Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Signs You Are Over Training

1. You consistently miss your workouts.
Despite the fact you know you are capable of running the distance and the pace you fail in either or both of these criteria. Often you feel a sense of frustration that leaves you wanting to hit it even harder. An early indication can be prolonged recovery from typical training sessions or competitive events. Back off.

2. You are feeling tired all day after a workout
Do you feel like you need a nap all the time? Are you dragging yourelf from place to place?

3. You seem to be hitting it hard day in and day out.
Is every run a tempo run? Do you and the guys get into pissing matches each an every run. Stop participating in the Ego Racing Series and realize every workout has a purpose. You need to train other systems as well if you want to get better. Stick to your plan!

4. You ache all over
Your muscles are sore to the touch and bending over or walking down stairs hurts. Take a few days off. Do you experience GI disturbances? Are your limbs feeling especially heavy? Do you experience chronic respiratory infections? All can be signs.

5. You seem to be getting less lean despite the fact you are working out more and more
Are you working out more but losing "leanness"? You are probably not burning fat but instead are draining the muscles of the glycogen (sugars). You are no doubt burning a TON of calories but very little of it fat. You need to slow down for a large bulk of your training. Harder is not better all the time. Understand your heart rate zones and paces.

6. You have lost your motivation and are not interested in running?
The whole point is to have fun. I doubt your getting paid to workout. Don't be so myopic and goal oriented you lose sight of the fact that the journey is more important than the destination. This is your bodies way of telling you something but, like depression, it might not be obvious to you at the time. Mood disturbances (depression, anger, anxiety), general fatigue, frequent illnesses, loss of energy and vigor, feelings of heaviness in the limbs.

7. A higher than normal resting heart rate first thing in the morning.
First thing in the morning...e.g., 10 beats over what is usual for an individual.

Ok. Help me out. Can think of others?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Period Shoes for Women

First there was the Rebok EasyTone. These women's shoes are built to tone and firm a girls posterior while she walks the mall in search of chili cheese fries and a new purse. In exchange she got to walk around looking like she had a club foot. Very sexy! It was very clever of Rebok. People love a quick fix. These shoes are billed as an easy way to get those chiseled cheeks without the time consuming workouts.  

Now Asics is one upping Rebok by introducing a shoe that adjusts itself off the hormonal changes that naturally occur before and during a womens menstrual cycle. This one is not for vanity but for health! It's called the Asics GEL-KAYANO 16. I prefer to call it the PMS trainer.  It contains cushioning cells which expand and contract in harmony with a woman's hormones  (I wish I was making this up). Thankfully, now a girl doesn't have to be (at best) in a wheelchair, or in extreme cases, bed ridden because her shoes hurt so badly she can't walk those cursed 3 days each month!

According to Asics: "When oestrogen is high, and a woman is at her most fertile, the arch drops. Later in the month, when she is menstruating, levels of the hormone are low but her arch is raised." So we need to be checking out our women's training shoes and hitting on them when those Asics are in low arch mode.  Hubba Hubba! Me so hoooowrnhey ;-).

Here is the actual news story about the shoe: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1249982/Running-shoe-women-adjusts-according-time-month.html#ixzz0fjEPmuBj

 I remember when I was a kid my best friend Ron and I were playing and his mom told us to go to the store and get her some tampax. We were pretty nervous. She may have also wanted us to pick her up a pack of smokes. I'm old enough that this wasn't such a ridiculous request nor was there any danger of us a) having DCFS called or b)being denied a pack of smokes just for being 12.  Those were the good-ol days! We took his little brother.  When we got to the checkout with the box of Tampax the guy at the counter asked my buddy if he knew what these were for.  Ron, a consumate smart ass put his hand on his bro's head and said, "Oh these are not for me. They're for my little brother.  He's four.  We saw these on TV.  The ad says you can swim and ride a bike if you use these and my brother can't do either." I could have NEVER said that to a grown up.  Even today, I'm the kind of guy who blushes when my wife buys a month worth of toilet paper at Target. I try to hide by the magazines hoping nobody recognizes me. I don't want everyone to thinking, here come the Shitzoids.  The've got QUITE a GI problem I see.  Must be a diarrhea induced by poor hygiene. Poor shucks....constantly crapping all over themselves.

Not to be outdone by the shoe giant Asics.  I am coming out with my own line of shoes that can be made from maxi pads.  I think I can get Adam at running central to carry them. From a marketing standpoint they will be popular with both the minimalist (low flow) runners and the folks who well, let just say, need a bit more protection.... If you want an advance pair you'll have to make them yourself. I plan to offer 3 convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) The Damn has Broken.

Here is the prototype shoe I'm basing my design on.  I plan on giving my wife a pair for her birthday this year (shhhhhhhh!).

I'll need four maxi pads to make a pair.

The selling points are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe

Rumor has it the Asics PMS Trainers will be offered with a GPS soon. The Asics PMS-GPS.  You'll now have a crazy bitch who can find you.  Run fast guys!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Muscle Tone Is A Function of the Nervous System

I was reading a post on fitnessblackbook.com and came across an interesting story on muscle tone. The piece reinforces a thought I have about conditioning. Specifically, the role the brain and nervous system plays in getting fit. Muscle tone is a function not just of building muscle mass but as much a function of the nervous system. Muscle tone is an "electrophysiological" phenomenon. Getting stronger is also largely a function of the nervous system. The greater the nerve impulse to a muscle…the stronger it contracts and the greater force that muscle will generate. As a muscle becomes stronger, your nervous system becomes more efficient at sending strong signals to that muscle. Over time, the muscle will have a greater "ionic flow" even at rest…AKA greater "muscle tone".

I had a friend of the family and co-worker suffer a stroke recently. Fortunately for her it was rather mild and she is expected to make a full recovery. Her rehabilitation is what I find really interesting. When she describes her exercises she uses terms like fatigue and straining to get the muscle to do what it needs to do. The stroke occurred recently so the muscles have not broken down or atrophied. What she is experiencing is a weak signal being sent from the brain.

All this makes me realize how important it is to train the brain. If you want to get fit and make gains you need to do your drills as importantly as you need to run the miles. Both reinforce good signaling and help to make you fit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

If I Spray....


A Mountain of Weight To Lose?

(stolen from technology review)
Want to drop a few pounds on your next vacation? Head for the mountains, the taller the better.

The researchers found that basal metabolism increased at high altitude, though it's not clear why. Levels of leptin, a hormone known to suppress hunger, also increased, perhaps in response to decreased oxygen. Participants ate less, even after symptoms of altitude sickness had disappeared. And they continued to eat less after returning to Munich, at least during the four week follow-up period of the study. The research was published this month in the journal Obesity.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuna with Wine, Tomatoes, and Herbs

I saw this at Eat, Move, Thrive

(Tuna with Wine, Tomatoes, and Herbs)

3lbs Tuna Steaks, Very Fresh, Sashimi grade if possible

Sea Salt (Optional if Strictly Paleo)

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Cup Finely Chopped Onion

3lbs Tomatoes, blanched, peeled seeded and chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano

1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme

1Cup Dry White Wine

1 Tbsp Tomato Paste

3 Tbsp Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

Warm your oven (175 deg. F or your oven's lowest setting). Season the steaks with pepper and salt (if using). In a heavy skillet, sear the tuna quickly in olive oil over high heat then transfer to a cookie sheet or Pyrex dish in the oven to keep warm. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium, add the onion, and cook until softened but not browned. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and dried herbs. Reduce to a simmer and let bubble away for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce becomes rather thick. Increase the heat to high, add the wine and tomato paste and reduce until the sauce is once again quite thick. Taste the sauce and correct for seasoning. Plate the tuna steaks, spoon the sauce generously over each steak, and garnish with parsley.

Single Women Eat Salad

I read an interesting story in a blog about women and food. Researchers have set out to prove the anecdote about women and salads. According to the research study, young women use food choices to send signals to potential suitors. So just like their clothing and jewelry, they tend to pick meals to enhance their desirability to the opposite sex. According to a story in The Guardian: "The salad leaves are meant to say, 'I'm pretty; I'm attractive; I take care of myself',"

I can't speak for all guys, but when I was young and single, messages from attractive women had better been sent with a bullhorn. If they had big breasts, then signals needed to be prefaced with a ball peen hammer. I wasn't exactly what most researchers would call subtle!

One really interesting aspect of this study was that the pressure increased with the number of potential partners around. Conversely, the men didn't watch at all what they were throwing down their gullets. Fist pump and belly smash!

Science Direct

In a naturalistic study, we investigated the influence of gender, group size and gender composition of groups of eaters on food selected for lunch and dinner (converted to total calories per meal) of 469 individuals (198 groups) in three large university cafeterias. In dyads, women observed eating with a male companion chose foods of significantly lower caloric value than those observed eating with another woman. Overall, group size was not a significant predictor of calories, but women's calories were negatively predicted by numbers of men in the group,while the numbers of women in the group had a marginally significant positive impact on calorie estimates. Men's calorie totals were not affected by total numbers of men or women. This study supports previous investigations, but is unique in making naturalistic observations.

I have two little kids, both girls (ages 9 and 11). So this is fascinating reading for me. At this point they have no interest whatsoever in impressing boys. They generally wear thier meals about their faces and think a good burp followed by a fart is hilarious entertainment. What this study says is that at some time in the future this will change for them (and for my wife and I).

I guess I am not surprised given the weird relationship Americans in general have with food. Women are trying to impress potential mates by limiting their food intake, a display of restraint, or control. This is a woman who cares about her appearance, who is not a greedy pig.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Marathons Make Your Muscles Old

Some evidence suggests that marathon running can be making our muscles old. Now despite the fact I have been feeling old today, this blog post kind of makes me wonder. But don't get me wrong; I have no intention on giving up what I really enjoy. I'm guessing Cigars and Bourbon have deleterious effects on the body as well.