Core X

I’m excited to share Core X with you.  The changes from Core H are simple.  Core X is half as long – 5 minutes rather than 10 minutes – and no crunches.  I trust Dr. Hansen’s opinion on core strength; at the 3:02 mark of this video he talks about why he doesn’t like crunches.  This routine and short and sweet, but still challenging.  Enjoy!


Should Runners go to the Weight Room? Part 1

The first thing we need to acknowledge is that in training athletes to become the best runners they can be there are “Many Roads to Rome.” That said, I’m a firm believer that runners should do non-running exercises if they want to to run faster. If you improve your General Strength and Mobility (GSM) you can reduce the chance of injury, and when you reduce injuries you’ll maintain consistency in your training, not missing days, weeks or months at a time. Consistency is one of the most important factors in racing to your potential.

So if you buy into the idea that you need to do non-running activities to reduce injury and maintain consistency in your training, the question becomes, “What non-running activities should I do?” For many runners this question is answered with “I need to get in the weight room, work on my core, and get strong.” That’s a not a bad idea, but it’s not my approach. The weight room has a place in distance running training, but I believe it comes after a progression of exercises and routines that can be done outside of the weight room. [Read more…]

General Strength for Young Track Athletes

I received the following comment on facebook after posting a video of a very challenging General Strength routine called Core H (video).

Great core work out. How much recovery time should a 15 year old take between workouts? The 15 year old has been training 6 days a week with his high school cross country team. He is not as advanced as the athlete on the video. His mile time is 6 minutes. Is she doing core work every day? Does your DVD have information on scheduling work outs to prevent over training?

The type of high school athlete described here should not be doing Core H, but rather should follow the Eight Week General Strength progression that I wrote for Running Times.  It’s easy to follow – it’s broken into Hard Days and Easy Days, and is grouped into two week segments. [Read more…]

Up-Regulate HGH and Testosterone in less than 5 minutes

This workout is simple. Get a kettlebell, do the exercises in the video. That’s it.

The one exercise I left out of the video is the Turkish get up. Great general strength exercise. Five reps of the Turkish get up on each side is a nice amount of work for the novice.

You buy a Kettlebell for $30-$40. A worthwhile tool when you only have a handful of minutes after your run for general strength.

Building a Better Myrtl

Simple question: If you were to design a routine that strengthened the hip girdle area and lasted five minutes or less, what exercises would you use, how many reps and in what order?

Couple of things to consider:

  •  This comment and this comment correctly highlight that lateral leg raises are targeting the lower back and gluteal muscles.
  • Maybe something that looks like one thing is actually another.  I never thought of the leg swings as an ankle mobility exercise.  Please take the time to read number three on Mike Boyle’s list of Eight Mobility Drills Everyone Should Do. (Note: Gary Gray is person who came up with the Lunge Matrix.)

So here we go – let’s see what we come up with. There are thoughtful people reading this blog and the collective knowledge of the group is many multiples of my individual experience.

I suggest you link to YouTube videos in your comments as our comment service (Disqus) will show a thumbnail of each video you reference.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

A couple of thoughts on the NCAA meet

First, congratulations to the University of Colorado Men’s who finished third yesterday at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Check out Daniel Petty‘s article for more details. I’m fortunate to have had the top three scores – Richard Medina, Joe Boshard and Andy Wacker – work at the Boulder Running Camps as counselors; they’re great guys and I’m really happy for them.

There’s something in Daniel’s article that I think is important for coaches and athletes to understand. Coach Mark Wetmore said of the women’s team:

“Honestly, this year, we gambled a little bit and focused on the conference championship more than usual,” Wetmore said. “It was the first year in the Pac-12 and CU wanted to have an impact. In the case of our younger women, they already had raced hard at our conference meet and were a little over the hump.”

Here’s a coach who knows when the athletes are going to run their best; it’s calculated and to a large extent, it’s controlled. Sounds simple, but it’s actually very difficult. Many teams and many runners train hard all the time, running a nice race here and there, yet they can’t “call their shot” and run their best on a specific date. [Read more…]