Advice From the Other Side

Take care of yourself.

It is that time of year.

  • School starting …
  • Fall seasons beginning …
  • 110+ hour workweeks ramping up…

And only 24 hours in a day

If you are like most coaches that I know, your priorities will look something like this…

  1. Take care of your family
  2. Take care of your team (which means putting them in the best position possible to be successful)
  3. Take care of your staff

Any extra minute/ hour you can eek out will be allocated back to one of these three things.

I was the same way.

For most of my career I would grind… putting all of my time and effort into Family, Team, and Staff.

I went from consistently training and being in great shape, to each year spending less and less time doing so… until my personal training became non-existent.

About 4 years ago I was forced to begin working out when I had a hip replacement and needed to rehab… progressing from walking…. to walking/ jogging… to jogging… normally for about 45 minutes to an hour, 3 or so times a week.

And when the season/school started… maybe on the weekends if at all.

Low intensity + Inconsistent Routine = Not Great Results

My advice… based on my experience… carve out some time to really take care of yourself.

  • Eat right
  • Exercise

Here is what I learned first hand this summer (yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks)

Instead of a long, slow, plodding jog/ walk… I stared doing interval training.   It is not a new concept, just something that I had not done since I was a competitive track athlete… and in great shape.

Basically 4-5 times a week I do one of the following workouts.

45 Second Interval Workout

  • 5-minute warm up
  • 45-second medium tempo interval
  • 45-second fast tempo interval
  • 2-minute recovery (walk)
  • Repeat intervals 5 times
  • 5-10 minute cool down

30 Second Interval Workout

  • 5-minute warm up
  • 30-second medium tempo interval
  • 30-second fast tempo interval
  • 2-minute recovery (walk)
  • Repeat intervals 7 times
  • 5-10 minute cool down

On days that I am not doing one of these interval workouts, I try to go out for a longer, more leisurely walk.

And that is it.

The interval workouts take maybe 40-45 minutes.

Physically and mentally I feel better than I have in 30 years…. at times I feel I could be back on the crushed gravel track at Blue Springs High school (yes… crushed gravel… no synthetic surface) running repeat 200m runs.

My heart rate data confirms my improved physical condition. You can see on this chart that my heart rate recovers quickly during each 2-minute recovery.

workout data

Now back to you.

It is a long season…and a long school year…

  • Wouldn’t you like a little more in your tank in October when you are heading into playoff time?
  • Wouldn’t you like a little more in your tank in January when you deep into your off-season routine?
  • Wouldn’t you like a little more in your tank at the end of next summer when you are preparing for another Fall campaign?

You get the idea… time spent on YOU will pay off with more quality time with Family, Team, and Staff.

I am not saying you have to do THIS workout, but I can tell you that I feel better, and spend less time doing this routine as opposed to the LSD (long slow distance) type of training I was doing previous.

Good luck this season… I will enjoy following you all during the next several months!

Related Posts:

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Disciplined Mental Toughness

XC_running_symbol_revI just finished my second 4-mile road race, The Kansas City Trolley Run.  I have completed several (5-6) 5K’s in the last year and am developing an increased appreciation for distance runners, and their toughness… especially their mental toughness.

I am a competitor.  I like to win at everything I do.  I like being the best.  I was a football player and a sprinter in track, so my longest running competition was over in less than 60 seconds.  In football, the competition comes in quick spurts – 4-5 seconds, a play at a time.  Distance runners, good distance runners, have to keep a sharp mental focus, for several minutes… or many minutes… or hours!  They have to be disciplined competitors, physically AND mentally.  It is not an easy thing, for me any way.

Distance runners are tough, competitors, and disciplined.  I respect those qualties.

Congrats to Cindy Joy Davison for beating her goal by 8 minutes today in the OKC half marathon, and fellow “Team 616” runners Jamie Floyd and Becky Nace for running their best 4 mile times in the Kansas City Trolley Run!

YCDM! = You Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Correcting Squat Technique

correcting squatI had a very good email question from a young man last week.  He was incorporating the core lift, squat, into his lifting routine, but was having a difficult time maintaining an athletic posture and going down past parallel.  He was a big man, over 6’ 3” tall.   It is not uncommon for a big person to have these difficulties and usually they can be corrected.  Tall people are at a bio-mechanical disadvantage when it comes to lifting weights.  They have long levers, and have to move the weight a greater distance than a small, squatty body person.  That is why it is important not to get caught up in the amount of weight that is being lifted, but rather correct technique and moving the weight through the full range of motion.

The root of this problem (not being able to go through the full range of motion) could be a number of reasons.  It may be a lack of strength in the supporting trunk or hip girdle, or lack of flexibility in the hip girdle.  Often we find that it is just having the kinesthetic awareness, of knowing what it feels like to correctly go through this motion; having correct posture, with head up and shoulders back and sitting back with their feet flat on the floor until their hips are below their knees.  Sometimes when they actually feel what the correct motion is, they “get it”.

Here is a progression, with accompanying video that we use for our athletes that are having these problems.  It will help develop strength, flexibility, and also give them a better kinesthetic awareness regarding correct body position.

Step 1 – Assisted Squat.

We have the student- athletes begin by doing sets of 8-10 reps with no weight or bar.  We position them in the rack, grabbing the rack on each side with their hands slightly below their waist.   They begin the squat , keeping good posture, shoulders back, big chest, assisting themselves by balancing and pulling slightly with the hands.  We have the athletes continue this until they get a feel for the correct depth and full range of motion.  This will also help with flexibility and strength.

Step 2 – Air Squats

Next, we progress to sets of “air squats” with no bar and their hands in front, again working on balance and flexibility.

Step 3 – Simulated Bar Squats

The next step is to do “air squats” with no bar, but the hands positioned outside of their shoulders where a bar would be.  There can be a difference in balance from the preceding set,  since the center of gravity has changed due to their hand and arm position.

Step 4 – Squats with the bar only.

Next, we progress the athletes to just doing sets with the bar only racked correctly across the back.  The athlete should concentrate on posture, shoulders back, head up, feet flat, and not bending at the waist.

Step 5 – Begin adding weight.

When the athletes have mastered all of these steps, then (and only then) do we allow them to begin adding weight to the bar. We continue to stress correct form and full range of motion rather than the amount of weight they are doing.

Below is the video that demonstrates each of these 5 steps:

Using this progression, we have been able to improve the technique and range of motion of our athletes that were having difficulties with technique and form.  A full description of the Core Lift Squat along with telestrated video can be found in this post – The Core Lifts – Squat

Tomorrow I will have some data for you regarding lb/lb ratios of our student-athletes

If you have any questions, just comment or email… either way, I will answer you!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com