea based on science in these workouts--that is the wonder of off season training. Offseason workouts are for General Physical Preparation (GPP), and a lot of times that can be a soup of things thrown together to make you aerobically and anaerobically stronger...at least that's how I'd define it presently.

So let's catch up on the workouts done so far:

Complete 2 rounds:
100 yard Sprint
80 yard Sprint
60 yard Sprint
40 yard Sprint
*rest 30 seconds between sprints.
*rest 60 seconds between rounds.
For 20 minutes:
Run 400 meters
Rest precisely the time of the previous run

 Do an active warm-up that puts you through a large range of motion

Now were caught up. If you're interested in these workouts, start from the beginning, or start here. Whatever. The world's your oyster...

Day4 (source USA Track & Field, USA Track & Field Coaching Manual, 1st ed. (Human Kinetics, 1999).  )
Hill Sprints

I will try to be posting a workout everyday. Tomorrow, I hope, I will post a weightroom workout sheet that you can follow along with directions.

Take care.



Why a librarian?

Many people ask why I would leave the lucrative and rewarding world of special education (no one has ever said that, BTW) to be a librarian. Well just feast your eyes on these video morsels...

Sure, not an original, but I think I like it more. So many things to do in a library--get out of your cave, and study in a library.


PS Thanks for dealing with a non-track, and non-athletic posting and thanks to Suzanne for the heads up on this awesome video (and letting me steal it). Speaking of Suzanne, head to her site for great recommendations for summer reading.


Mt. Elbert

 A few posts ago I talked about General Physical Preparation (GPP) which is the basic training principle that you prepare yourself physically for any task that could be thrown at you, and handle it with some relative ease and comfort.  Yesterday I realized that hiking a mountain is great for GPP, because of all of the physical and mental demands placed upon you. There are times when you must make short sprint-like bursts, there are long periods of time where you must test your endurance, and because of the length and altitude you must rest--you must also know how much rest to take and when. There is also vital lessons in preparation and nutrition that are also learned.

Well, yesterday Coach Neale, my long-long-long time friend Justin, and I set out to tackle Mount Elbert. This Mountain is near Leadville, is the highest mountain in Colorado, and is the second highest mountain in the lower 48 states. It is 14,433 feet high. The hike starts at somewhere around 10,000 feet, so over the span of the ~5 mile (~10 mile, round trip) hike you gain >4000ft in elevation.

This was not my first 14er, and I found it to be my easiest yet, but the demands of this kind of hike are unlike any other kind of conditioning you can do at lower altitudes--sometimes 10 steps up there can feel like the hardest 200m you've ever ran. Mount Elbert was Coach Neale's first attempt at a 14er, which he handled very well, but still left him very surprised at just how difficult it was. Here are some pics:

 Left: Neale looking as fulfilled as ever after his conquest of Mt Elbert
Right: Coach Neale, mid sandwich, at the top of Mt Elbert after a 3.5hr ascent

So, in conclusion, I recommend athletes take on a trip like this during the offseason (during good weather, of course, because it is great fun, it gets us outside, it is mentally challenging, and it is always a greater physical challenge than one might expect. More Pics to finish it off.

 Left: the aforementioned Justin enjoying a sandwich as you can see--the sturdy mountain goat of the group.
Right: As always, Coach Nack, sickened by myself for breaking my rule of taking my own picture.


PS.  Yes, I did this hike in my Five-Fingers. It felt great on the way up, but neither pair of shoes I had could handle the way down--I have some very sensitive skin on the underside of my tootsies as I'm sure you've always wanted to know. Blister City, baby.


Why track is better than basketball

There is no sport on earth I have more mixed feelings toward than basketball. I grew up playing the game (poorly), and (futilely) practiced nearly everyday from probably 4th grade to 12th. I loved it while I was doing it, but, gosh, after stepping away from it for 13 years I'm still not sure what to think about it.

Well with all of the NBA free agency in the news recently I have thought a lot about basketball, but then I realized that what happened this week was not the fault of basketball, and not even necessarily Lebron James. The fault is kind of ours as a society that allows for such a thing to happen. This is a big topic that I am not willing to hash out, and frankly I don't get the readership to endure what I think will be a rather exhausting effort, so I will defer to someone that has already done it.

LeBron React: Never Has Being a Sports Fan Felt So Stupid


The worst moment of a night full of bad moments tonight came at the end, after most disgusted fans had turned ESPN off, bile still sloshing in their gums, when LeBron James, 45 minutes after announcing he would play for the Miami Heat, returned to the camera with Jim Gray and the head of the Apollo Group, which owns and runs the University of Phoenix, one of the primary sponsors of the evening's festivities. At this point, we had seen the pain of the Cleveland Cavaliers fans, who had been so cruelly toyed with for weeks now, and we had seen Gray and Michael Wilbon, shockingly, so inept and seemingly disinterested in anything resembling a follow-up question.

Loving sports, by definition, requires a certain suspension of disbelief and logic. We are all pouring our hearts and souls into cheering for men (and women) who do not care about us, who are not like us, who are not the type of people we would ever associate with (or even meet) in real life. We deify them because it is hard to find people to deify in the real world: Sports spans every age group, ethnic group, political persuasion, and all else that serves to divide us, separate us. We cheer for athletes because sports does not matter, not really. We cheer because sports is, ultimately, harmless. Fans of teams in the LeBron Derby were disappointed — though no one as much as Cavs fans — but mostly they were flabbergasted by the tone deafness of the whole enterprise. LeBron James was a man breaking hearts across the country, and there he was, with an old bald white man peddling for-profit online education, and a short smug onetime sportscaster now just happy to be on TV. There they all were, trying to sell us something. After that. It was hawking souvenirs before the wake was over. And no one onscreen seemed to find this wrong.
And we trust that they will at least pretend. We trust that they will recognize the ultimate ludicrousness of this whole enterprise, that these are grown men wearing tank tops, throwing a ball up and around, running on wood, that this all exists because we allow it to exist, that the illusion must be maintained. We trust that they understand how good they have it, how much we give them, against our own self-interest. We trust that they are not laughing at us.
That trust felt broken tonight. Not because LeBron James went to the Heat, even though he referred to his destination as "South Beach," not "the Miami Heat and their fans." Not because LeBron James didn't go to the Knicks, even though of all the cities he mentioned enjoying during this free agent "courtship," New York was the one he omitted. Not even because LeBron was so, so cruel to Cleveland, not once thanking the fans who made him into what he was, the fans who have to wonder if their absurd investment in their sports franchises will ever be rewarded. No, tonight, it felt like everyone involved — LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray — treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss. Here, here are the Boys & Girls Club props. Here, here is your search engine. Here, here is your online college, Here, here is your Athletic Hero. Eat. Eat. Consume. You like it. You love it. You'll always come back for more.
They're surely right, of course. But never has it been laid more bare, and never did it feel so empty. It felt like a break, the moment when the tide crested, when we looked at the games, and their players, and ourselves, and wondered: Why in the world are we watching these awful people? It was a question impossible to answer.
LeBron James, thanks to this debacle, will never be the same. (That he appears unable to understand why is the precise reason why.) ESPN, it feels, will never quite be the same: There were surely thousands of employees there who rubbed their eyes, aghast at what they were watching, guilty to be a part of it. The NBA, the hunger laid bare and the wound gaping for all to see, may never be the same.
And the fear is that we won't be the same. The fear is that we've truly seen the ugly, dark heart of sports, and we won't be able to come back. It feels extremely stupid to be a sports fan. It feels pointless. None of this felt harmless tonight. And we allowed this to happen. Perhaps this is what we deserve. Perhaps this will be good for us, all of us.
Let us all just hope everybody feels better in the morning. Some morning, someday. 
Source: “LeBron React: Never Has Being a Sports Fan Felt So Stupid -- The Sports Section,” http://nymag.com/daily/sports/2010/07/lebron_react_never_has_being_a.html.
Many people would criticize track because it will never have the notoriety that basketball does. Maybe so. Maybe so, but that notoriety leads to the horror show we watched on Thursday night.

(Did you hear that there were more viewers for the Lebron "interview" than there were for 95% of all the nationally televised games during this last season? I heard that today, and realized how turned around we have become with our sports. Sad.)


P.S.  In honor of Lebron James and his "in the Fall I will be taking my talents to South Beach " quote during his special,  I will now be saying "I will be taking my talents to...." before I head anywhere. For instance, right now I'm really tired, so "I will be taking my talents to" sleep.


The Star Spangled Banner

Happy Fourth of July!!!!
Stephen Colbert: Inappropriate? Maybe. Hilarious? You decide...
You can see the hilarious Stephen Colbert celebrating the 4th as only he can above. I hope you and your families have their own 4th of July traditions for you to enjoy.

Go to this link at thedailybeast.com to watch 15 of the Best and Worst renditions of our national anthem. There are some great versions of our nations anthem. At all of the Chap track meets where there has been a national anthem there has been some pretty good versions, as well as some absolutely epic fails. Whatever the case, the event is always enjoyable.

My Favorites of all time:

  • The Best: Whitney Houston at the 1991 Superbowl. A great "Banner" for what I think is the best Superbowl ever.
  • The Worst: Carl Lewis. Oh. My. God. An absolute classic. I have loved this version for years. If any of you listen to the Jim Rome radio show, "The Jungle", you know that no one dissects this song like him. Absolutely hilarious. 
My new favorites from the linked article:
  • The Best: I have always heard about the Marvin Gaye anthem, but never heard it. Now that I have, I love it. I think the majority of the people who visit this blog are teens, and they might not have discovered Marvin Gaye yet. Well, guys, discover Marvin Gaye. He is amazing. Start with the best of and then move on to his deeper cuts. His death also has to be one of the most bizarre, and sad, celebrity deaths ever--lost that guy way too young.
  • The Worst: Michael Bolton. I have never seen that before, but it is absolutely awesome. You can pinpoint the moment where his absolutely colossal celebrity ego comes crashing down. That is one for the ages. The one knock on this version that keeps it from being the worst of all time is that, unlike Carl Lewis' version, Bolton's has to have the visual to go along with it. Nevertheless, very enjoyable.

I hope I still get the traffic for people to enjoy what I think is a real good post. Would love to hear any of my visitors best and worst. Please visit the comments.

Again, Happy fourth of July. If you light off fireworks, runaway real fast, because fireworks are illegal, it is a safety precaution, and it is good speed training.

Take Care,