Thursday, September 24, 2009

5K run with new kicks...

Last night I set out to give my new runners a try. Made by Puma, the L.I.F.T. shoes are extremely lightweight, and they are labeled as a running "flat". Running flats are thin, lightweight, and built for speed. And when attempting pose running, they are recommended. With that said, my running time was an improved 22:38 over my last (recorded) best time on that course being 24:40. I think I've found a marathon shoe: the were comfortable, breathable, and lightweight at 173 grams (0.38 pound).

a little about the PUMA L.I.F.T.:

The L.I.F.T racer is a running sneaker that is using some pretty impressive technology. The L.I.F.T system refers to the manner in which the shoe is made. The upper is made out a foam in one single piece. The mesh that is found on the toe box is stitched to the foam upper and voila... the Sneaker is made. The lightweight foam and mesh construction make for an ultralight running shoe.

Like a race car driver trying to cut weight from their car by ripping out unnecessary seating and amenities Puma has stripped every gram they can from this running shoe. The L.I.F.T's lacing system is ultra-simplistic. There is no metal or plastic added around the lacing holes. Puma really set out to make an incredibly light sneaker and they succeeded.

(from http://www.chicksinkicks.com)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GOT GRIP?

For time:
155 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
Rope climb(15 ft), 5 ascents
155 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
Rope climb, 4 ascents
155 pound Deadlift, 9 reps
Rope climb, 3 ascents
155 pound Deadlift, 6 reps
Rope climb, 2 ascents
155 pound Deadlift, 3 reps
Rope climb, 1 ascent
TIME: 19:30

cool-down: 100m overhead walking lunge, 25# plate

In the video below, Annie Sakamoto, of CrossfitSantaCruzCentral, demonstrates several rope-climb variations.




***Here are some great rope-climbing tips from Jolie of CrossfitOneWorld: http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_JolieRopeClimbTips.mov

***INTERESTING ROPE CLIMBING FACT:

Rope Climbing was held as part of the gymnastics program in 1896, 1904, 1906, 1924 and 1932. In this event the competitors climbed a suspended vertical rope, using only their hands. How quick you can climb a rope sounds like a great test of upper body strength, and it has been part of the Olympic gymnastics program on several occasions.

Competitors raced to the top of the rope in the shortest time possible. They started in a seated position on the floor, and used only the hands and arms. In 1896 the rope was 14 or 15 meters long, and style was also incorporated in the scoring. At all other Olympics, the rope was only 25 ft (7.62m) or 8m (26.3 ft).

RESULTS:

The winner of the first event in 1896 was Greek athlete Nikolaus Andriakopoulos. In that year, only two of the competitors reached the top of the rope, both Greek.

taken from http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/


Monday, September 21, 2009

KIPPING THE MUSCLE-UP



One of my current goals is to accomplish the muscle-up. I can JUMP into one, but from a full-hang or even from a 90-degree bend at the elbow, I struggle. Annie Sakamoto, of CFSCC coaches her clients on using the kip to propel you upward and into the movement.



This video is another good (but fast) demonstration.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Strike that POSE!



This video includes some nice coaching by one of my favorite CFSCC girls and Crossfit legends, Annie Sakamoto.

CYCLING


Today I enjoyed a road-ride with some triathlon trainees...

14 miles with a heavyweight old-fashioned mountain bike...1:00:40

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cleans/Pull-Ups/Burpees

Warm-Up: 15 muscle-ups, 30 squats, 30 knees to elbows

Strength Element:

Clean (3-3-3-3-3) : 65-85-95-105-105

WOD:
12-9-6-3

cleans, 75#

pull-ups

burpees
8:43

This workout was an unusually enjoyable accomplishment, as I’ve really been polishing my clean form. I worked hard to maintain proper form throughout each squat clean in the WOD. I know the form was far from perfect, but I feel the movement is on its way to becoming more proper. :)

Not sure if the weight was heavy enough, but I thought it was close (at about 70% of my 5x3 max-weight).

Green Tea. How Much is TOO MUCH?

Green tea has gained popularity and has been said to possess many health benefits such as aiding in heart health and cancer prevention, amongst other things.

Moderation is the key to healthily ingesting anything. Too much of even a good thing can be harmful. Recent research has shown that when people ingest too much green tea -- especially in supplement form -- they risk developing liver or kidney damage. Though the polyphenols in tea are beneficial in moderate doses, they can be toxic at high levels. Green tea supplements can contain 50 times more polyphenols than a single cup of green tea.

Experts say that even 10 cups of green tea a day is safe, but that if you're taking supplements you may want to watch your dose because it's easy to go overboard. I use the matcha green tea powder in making green tea lattes (think Starbucks). It suggests a serving size to be 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. I've never seen any warnings on the multiple brands I've tried, but after a warning from my husband yesterday, I decided to look into the possibility of TOO MUCH. Although there are MANY articles on the benefits of green tea consumption, I found a limited number on the risk of overconsumption. The studies have been directed and the evidence is there. In the limited research I, myself, have done by reading the studies, I still have not come to a conclusion on what amount of matcha powder is optimal for daily consumption. My conclusion: I will half the amount I normally consume and continue reading up. Below are a couple snippets from articles I ran across:

from http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/20050208235233_health_news.shtml

"Drinking green tea still is good for you," said researcher Yu-Dong Zhou. "There are thousands of years of evidence on that, but the idea of taking the equivalent of hundreds of cups of tea a day is something that needs to be looked at carefully." Zhou is the lead investigator of the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products.

Co-researcher Dale Nagle said that the concentrated compounds are not toxic in large doses, but high concentrations may not necessarily be healthful. "Nearly all the evidence of the beneficial effects of green tea comes from studies on populations who consume green tea, not tea extract in the form of powder, concentrates or pills," Nagle explained. "There is no direct evidence that taking reasonable quantities of these green tea products is toxic. But the issue here is whether these extremely high doses are really beneficial."

from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1964900

“People who take less than 500 mg [of green tea concentrate or preparation] per day and spread the dose out over the course of the day are unlikely to have toxic side effects,” Chung S. Yang, Department of Chemical Biology-Rutgers University

At the present time there is no established upper tolerable limit for green tea consumption. The Rutgers review points to the need for epidemiologic studies to test the potential concerns of taking green tea supplements at 500-mg doses or higher. Yang and Lambert hypothesize that people with oxidative stress–related liver diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis may be at greater risk of toxic side effects from ingesting high doses of green tea polyphenols. “When a person’s liver is already under stress, toxic effects tend to become amplified,” Yang says. Conversely, he notes there are data showing that low or moderate amounts of green tea have a protective effect against both toxicity and carcinogenesis in target organs—once again supporting the adage “everything in moderation, nothing to excess.”

from http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/tx7000515

Hepatic and Gastrointestinal Toxicities of Green Tea Polyphenols

Despite several human studies that showed no toxicity of tea
polyphenol preparations and that the major adverse effects
associated with consumption of high doses of tea preparations
are due to gastrointestinal irritation, there have been a number
of recent case reports of hepatotoxicity related to the consump-
tion of high doses of tea-based dietary supplements (10-29 mg/
kg/day po) (18). In nearly all cases (eight out of nine), patients
presented with elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
and bilirubin levels. In two of nine cases, periportal and portal
inflammation were observed. All cases resolved following
cessation of supplement consumption. A causative role for the
green tea preparations is suggested by the fact that reinjury was
observed following rechallenge with the same preparations. The
authors of these reports, however, could not conclusively rule
out the involvement of potentially hepatotoxic pharmaceutical
agents such as acetaminophen or other dietary supplements. One
intriguing possibility is that susceptible individuals have a
polymorphism in a key biotransformation pathway for the tea
polyphenols, such as low activity COMT, which increases
exposure to the unmetabolized parent compound. Such pos-
sibilities need to be further explored.

While I WILL be cutting back on the amount I consume daily, I will still be using it. I do enjoy the taste and will also enjoy the health benefits that come from consuming it in moderation. With that said, I found a wonderful website with some interesting green tea recipes:

http://www.matchasource.com/matcha-recipes-s/6.htm

(copy & paste into your browser)


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back Squat; KB swing/squat/sit-up

warm-up & skill work: kipping pull-up variations (overhand, underhand, mixed-grip; butterfly kip; full-kip chest-to-bar; dead-hang); 35# plate overhead walking lunge (100 m); muscle-up practice

strength:

back squat

1-1-1-1-1-1-1

135-185-185-185-195(PR)-185-185

WOD:

as many rounds as possible in 10 min

5 kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood

10 squats

15 sit-ups

10 rounds, ALL SETS UNBROKEN

(WOD courtesy a:a.com)

"cool-down": handstand holds; bear crawls with the kids

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Clean Fun.

CLEANING UP THE CLEAN:

CLEAN

BETTER CLEAN

Cleans. Snatches...OLYMPIC LIFTS. Why?

Olympic lifting is enjoyable, functional, and offers many health benefits (for women, too). "One aspect of Olympic weightlifting that people enjoy is the lifts themselves. People enjoy the feeling of the barbell being weightless as they drop underneath it or they enjoy the speed that it takes to complete the lift or maybe they just enjoy mastering a technical skill. For most people there is a larger sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully hitting a personal best in the snatch or clean and jerk than finally getting those 19 inch arms or something along those lines." taken from this article: (http://www.owresource.com/lifts/benefits.php). I recommend reading it in its entirety.

Yesterday was my "session" with my friend, Laura. This has gone from a weekly workout for US, into a weekly OPPORTUNITY for me to learn. She's Crossfit Level 1 Certified, therefore, she has a better grasp on proper form and technique than I do.

I have been forced to exercise solitaire the past two years. I enjoy exercising with others; friendly competition drives me. Not only does the element of competition benefit me, but it is nice to have "eyes" watching and analyzing movements. Constructive criticism and coaching is one thing I've missed since leaving Crossfit OKC and going it alone. Laura is a gem; I'm so happy to have the coaching, once a week.

Bad habits set in when working out alone, and I'm realizing that more than ever. I love Olympic lifts, yet I realize my form and/or lifting technique isn't as solid as it should be. I have a tendency, being a "strong" girl, to "muscle" my way to completing the lift, rather than implementing proper form and technique to complete the movement. Proper technique and solid form, in anything, makes the exercise/movement more functional and effective.

So here's to proper form...and loads of work ahead.

KIPPING CLINIC



(video courtesy CFSSC)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Deadlift/Pull-ups/Wall-ball Shots

BUY-IN: 15 dips/10 skin the cats

STRENGTH: Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3
165-185-205-215-225

WOD: 3RFT
15 deadlifts
15 pull-ups
15 wall-ball shots
8:52 @ 135# DL, 10# ball

added CASH-OUT: 2:00 accumulated handstand holds
1) 1:00:00
2) 1:00:04

(courtesy a:a.com)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Running Buddies

It is proven that having a training partner will make runners last in the longer term. Having someone by your side also gives you something to keep you occupied, keeping your mind off your tiredness and (hopefully) preventing boredom. Having someone to talk to will also make the time feel like its flying; at least that's what I've found.

I have recently enjoyed running alongside someone. Heretofore I've never paced WITH them; I've always maintained my usual pace (which for some reason is considered fast. I'm not convinced, as I noticed how many people pass me in actual races) and run ahead if necessary. I've realized that there's room to slow down, TALK (further exercising the lungs), and ENJOY running. I don't think I'll EVER be able to get that 22:49 5K time I got in the Midnight Streak...until the pressure of competition is there. I think what moved me in that instance was sheer competition. I pushed myself harder than ever, because "winning" was at stake (AT STAKE, not necessarily a realistic possibility).

In training with a partner or group, I'm satisfied with ENJOYING the run and maintaining a pace that will encourage proper technique (form, breathing, etc.). In training alone, I will concentrate more on speed, working toward running at full-capacity.

SIDE-NOTE:
Now in the instance something goes terribly wrong in your running courtship, here's "how to break up with your running buddy". I was highly amused to run across this article and thought I'd share. "It may seem difficult, but this partnership can be broken without drama or hurt feelings." to read more, click here

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

FRONT SQUATS. Clean Work.

Front Squats 3x3

worked up to...
125-135-140 (PR, I think)

I really worked today on getting my form down. I have limited myself by inflexibility, but today, with encouragement from Laura and Jason (thanks guys), I gave better form a try. It worked, and I actually felt more comfortable using a "proper" grip.

Today, I realized my "clean" knowledge needed some expansion. Laura coached me through the move, helping me to get a mental grasp of my limitations. It's amazing what a little analysis from someone watching can do to open my mind to really think through the movement. I look forward to my Wednesday workouts with Laura. She and I are built very similar and are compatible strength-wise. I think we'll be good for one another.

She gave me the packet of information ("Six Weeks of Run Technique") she received at the Running and Endurance Certification. It is a series of run intervals, drills, practices and strategies...all geared toward more efficient running. Her love for running waned after over-emphasizing the pose technique, and mine may just do the same. But the knowledge of more efficient running techniques, I'm sure, will be helpful in the long-run.

Today was productive. I look forward to my run tonight...

5K runs this week...

After battling illness for the past three weeks, I must get back into running again. 5K runs are easy to work into my day, allowing time for a weight training or metabolic workout the same day. 5K runs are a nice way to cool down after a taxing muscle-cramping, air-sucking workout. Whether alone or with a friend, I do enjoy these short runs, reserving my long training runs for the weekend, when "free" time is more abundant.


Monday- leisurely run with a friend, 28:35
Tuesday- ran alone, and ran a little harder 24:40
Wednesday- nice, solid run with a friend...forgot to set the timer...
Thursday-