To continue preparing for the Tough Mudder event, I am still doing CrossFit during the week. But I’ve also added a trail run each weekend to keep improving my endurance and add a bit more cardio work. I ran again in my Vibram FiveFingers to see how they feel on the rocky trail and what it feels like to keep running in cold, wet feet. It was ok. The FiveFingers certainly just let the water come in and your feet are instantly wet and cold. But I found that my feet warmed up as I kept running, so it was tolerable. My feet obviously still need to toughen up more. I felt all of the sharp stones on the trail (it was a really rocky trail). But, the barefoot running style ensures that you are landing lightly on your forefoot and lifting your feet quickly back off the ground again. So, hitting a rock wasn’t nearly as painful as it would be when you stride out and land harder on your heels.
Sorry, I feel the need to rant a bit today. I just keep seeing too many tweets on Twitter about how proud some CrossFit folks are of their blistered and bleeding hands from doing pull-ups. They are usually referring to high reps of kipping pull-ups. Bleeding hands from pull-ups aren’t some CrossFit “badge of honor”. It’s actually an indicator that you aren’t gripping the pull-up bar correctly. Now, before you get your hackles up and puff out your chest, I had the same problem. When I started CrossFit last year and began doing a high volume of pull-ups, I built up calluses and blisters. I noticed that it kept hurting more and more as that new callused area was getting pinched between the top of my palm and the bar. So, I did some research before it became a bleeding issue and I’ll share what I found below in some photos and a video. You really can avoid it! It’s all about your grip style and it builds up your grip strength and toughens up your hands more evenly.
It was a little over 2 years ago (Jan 2009) that I committed to a lifestyle change. I began making wiser food choices and walking and running again. About 1 year ago, I started P90X and finished it. Then about 6 months ago, I started CrossFit. 7 weeks ago I began the Paleo Challenge. Basically, […]
I totally spanked “Cindy” yesterday at CrossFit. It was my best performance with her ever! It is a 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 Pull-ups, 10 Push-ups, and 15 Air Squats. Breaking the pull-ups into sets of 5 like that made it feel pretty easy and I switched my grip so that I was alternating pull-ups and chin-ups. Funny how squats start to feel like a break when you do them right after push-ups.
Just seemed appropriate to talk about love on this Valentine’s Day. The song “Who Do You Love” popped into my head today on this day of love. It was originally recorded in 1956 by Bo Diddley, but I always hear the version by George Thorogood in my head when I think about it. I think this question is incredibly relevant not just on Valentine’s Day, but also when you think about the perpetual journey to health and fitness that so many of you are taking or wish you could convince yourself to take. I want you to really think about it: Who do you love? Who matters the most to you in this world? Maybe it’s your husband, wife, or significant other. Maybe it’s your children. Maybe it’s your brother or sister, or mother and father. Heck, maybe it’s yourself! That’s a good thing. Truly loving yourself means that you care enough to take care of yourself.
My CrossFit workout this morning really hit my overall body with a variety of exercises that worked the core, arms, and legs. I felt it all over! Made me also realize that my forearms were more sore than I anticipated from the 32 Kg kettleball farmers walk and hammers yesterday. I really felt it on the pull-ups and performed a bit weaker than I had hoped. Oh well. Every day can’t be the best day for a given exercise. We did this same workout back in November 2010, so I was able to compare my performance. This is so critical for your motivation!). I took 17 seconds off my time and did much better on my pull-ups this time. Now my goal for the next time I do this WOD is to do everything unbroken. No breaks!
Today’s CrossFit workout was kind of fun! In addition to the usual strength training, we did some conditioning work that included pushing a Jeep. I don’t think I’ve pushed a car or truck since high school, when we either got stuck in the mud or ran out of gas. Who would think that I would do that again someday as a workout that I pay for? Life is funny…
Ever heard of Tough Mudder? It’s an intense teamwork-focused endurance race designed by the British Special Forces. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just signed up for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal with a team. At least I have 7 more months to prepare for it. But, after looking at the videos and reviewing the course map, I’m not sure how to prepare myself for running through fire and 10,000 volt electrical wires!
You know it’s going to be a good day at CrossFit when your warmup looks like a full-on conditioning WOD. One of the warmup exercises was a 250 M row on the C2 rower. That was just to get us all warmed up and excited for the 2000 meter row that was coming up. Today ended up being my best row yet for the 2000 and I’ll tell you how I did it.
I described what a Tabata workout is in an earlier post. A Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HITT) and is basically 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise and then 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 cycles continuously for 4 minutes. It really packs a ton of cardio and fat-burning exercise into the longest 4 minutes of your life. Today we did it for 4 exercises back to back (Squat Cleans, Pull-ups, Burpees, Kettlebell Swings), so that makes it the longest 16 minutes of your life. Who would think you would be completely drained after just 16 minutes of exercise? But, try it sometime and I think you will discover the same thing. I have a love/hate relationship with the Tabata. More than a lot of other conditioning WOD’s, you really do feel like you’re competing against yourself (if you track your progress as you should be doing!). I love that and, looking back at my past performance, I see improvements that motivate me a lot. That includes physical changes that I can see; burning off fat and getting a lot more muscle definition. The hate? The Tabata workouts really wipe me out and, like I said, you would never imagine how long 4 minutes can feel.