Sunday, 12 January 2014

Week of training Sunday January 5th - Saturday January 11th + some thoughts on hip mobility

Hello fine people,

Another week has came and gone and that means it's time for my weekly update. I'm not enjoying doing so much treadmill running but it's all I can do to get in the volume with the weather. I would venture to say I ran about 65% of my mileage on the treadmill this week. I hit 141 miles and got 3 workouts in with a long run so I wont complain.

I also want to briefly touch on something I've been pondering lately and talking with Mike (Greene) about  during my continued research on how to improve ones running economy. I'm going to attach a great blog excerpt I found that explains just how important hip mobility is. After that we will get into the training recap.

Let's talk hip mobility and it's effect on our running form and efficiency.

I've been chatting with Mike allot recently about Arthur Lydiard training, and about how to improve running form. He explained to me how important hip mobility is. Now Mike has a Masters in Exercise Physiology so he knows this stuff. I did some research after speaking with him and was blow away by my findings. I'll try not to go too deep into things but just know that the better our hip dexterity/mobility is the longer we can extend out our stride angle with the same amount of energy, this has us covering more ground at a faster rate.

I read a blog excerpt by Mark Sisson about hip mobility that I will post here. If any of you haven't heard of Mark, check out his blog, I will link below. He is an advocate on health, wellness and primal living. Very smart man with tremendous knowledge of human physiology

Blog entry by Mark Sisson talking about hip mobility

"Our joints, limbs, and muscles represent a collective of individual pieces, all working together to move the body, manipulate objects, and propel us through three dimensional space. Mobility in all areas is crucial, but it helps to consider them in segments. After all, different people will have different levels of mobility in different areas of the body. Perhaps the most common mobility deficiency resides in the hips. In my own case, it was a lack of hip mobility that was the proximate cause of my downfall as a runner/triathlete. I basically “seized up” after fifteen years of overuse in a very limited plane of movement.
People have forgotten (or don’t know) how to use their hips the way evolution designed them to be used. Instead of sitting back with their hips to pick something up, followed by a hip extension (thrust forward) to bring it up, they’ll bend at the waist and lift with the lower back. Picking up a potted plant? You can get away with poor hip mobility – for a while. Picking up a weighted barbell, a child or a bag of peat moss with poor hip mobility using your lower back? That’s an injury waiting to happen.
We sit too much. I know I do, and it’s especially bad to do so right after working out (yet I still do it sometimes). Sitting impacts hip mobility in two major ways: it weakens the glutes and it shortens the hip flexors. Both your glutes and your hip flexors figure prominently in the activation of your hips, so when they’re weak and/or inactive, the lower back takes over. Now, the lower back, or the lumbar spine, isn’t designed for a ton of activity. It’s mainly there to provide support and stability. It’s the core, after all. But with poor hip mobility brought on by excessive sitting and a weak posterior chain, your hip extension is no longer sufficient, and in comes the lower back. That potted plant is beginning to look a little heavier, eh? And that’s not even mentioning the barbell.
It’s a shame, because our hips are obviously designed to generate a ton of power. The ligaments, the tendons, the musculature, and the bones in that region are all dense, hardy, and robust – they’re made for activity and mobility – but too many people are selling their hips short. And when that happens, the other joints and muscles (like knees or lumbar spines) have to pick up the slack. It’s an adaptive mechanism that perhaps any multi-limbed animal possesses: the quick substitution for an injured limb/joint by an adjacent one. It’s not meant to be a lasting solution, though. We’re not meant to limp through life using one joint to do another’s prescribed task. It just doesn't work, and it’s exactly why most people lift with their backs instead of their hips and then complain about back or knee pain.
Restoring hip mobility will help in several areas. It should reduce or eliminate lower back and/or knee pain stemming from overcompensation. It should improve your power output by allowing you to fully engage your posterior chain in training exercises like squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and any of the Olympic lifts, while making them safer. It should improve the strength and power of your hip extension, extremely vital for performance of the aforementioned lifts, but also for vertical leaps, sprinting, and any basic explosive movement. It will improve your rotational strength; instead of rotating with the lumbar spine (a huge no-no), you’ll generate power with the hips – perfect for throwing a good punch, swinging a golf club, or tossing a big rock at prey. It’ll improve speed, especially sprinting speed.
Most of all, hip mobility will improve your relationship with the rest of your body. Because the hips are the most common sites of poor mobility, many people are walking around with dysfunctions borne of overcompensation. Fixing hip mobility won’t fix everything, but it will eliminate a major stressor on your system as a whole and allow you to focus on the smaller, but no less important, sites and joints."

Read more:

So I'll post up some exercises and a few videos mid week so you can try working on this yourself. It will certainly help!

This week in training


Long Run - 20 miles @ 6:30 pace. This was done on the treadmill which I did not enjoy but it was my only option, the roads seemed horrible after the dumping of snow we had. I took a gel on a bathroom break at about 12 miles ha.

20 miles - AM
Off - PM


11 miles - AM
10 miles - PM


Workout - 5X1500m (Mike Greene's workout), I ran this under control and started again with 52 seconds for 245m laps and working down until the last rep was run at 42 seconds/lap. I guess in pace per mile I started at about 5:35 pace and worked down until the last one was about 4:40/mile pace. The recovery was pretty short at 52 seconds/rep. Overall good workout just progressed and felt strong.

14 miles with workout - AM
6 miles easy - PM


10 miles easy - AM
10 miles - PM


Workout - 10km tempo run, I didn't run this with a heart rate monitor as I was feeling really fresh after not really getting after a hard session so far this week so I wanted to go on feel and progressed as it went. I started at 5:25 pace and got down to a 5:05 last mile, 10km was done in 32:51. (Note I was doing calculations in my head the last 10 minutes to figure out how fast I'd have to run to go under 33 for the tempo.....I hate when I do that. That's why I need to do timed tempo runs and not distance based ones. Next week it's back to either a 30 minute tempo or 2 X 20 minutes or something.

11 miles with workout - AM
9 miles super easy - PM


8 miles easy (legs felt heavy) - AM
12 miles easy - PM


Workout - Track session with Joe. (I needed someone to meet and keep me honest as this was one of the first weeks in some time I've had to do my workouts by myself.). I had 1X1mile +5X1km+1X1mile. The goal was to change gears from 10km to 5km pace and do it with fairly short recovery. I went 5:00 for the first mile, then the K's went 3:01, 2:58, 2:57, 2:59, 3:00 and I followed that up with a 5:00 mile. The recovery was 3 minutes after the first mile, 2 minutes after the first 4, 1km's and 3 minutes before my last mile. I felt good, I mean I wanted to go rip out a 4:45 or faster first mile and some low 2:50 k's but I knew if I did that there was NO WAY I would have finished the workout. And I was right, because by the 3rd 1km I was starting to get anaerobic and the rests seem to be catching up with me, I worked hard for a 3:00 last K and 5:00 last mile. I guess that's the sign of a workout ran the right way though.

15 miles with workout - AM.
5 miles at a snails pace - PM

So that was my week. Very happy with it 141 miles, 3 workouts and a long run. I will say however that I'm pretty tired mentally and physically. It might have been the last workout or maybe just the continuous weeks of high mileage. But I'm going to need to make sure next week has less volume and intensity. I went to the proverbial well on that session Saturday. I really thought I was in 14:55ish 5km shape but that workout with the short breaks showed me I'm not there, I would need to be able to run those five 1km intervals between the miles at about 2:55 to be ready and I'm just not there yet. I'd say I'm in around 15:10-15:15 shape. So lots of work to be done.

On another note I'm working on the idea I mentioned last week regarding posting a video workout every Wednesday entitled "Workout Wednesday". I'm going to go ahead and try it out for a few weeks. The first one that you can expect should be up on Wednesday and it will be a 10km race prep workout that I used for the turkey tea 10km (32:11). It was filmed on the track in mid October.

Alright, well thanks as always for following along with me. See you next week, same time, same channel.

Stay frosty

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