Sunday, March 31, 2013

Magic IN Misery

Another interesting week of experiences, learning, and testing. I just wrapped up watching episode two of Genetic Potential Television and man did the interview with Dean Karnazes fuel my fire to keep learning more. Have you heard of him? You know Ultra Marathon Man? Well if you haven't he's got some great books out their such as "Ultra Marathon Man" and "50/50". Some may think he's crazy, but he does what he does to get that person whose been on the coach for five years up and walking a 5K. This is a guy whose run for 350miles straight...what are you waiting for folks?  His next quest is to do a marathon in every country on the planet. I'm speechless.

Listening to BMack and Kelly interview this guy was pretty cool. All great athletes are humble and Dean isn't outside that norm. He started the interview and said their is "Magic in Misery" ... I like that because when he went on further Dean mentioned adversity introduces a man to self-discovery. Think about that, when you've been faced with a challenge what did you discovery? If you don't push yourself to failure you're not able to learn.

There are countless experiences in life where we've had epic failures. I remember Boston 2012 when I left the sodium tabs in South Carolina and the time I totaled my car within 1month of having my license. Nice. What's important about these moments is that there's a lot of magic in the misery of each of them. Sure I cried like crazy when I had to tell my parents about the car and of course it sucked not being able to drive for another 6months, but there was magic there. Oh and Boston? Ya it felt great seeing my best friend puking at mile 18 and barely being able to drag myself into the medical tent at the end of the race? Awesome. It took 9 bottles of water before the dizziness and GI problems subside. In each of those moments of misery there was magic.

The magic is...the next time you won't make that mistake again 
The magic can share a good laugh with others about how stupid you were
The magic is...others will benefit from what you learned that day
The magic realize that your human and that you make mistakes (wait I'm not superman??)
The magic is...there will always be another shot if you're willing to take it
The magic become stronger and grow
The magic've created a new standard for yourself
The magic provides us the opportunity to fail

You've met those people that get bogged down in their own misery. Don't be that person. Don't look at it that way. What I've learned about life is that the greatest gift of all is this opportunity to fail. Not only because you grow, but you can affect others just like Dean.

The chapters of our lives get more detailed because of this opportunity to fail and although we don't always have complete control over these failures there's so much magic in the misery of them that makes each of our books so interesting... The question is: How will you write your book?

Skill 101: C2 Rower

I had client this week that told me they were "great at rowing" I got excited and said "Well, I can't wait to see your technique!" Just like running its takes very few seconds to see how someone moves. You may not even need to see them run. I know BMack can look at how someone sits and determine it easily. What I did find with this client though was the TWO of the BIG 3 ERRORs:
1) She pried her back before the legs
2) Her back position was given up every time she returned to the catch

If you're new to rowing or just want the overview of form her goes! For more information, check out Shane Farmer in the CrossFit Journal


Four Phases
1) Catch - Phase where we load up and prepare for the next stroke. Chest close to knees with a flat back. Think about loading a spring and don't give up your POSTURE.
2) Drive - Now you are applying WORK to the machine. Remember it starts with the legs. Connect your hips in place, load up the legs and think Legs - Torso Open - Pull in with the arms.
3) Finish - Elbows should be relaxed and back should be 5-10 degree lean at most. Don't be that guy who gets his hips neutral to his shoulders. It's inefficient. When is laying back flat a strong position? Breaking at the hips when you run. Same deal.
4) Recovery - A lot of athletes want to pull themselves back to the catch phase. This wastes energy. You can't create energy here. Think about relaxing during this phase while maintaining good posture so that the next stroke can be just as strong. 

Race Report: 
Why are there so many dang 5Ks? To be completely honest it's tough for me to say no so I decide not to and work these races into my TTs and Tempos.

Race: Hilton Head Heritage 5K by On On Tri Sports

Time: 18:09 Place: 1st Overall
Review - came out a little long closer to 3.25miles on my GPS so with that I'm stoked with the finish. Looks like it would have been more like 17:30 at 3.10miles.  Not too bad given I did a full session of 7 x 3 Back Squats and two conditioning WODs the day before. Nutrition was also pretty cruddy the night before slogging a couple brews. I like to enjoy myself (within reason) until I get closer to the "A" Race event. At least 2months out the nutrition is completely dialed in.

Oh yeah! Couldn't resist hitting 13.4 WOD after the CFE recovery wod and watching some of the other athletes in our box. I finished with 64 total reps. Happy with that given I maintained technique throughout and hit the 5K in the morning. Most of our top guys finished with 70+ and Mike C picked up 84 reps. Congrats Mike! CFHH Competition team is working hard and looking stronger and stronger these days.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What are you willing to do?

Last weekend, I was in Cookeville, Tennessee for another stellar CFE seminar. About a couple days before arrival, I realized that this was the home box of two-time winner of the CrossFit games, Rich Froning. Oh yeah and Dan Bailey trains at CrossFit Mayhem too. It was quite surreal to be around the a few of the top games competitors, I quickly figured out that a lot of the other attendees were quite experienced as well. As the weekend rolled on, a theme seemed to develop and it came down to the question ... what are you willing to do?

Athletes and coaches become the best or the top of their class because they're willing to do that much more than the person next to them. With so many passionate people in the CrossFit community, clearly you have to take certain steps to be Elite. To become the best runner or triathlete it certainly takes a few things...

Willingness to learn - when an athlete (or a coach) stops learning or they can become complacent the ability to be truly elite can't happen. We see this in the Endurance community when folks speak of the fact that they didn't do "enough" miles before their last event or "you only did a 10 mile run before your last marathon, that's crazy?" I was actually out to dinner last night and one of my friend's who typically runs 80miles a week said he ran thru the warning signs of a stress fracture. What he assumed is that if he had just scaled it back the fracture would have never occurred. Yep, that's potentially true; however I've talked with these folks about technique and it seems to go right over their heads or not much conversation follows after the first few sentences. Don't get me wrong, CrossFit athletes are guilty of this too, but the fact is elite athletes don't make assumptions, elite athletes have a willingness to learn.

Sleep, Eat, Live - everyone is a little bit different, but Elite athletes understand the amount of sleep they need, what clean eating involves and how they need to live. If you're truly willing to be the best at what you do there's a lot of factors to take into consideration. You have to check in on factors such as RHR when you wake up in the morning, number of hours of sleep, muscle soreness, timing of fats/proteins/carbs, what your day job involves. All of these things add up. Elite athletes make sacrifices, what I know is that they look at all the variables at all times. If you want to improve your 5K time your best bet is to start with the nutrition and then go to the skill components. What's the one thing if you change it will make the biggest impact?

Hydrate and get yourself mobile - in between every lecture presented by BMack and Adam this past weekend, Rich was on the mobility component. Often times we neglect the "not so sexy stuff" meaning mobility versus the metcon or drinking water verses the protein shake. When our fascia gets tight (the connective tissue between our muscles) it restricts movement. When we aren't fully hydrated (even 1-2% dehydrated) there will be a drop in performance. When movement is restricted because of knotted fascia and dehydration the injury cycle can occur. Check out TP Therapy's "Injury Cycle" as I think we can all relate.

All I am saying today is that if you want to be Elite (especially as an endurance athlete) it comes down to what you're willing to do. When you cross the finish line of that next event, ask yourself what you NEED to do different (not could). Were you learning and not assuming in training? Did you sleep, eat clean and factor in life's stress's? How about the hydration and mobility? Cassidy Phillips says "What you tolerate you accept." don't tolerate skipping these variables.

At the end of the day, when all these angles are looked at it'll come down to who has the greater ability to suffer. All you can do is prepare.

This Weekend's RACES:

8am 3/23
Team Less Miles More CrossFit - 6 Athletes
WOD for Maureen 5K - Truly inspirational morning. There were roughly 150 CrossFit Athletes who completed the WOD along with 6 boxes represented. The event was a fundraiser to benefit Maureen Tefft with Bluffton Crossfit. Maureen was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioma brain cancer. Their phrase, One CrossFit. One Family. Without a doubt true yesterday morning.

30 KB Swings #53
1/2 mile
30 Burpees
3/4 mile
30 OHS Lunges #45
3/4 mile
30 Squats
1/2 mile
30 Push Ups
3/4 mile
30 SDHP #53

6:15PM 8/23
Beaufort Twilight Run 5K/8K - Results 
Team Less Miles More CrossFit - 2 athletes 

It was only Lindsay and I who competed, but she ended up PRing her 5K by 1minute running 20:36 2nd overall, and 34:11 1st age group 4th overall in the 8K run. Lindsay will be running her first full marathon and continues to PR almost every time she shows up to a race.

After finishing the Maureen WOD 5K in 25:02 earlier in the day (1st overall finish) I posted a 29:59 and was totally stoked given the calves and hamstrings were a little shot. the 6min mile pace was good enough for 1st in my age group and 12th overall.

All and all another solid weekend!