Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

Seeing as it's New Year's Eve, I decided to do a look back over the past year.

Mileage this year was looow. 2546 miles for an average weekly total of 59.2. Weak in comparison to 2009's 4362 (average week was 83.9). To be fair, last year was a healthy year for me, and I only took off somewhere between 5 and 6 weeks. This year, on the other hand, my year pretty much ended in early August (I had 2368 logged as of August 12th). It would probably be comparable if I measured overall training since I logged a lot of hours on the bike, but I don't feel like counting up cross-training for the past two years and I don't do the whole virtual miles thing.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gear Review: P90X and Its Relationship to Competitive Running

UPDATE: Gear Review: P90X Final Thoughts is now up!

A friend of mine had a question asking whether P90X is a good supplement to running as her Facebook status today, and it gave me the idea to post up a review of P90X on my blog. Now, before I start, I want to say that I'm about 8 weeks into P90X, so I have not yet completed the program. However, I have done all of the workouts multiple times, and have a pretty good idea of what's going on by now.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Short Post Today

It appears that my left side is neutral and mid-foot strikes. My right side overpronates and heel-strikes. My left side is the side that's messed up. Explain that, you crazy Chi-running, barefoot POSErs.

I'll post a real update when the holiday craziness calms down. Or since it seems like the only posts people read are my reviews (going by my my Blogger stats, anyway), I can review something for you. Brooks Defyance? RecoFit compression sleeves? The Long Green Line? Winter clothes? Something else that I have that I'm not thinking of? Give me some ideas, people.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gear Review: Saucony AMP PRO2 Recovery Tight

Compression to promote circulation has been around for quite some time, since it's been used for a while in the medical industry to prevent blood clots in patients. It's a slightly newer phenomenon in athletics though, and the first athlete to popularize compression was Paula Radcliffe with her Oxysox that she wore during her world record marathon in London (among other races). Lately, compression wear's popularity has surged, and everyone from Chris Solinsky to that mid-pack triathlete who lives down the street from you is rocking compression gear.

There are two main types of compression gear: active gear and recovery gear. Both are intended to improve circulation and promote bloodflow, either to improve performance or speed recovery. There are also different types of compression. CW-X became known for targeted support, similar to kinesio taping techniques, in order to support muscles and decrease muscle oscillation. Other companies (Skins, for example) use a gradient where the distal end is more compressive than the proximal end, which is supposed to return blood back to the heart more quickly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

There's More to Running than the Marathon

Today at physical therapy, the guy on the treadmill next to my elliptical asked me if I was training for a marathon. A Marathon. The Holy Grail of Running. Everyone and their brother seems to be chasing that same white stag, training to someday run a marathon. Additionally, whenever someone finds out you're a runner, they always seem to ask the same question: "Have you run a marathon?" followed by "What did you run for it?" Never mind that most of these people don't know the first thing about marathon times, and whether I said "2:05" or "5:00" they'd respond the same way, which, of course, is "Wow. Is that good? My sister-in-law is training for a marathon now. She can run XX miles without stopping! I get tired just thinking about it!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gear Review: Bike Trainer DVDs: Spinervals and Carmichael Training Systems

Since I promised it in my last post, and I tried out my new DVD today, I figured I'd do the trainer DVD review. I have a pretty small collection, but hopefully this will help if anyone is looking for a good trainer workout.

Trainer DVDs are pretty useful for getting in a good bike trainer workout, since it can be difficult to push yourself on the trainer alone. It's far easier to push yourself with training partners or a coach yelling at you than solo. Even on a treadmill, you're unable to let up your effort unconsciously, something that can easily happen on a bike trainer. The bike trainer has a tendency to be somewhat boring, and things that you may do to pass the time (TV, videogames, book, etc) also cause you to dissociate and may cause you to drop the intensity. That's fine for easy days, but not so much for quality workouts. DVDs, on the other hand, force you to associate with the workout. Having the coach on the video yelling at you keeps your mind in the workout and the intensity up. Additionally, it's a structured workout with appropriate intensities and recovery, so if you're unsure of how to create a workout (or would just like some additional ideas), a trainer DVD might be a good idea.

Gear Review: Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

As you've no doubt figured out (assuming you've been reading my blog), I've been on the trainer A LOT. At some point, I must have adjusted the roller too tightly too, because it seems I've worn a groove into the roller. 

Anyway, the thing was was a hassle to actually mount the bike on, and the resistance felt unnatural...generally the problems you encounter with a mag trainer with a cheap clamp. Well, seeing as the flywheel is in pretty bad condition, I figured it was time for a new trainer (and an early Christmas present).
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