Running

Isolation workouts

Isolation workouts

As an active person and operating a personal training business I’m shut until further notice. Its now time for us to incorporate some Isolation workouts so time to move. During the unfortunate shutdown of the country we’ ve been told to stay at home, I figure most of us are in a similar place. As business owners the government has told me that we are in hibernation mode. Whatever they want to call I’m now unemployed and its time to get moving.

With now having only limited opportunities to exercise like were used too we can’t be too choosy with available options. Without access the usual activities we so much enjoy, no access to the gym or smashing your group fitness class with friends you now must settle with other forms of exercise.

Either outside or indoors under isolation lockdown. I know what I prefer. Time to get moving people.  

I’m fortunate that as a regular runner with access to an exercise bike and my own equipment exercising is not a problem. What if you don’t have equipment? With limitation to outdoor activities been diminished this still leaves you with some options.

Time to get moving with walk to Run

If you have ever wanted to try it, now would be a good time. The many benefits of what running brings to the table are good reasons why this form of activity is recommended as part of an effective isolation workout. This includes:

  • The strengthening of lower body muscles
  • Strengthening the lungs
  • Mental health,
  • Weight management.
  • A strong immune system
  • Keeps the blood pressure under check and
  • Now gets you out of the house.

Especially if you’ve been keeping an eye out on the kids while they home school.

Start with a walk / run plan. For example, go out and walk for 5minutes then run slowly for 1 minute and repeat it for up to 20-30minuter at first. It clears the mind, provides some necessary movement to the body and is a brilliant overall exercise. Another is to find an oval and do walk run 50/50 around the oval. The possibilities are many, remember start of slowly then build it up as it suits.

For those who currently do walk and have a few routes, Adding running to your isolation workout schedule now would be a good opportunity to begin running that last 500+ meters and build it from there.

Bodyweight has several isolation workouts variables

The internet is all over this one, you can just about get a program here for all levels of strength and commitment. What I’m suggesting is to first go and find out how to properly perform the basic movement that are achievable to you. Pick some of the classics like a bodyweight squat. It’s best Learn the movement properly and start of gently and try to avoid busting out more than you can handle on the first time. Next tackle the various ways you can execute a push up, find the one progression that suits you and apply. There are several aids that can be used to change it up once you have the basics down.

The next one I propose is a pulling movement, this one will be a little challenging for you to achieve as you don’t have access to a chin up bar or equipment. Best to look up what is called an Australian row also known as an Australian pull up. (I kid you not) You can pick up a stick at your nearest Bunning store to find something suitable. BTW, working the pulling and pushing movements will also tax those arms.

Then there’s core

Then there’s core, the most basic of isolation workouts to use at home. No suprise, It’s one of the most often worked areas in bodyweight. There are literally 100s of core variations out there, start with the plank and some crunch movement and build up from there.

Once you build up the fundamental to each movement there will be many variations to making the movement tougher. Get the classics right. When you achieve a basic understanding and built up your strength and confidence you can start adding on more challenging exercises.

I’ll name a few to get you going however with a bit of research you will find a lot more.

Alternating Lunges, mountain climbers, Pistol squat (hard), jump squats, glute bridges and burpees. These are more on the cardio side however they all work best when the movement is right. Hit them when you think you can handle the workload. Enjoy.

Stretches

To complement the bodyweight movements and build up your exercise knowledge it will be beneficial to learn the stretches that support the exercises. It adds value to your time and makes the session more efficient. You are exercising or stretching it out. In my opinion I would recommend you learn the full body facial stretches first them move onto the major areas like the Hip and Shoulder. Finally, you can learn the many possible isolation stretches about. Think full body, Major muscles, then isolate.

The benefit with taking this approach is that you will identify the troubled areas that can be professionally worked on once this lockdown has ended.

Nutritional awareness

A lot’s been written on Nutrition. You can find an endless amount of nutritional knowledge from all sorts of qualified professionals to the ever-increasing so-called influencers. On what you should be eating. I for the record will always listen to the professional, not the influencer. I’m sure it’s all delicious and the comfort food recipes are out of this world. I suggest now to be aware of what you are consuming. Dont let it get away from you. You reckon you will work it off do you?

One of the best ways to keep in check of the amount of food you consume is to start on a food diary. This will tell you exactly what you’re doing and diligently recording it will help you in making the proper food choices. With a general lack of movement now I’m taking my own advice and noting all my food and beverage consumption.

I understand that his is not for all, however this is a great way of ensuring that weight management issues doesn’t get away from you during isolation.

Kids Isolation workouts. Get them moving outside

If you are working from home and have the kids with you schooling online. Use this as a great opportunity to take the family out for some outdoor exercise. As playgrounds are not in use now its best you all go out and walk/run. So if possible have the kids ride their bikes.

It gets everyone out of the house together clears the mind and freshens everyone up. Therefore now is a good time to walk to the oval and practice running while the kids kick the ball.

I know it’s the bare minimum and not an “ultimate” home workout program. The Isolation workout suggestion is to get you started on establishing a habit (forced or not) that you can continue and build on post our stay home restrictions.

As you, I look forward to having my total freedom back and get back to normal.

Stay safe.

Our running year so far

Great start to our running year

Our running so far this year has allowed us to only be able to squeeze in two running events before we as a nation came to a complete stop due to the Covid 19 virus. Which unfortunately has held us all at bay from late 2019. It has been interesting.

The first event we managed to participate in is the well populated 28klm Two bays trail run held in early January. Starting from Dromana and ending at Cape Shank it’s a new running trail event for us this year. So we decided to tackle it as its been on our bucket list for a while. For the other experienced and more committed runners who participate in the grueling 56Klm. It’s an out and back run from Cape shank. The return-back route is an amazing conquest.

For those who attempted either one of the distances, you have another year to prepare and go again. Well done for giving it a go. Because we know how hard it is.

Running Base planning

For Adam, Kaan and I we fortunately had sufficient time to get in the necessary training and set ourselves a 12 week training program. In short the key points are to:

  • Build a greater fitness base
  • Add some elevation
  • Build the condition required to complete the distance
  • Prevent injury
  • Recover well

For us every running year to simply complete an event is not enough. To recover well is just as important so a solid well-planned preparation was the key.

This allows for continuation of running and maintain health. Its why we run yeah?

We all managed to complete it in reasonable times and now have a greater understanding for next years event and will be more aware of the nuances of the course and adjust training accordingly. No substitute for experience.

With 2 Bays done and dusted and the initial post celebratory drinks and food were consumed over it was time for me to prepare from the next event in the coming weeks. This time I would be a solo participant as both work and other commitments prevented my running buddies from running. Someone has to carry the can.

More hills to run

As a regular runner and participant of several events over time it was great to be starting our running year with an early 28klm trail run then followed 3 weeks later by the next event. You see the 3 weeks before an event is usually the time to log in that last long run. For me it was a treat to have built up my base from late 2019, run a new longer event and now prep for a shorter one soon. I basically treated the two bays run as my last long run for the next trail event at Kilcunda which is an enjoyable half marathon distance.

I will mention that certain parts of the two bays offer some spectacular scenery and amazing vistas and the single trail sections were fast flowing, however for me running Kilcunda along the beach coastal path and an opportunity to run on the beach itself was an amazing treat. It’s one of the events that I look forward too. Its fast and the elevation isn’t too harsh on the legs with its rolling short hills and flat packed running surface. It’s a personal favourite.

Then it all went to pieces. Well almost.

Buller trail run  

The next event we had all signed up was the very challenging and intimidating 22klm run at Mt Buller. This one is an Alpine run with an elevation profile of over 1000m. While the previous two events had challenging elevations for the distances the pure descending or climbing nature of this course doesn’t allow for much even ground to run on (just a little). You are being taxed most of the time. The quads will be burning on the decent or the hammies will be grinding out during the climb.

Given that Kilcunda had been run the first week of February and Buller was supposed to be on the 5th of April it was sufficient time to build the running conditioning from past events and start to focusing the workouts on more challenging terrain designed for optimum elevation.

It was time to climb more so welcome Masons falls in Kinglake.

I had as part of our running plan included some specific elevation on our Long Sunday run. For the month of March that consisted of 5 Sundays we managed to reach a touch over 7000m of elevation in total in preparation for Buller. As luck would have it by the time we had run the last week of the month it was already a given that the event was going to be cancelled and were not going to make it. With the lockdown and stage 3 of conditions imposed by the Vic government it left us all with no event, sadly we had to adjust our strategy on not let our motivation wane.

Hibernation running plan.

Once we found out that a semi lockdown was in place and were effectively on hibernation mode (Gov words) we simply readjusted our general plan and now run a base building style where we try to run at least 4 days per week with two strength session (time permitting). The Sunday is still the long run with now having to leave a little earlier than usual. About 5:30am now to have the luxury of running free of any other people around us. Therefore In keeping with social distancing there is only two of us with the 3rd member running solo on or around his property in the country. Sorry Adam.

With no event on the horizon that been 100% confirmed as a definite my strength and running plan is simple.

If all goes well, Monday is a recovery 7klm, Tuesday a steady 10klm, Wednesday a tempo 15, Thursday Strength day, Friday an early 10klm, Saturday strength and Sunday the long run. All runs are now on Road.

Meanwhile I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to strength train in my own home facility. Besides that , when running we are currently not breaking any laws by having two non-family members run together. Rest days and intensity here are as you feel. Until the next event is confirmed, we will then start working on a more specific and structured plan because that when the heavy running will be back. Fingers crossed on that.

The plan really is to get out and continue moving with the running and compliment it with a full body strength workout. So the idea is to keep you Strong, flexible, fresh and not break you. 

Future running events, maybe.

We plan on taking on the very well-known Surf coast century held in Anglesea. This fantastic weekend event in September consists of a 100k klm Ultra (yes 100klm) and a 50klm trail event both held on the Saturday. The 50 klm course is basically the second part of the 100. On Sunday the event allows those who wish to participate in shorter distances ranging from 8.7klm, 15.3klm and the 22.7 klm suited to most abilities who want to try out trail running. So i highly recommend this event as its well organised and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Only time will tell if this year’s event will go on and in a couple of weeks if the distancing restrictions will be lifted. With certain events returning and people’s work places operating as normal. However any event news will add to our running year so far.

To sum up , I hope that as an active person you have found a way around this slight change to our daily routine to incorporate some workouts, are eating well and getting enough rest. I have the little ones at home with me now for home learning. oh sorry “online learning” which now helping to keep me sane during Isolation.

Well see you on the trail.

Kilcunda Trail Run

Kilcunda Running Event

The start of the year for our running was held down by the coast located in Kilcunda located just past Philip Island. We decided to tackle the half marathon distance as it was a nice course with not too many hills to climb and an overall low elevation grading.

It turned out to be a great call as it will certainly be an event Claudefit personal training will have marked for next year.

We try to participate in only a hand full of event as we mostly just enjoy running the local trails or an urban run close to home. The priority for us is for Health, Fitness and overall Conditioning that consistent running delivers, so when we do participate in an event it’s generally a fun time to push the limits and find out how all the base runs have served us.

It’s a varied running course on single track, gravel, grass, bitumen and even has a nasty component of running on the sand while the spectacular views along the beach front make you forget that you were running a half marathon trail event. Well almost!

We had been running over the whole summer so we didn’t think that it would cause too many problems. The run was on the second of February so by then we had all worked off the Christmas pudge and were keen to take on an event. Over the last few months we mainly focused on our own individual runs during the week and got together as a group on the Sunday. Once again we ran either around the many track offering of Plenty Gorge (Mill Park) or for a change ran the historic rail trail located in Tallarook.

The Running 

The training over the last couple of months for myself consisted of 3 x 10klm runs, a 5klm recovery run on Saturdays with the Sunday run been anywhere between 15klm to 25 Klm’s on the trial. On the rare occasion we hit a 30klm trail for additional conditioning. This usually added up anywhere from a 50klm per week to 70klm per week loading on the legs.

Runs were mainly performed at a continuous comfortable pace that didn’t break me at the end or made me feel that I had not pushed enough. The Friday 10 klm was often slow and kept it at a point here we could easily talk at a perceived exertion of 7 out of 10. The whole idea about our runs was to keep the klms ticking over without overtraining or not getting enough conditioning. The Sunday run was kept for a bit of speed work along certain section of the trails that often included some challenging hill work. Depending on the run I could make the course hilly, flat or plain nasty. Once again it had to be stimulating without getting overtrained or injured.

Leave your best for the event.

The reason for the tight managing of runs was due to the complimentary resistance training that we all did during the week. As part of our running workouts my running buddies are also clients of Claudefit and all work out with weights in both strengthening and conditioning their bodies for the constant pounding the body takes during any type of running.

It’s unfortunate that I see many people who just focus on running and carry their injuries as something they simply have to put up with. This is not true. With an effective program you can do both and even improve on your running if you’ve made your body resilient enough to push harder.

The weight Lifting program

The whole point of the resistance workouts was to ensure that the whole body was strengthened with a slight emphasis on running. I’ve outlined the main movements below that are the groundwork supporting my running client base.

Deadlifts – How can you incorporate a running strength program with this ever reliable movement? It work the posterior chain (engine room) along with the overall body stimulus that the movement returns.

Front squats – My choice movement to develop the quads and a great compliment to the Deadlift. The bonus here is the demand on the core for a more upright position. The carryover is stability in running.

Single leg deadlifts – For those who lack the necessary glute development this is the go to movement to add on to your program. Once you go SLD you don’t go back. It provided you with the stability, strength and conditioning that allows the runner the confidence to push harder when both sprinting and climbing.

Standing Shoulder press – I choose this over chest a primary as it helps me compliment the previous exercised in the way it requires the core to become involved.

Other movements to include are the many and varies Core exercises available to runners for both stability and strength. The Humble kettlebell swing also gets a mention as it works well on days where you need to take a rest from the constant pounding from running.

When choosing the right kettlebell it can benefit with high volume work with less impact on the joints, providing you use good form. Lastly is the availability of Glute ham raise machine, at Claudefit I’m fortunate to have one available for my clients.

Overall it was a good day out with most of us running well over the course given that it was at the beginning of the year. We look forward to the next even in the Victorian high country on the famous and very scenic Mt Buller.

See you on the trail.

Olinda trail run

Trail run fun

It’s a mountain not a hill!

This was the comment my client and fellow trail running buddy Shai who so enthusiastically told me on the way to the 3rd of the Salomon trail series race. Right from the start to end involved running the trails on the ever popular Dandenong ranges suburb of Olinda. In our case what runs down most certainly has to run up again, and so we did.

The drive up there was typical of two blokes about to do anything to do with exercise; we bragged on how well we were going to do. Let’s just say it was a different type of conversation on the way back. Once we got to the bottom of the mountain and drove past the famous 1000 steps we simply started to climb up and passed a few crazy cyclist who were riding up there for their regular Sunday hit-out (a massive ride I believe) and it was only when we got to the golf course at Olinda where we were received by a thick and unwelcoming fog.

You can’t make this stuff up.

It was cold, early and windy.  Glad for me Shai was good enough to pick me up and we had arranged to meet up with the other participant once we got to the start/end line where all the stalls were all set up and grabbed that all important coffee prior to start.

Welcome to the top of the Dandenong ranges.

As we have figured out the Salomon series is well organised, with around 1500 participants in three distances of 7klm, 15klm and 21klm. We as rookies to these events gladly took on the 7klm as we had previously taken on the 12 klm for the Plenty Valley run and felt we hadn’t performed as well. You see, we participate in many of the popular fun runs and we can generally cover the 10klms on the flat well. Trail running as we found out has other challenges that the more comfortable flatter bitumen running doesn’t offer – go figure. The bottom line is that trail running is much harder and demands more focus on the single track.

While you are chasing the person in front while you can hear your own tail been covered and makes it quite draining from a mental point of view, it is a race after all. The Australian bush offers you a spectacular view and plenty fresh air. A good thing as you age going to need it.  The important point here that I would like to make is they they are a lot of fun to do, just be prepared and have more of a base fitness if you wish to conquer the chosen distance.

 

Short Course elevation profile

olinda

 

 

 

 

(Image taken form Salomon trail series website)

The Race

The elevation for this course looked pretty simple and on paper looked like we were not going to struggle like the previous longer one. Looks can be deceiving as it was quite an honest run. Start running down the hill, go across and back up, simple and effective and certainly go the job done. The first part was quite exciting as we were basically bolting down the hill and making sure we didn’t end up crashing into the scrub. Once we got down to the bottom it was a simple matter of negotiating the single and wider track until eventually had to come back up and as my running buddy had already mentioned we were supposedly meant to be running up this mountain, let me put it this way. I went from hero running down to zero in making it back up. It was a mixture of excitement and exhaustion at the same time. The legs were feeling the gradient and the lungs were on overdrive; the only thing I could do was slow down and let my breathing determine the speed. (A logical choice)  Eventually when we made it up the fog had cleared and all I can remember is the MC trying to coach a sprint out of me. No chance lady. Once complete I managed to regain my composure and not show the clear pain I felt inside.  It didn’t work.

I can only imagine what the other more seasoned trail runners had to cover in the longer races, a nice challenge moving forward. We as rookies to these events look forward to more specific trail running training and will be making sure we are ready to tackle the whole series with at least taking on the medium options as the next step.

The next and last of the trail run options will be held in Anglesea, I’m Looking forward to the drive down and supporting my wife on this one.

No point in keeping it to myself!

Plenty Gorge trail run.

Mill Park trail

It was just recently that our running group and I discovered the enjoyment of trail runs and as a result a few of us have now completed race two of the Salomon trail series that makes up one of the 4 trail running events held during the cooler months. The series offers a great variety of trail running in covering the areas of Yarra bend park, Plenty Gorge (race2), Olinda and Anglesea. I myself took on the 12klm option along with a long-term client and can pretty much sum it up as one the harders running event we have all entered in. After all it was a race and not a fun run. In addition it was also one of the most enjoyable.

We have often as a team entered events like the Tough Mudder and Spartan race along with many other popular Melbourne fun runs as part of our fitness program and clearly found this one tough going. The same reaction was displayed by our female team member who chose the shorter version of the course of about 6klms. Both distances covered were quite demanding, and equally as rewarding once you made it to the finish line.

The beauty of trail running is that the scenery is constantly changing. At one time you are simply running on a fire clearing along the bush and then all of a sudden you are traversing across the cliff at pace on a single track. It doesn’t end there , as we found (during the event) out when running along the bottom of the hill as it was just a matter of time before we had to back run up and as we are aware the Australian bushland is not a forgiving landscape, so be prepared. Oh did I say it was fun didn’t I?

Coming from a bitumen background, having participated in several major road running events and Obstacle course runs, this one clearly rates up there with one of the best.  What a great decision it turned out to be in entering this race. Initially this event was simply to outline a set course that my clients and I could run as part of our regular workouts.  However, as it turned out after being a participant of this great event it was obvious to me that I’ll be putting this run up with my favourite runs and got more out of it than initially thought.

Why trail running?

Trail running is all about getting away from the bitumen and heading in head first into the wilderness. Well if you live In Mill Park the blue lake is close enough, for it with all its challenging running sections offer the opportunity for the runner to see the local kangaroos along with a variety of mammals you would typically encounter in the Aussie bush. And in some cases, while you are negotiating a creek crossing!

  • The best trail running (many would argue) is on ‘single track’ – usually walking/hiking trails that you can only traverse on foot.
  • These are the best trails because they tend to lead you into the most pristine and stunning environments.
  • Trail running does also encompass some running on dirt roads and fire trails and, due to logistics, can sometimes at a push include short stretches of road running to get from one trail to another.
  • But, essentially, trail running is all about running in beautiful and inspiring parts of the world that remain as Mother Nature intended: untouched and wild. Of which there are endless examples in Australia.

Fortunately for me I have access from my back yard as it borders the gorge national park and only takes us approximately 10 minutes to get to the actual blue lake. For years I was always wondering what it would be like to venture down and check it out. I’m glad I finally did as a new trail runner to have such an awesome track right on my backyard that the series deems worthy enough for an event is fortunate for me and my running group.

Gotta go, time to get running in the bush.

Claudefit  personal training is  based in Mill Park and with over 8 years in the fitness industry and 25 years of own practical experience you are sure to be looked after in relation to you fitness needs.

 

Running Strength Program

Running Strength Program

Over the last 3 years I’ve been a fairly consistent runner and at the moment I’m having a good time running during our Melbourne winter months and will keep this up as part of my basis of keeping my bodyweight in check ,still staying strong and as a Personal trainer hold an expected level of fitness while staying injury free. Currently I’m running 40-60klm a week at 79kg.

So how do I keep myself reasonably strong, fit and unbroken with all the running I do? I’ll outline a typical week of training and hope this can help you out. You can adjust according to current fitness levels. The workout template for the winter period is going to be quite simple and will support my running base. Naturally this will be altered over time and most likely change post winter heading towards the warmer months where ill increase the volumes. So basically this is my running strength program.

Here’s a typical week of training. Please note mobility and flexibility Drills are done during workout.

Monday:

2xKettlebell Military press 5×5

2xKettlebell Cleans 5×5

2xKettlebells Squats 5×5

2xKettlebell Swings 5×10

2xKettlebell SLDL (works the Glutes directly)

Hanging knee raises 5x 10

5klm recovery run

Tuesday: 10 klm run

Wednesday: 10 klm run

Thursday:

Barbell Bench press 5×5

Barbell deadlift 5×5

2xKettlebell renegade rows

5klm recovery run

Friday:

10klm run with client (6:15am start)

Saturday – Free day of mobility drills with a light Kettlebell

The Turkish Get Ups are done with a kettlebell that will not put too much pressure on me while I move. So it depends on the day on how my body feels that will determine the weight used. Remember you need to use the right tool for the job and not always the “heavy one” The  Goblet a squats for me are quite strenuous at the beginning and end up feeling the best once I’ve warmed up and finished a few sets. You only need to do 3 reps per set at most, keep the hips open and stay in the bottom position and you are done. In finishing off with the single bell Kettlebell Swings it’s just a matter of complimenting the previous two exercises and during winter goes a long way in keeping you warm. Add in a foam roller and the above exercise and you most likely feel you might need a run. Most of the time it’s enough for me and don’t need to run. Only if I’ve for some reason I had to make up some klms I did get in during the week

Sunday – 20klm run with running buddy (6:15am start)

The long run is basically a great calorie burner and allows me to own a solid running base over the winter months. It also keeps me with a reasonable fitness base for the running events myself and clients do.

Naturally this is a base program and can be altered as time goes by, as I need to increase the running kilometres or add in a couple of well-paced 5klm runs for added strength.

The bottom line is that I’m kept strong, fresh and injury free and my bodyweight is in check.  Like most I Just need to keep an eye out on the food intake over winter!

The best part is I’m getting out there in the cold and having good time.

Happy running

www.claudefit.com.au

 

 

Running for fitness. Claudefit Running Events

Running for fitness

Over the last 18 months the team at Claudefit has been actively participating in several running based events that help us all with keeping ourselves motivated with our own fitness, strength and weigh management goals. If it’s a dose of cardio fitness you are after then provided you are not injured running should be you go to exercise.

These events allow the participant to feel they are part of a team. We all meet up at our “chosen spot” prior to event. It amazing how much support you get in pumping you up to successfully complete the event of the day. It’s good to know you have the support of others when you are about to take on and finish doing your first 5klm, 10klm or even half a marathon.  We all do our separate events and always wait for the last one before we move all on.

It’s the way we do things.

For a brief example of the various types of even I’ve outlined the ones we have actually run and have already registered for the remainder of 2014. This year will be our second one. So I guess it makes us somewhat experienced.

Claudefit running events

Neon run – This fun run was the first one for us. It was a night light run around the banks of Albert park lake. Lots of music and other goings on. However a good first time and a leg stretcher for the more experienced. Great first event in getting us to start the year.

Tough Mudder – This challenging muddy run is basically a 20 klm obstacle course. Its designed surrounding the Phillip island race track where running along the waterfront and undulating trials with the added challenges that the obstacles bring is kind of tough. The more experienced runners see this is a major challenge. We generally get a good group. Start running now for 2015!

Mothers Classic Day – The first of the big Melbourne fun runs where various distances are on offer (no mud here) around the scenic and popular Tan track . You can go at your own pace for the distance you have signed up for. Great for those who wish to participate in pure running with the masses.

Run for the kids – Similar to Mothers days where you pick the distance and enjoy the day out with you teammates. Another wonderful event that raises a great deal of funds for a children’s charity and  a fun day out.

Spartan race – This one in particular is of interest to me. Plain and simple it is a race over 7klm over paddock, obstacles, water,mud and hill runs. It’s hard,it’s fast and a lot of fun. one for the stronger runner.

Stadium stomp – If you are looking for something different with you running try this event. It’s basically running up and down while traversing across the famous MCG stands in covering over 7000 steps (for the long run). A shorter version is also available. For me it’s really cool to be running within an empty looking arena with fellow runners. One of the best view from the top! A true test for the running muscles.

Salomon trail run – For something new were going to tackle both the 12klm and 6klm versions of this trail event. This is going to be held in my own back yard, The Mill Park Blue lake (the gorge) park offers runners the true trail running experience across creeks, the Aussie bush and an abundance of fresh air on offer. What a great opportunity to simply run a trail. No bitumen, no fumes and no obstacles.

Run Melbourne – This time we are back on the roads of Melbourne hitting the bitumen over our selected distances. Most of the crew here like to take on the 10klm as is takes you around the Botanical gardens and over the Anderson street bridge on your way to Birrarung Marr. A nice scenic view for those who take the time to check it out. I doubt it of you are pushing the pace! for me a primer for the last event.

Melbourne Marathon –The last of the major runs with a similar approach in getting around the Yarra precinct , Botanic gardens and flying down St Kilda road in heading towards the best finish line of all . The magnificent MCG. That’s right, we are back at the G for one more viewing. As its the last one I encourage all to go all out and get the personal best. There’s  few of us who have this one marked for this very reason. to get the PB.

Why we run? Well that easy, running is the basis of everything we do, it’s what gets the job done in a pure cardiovascular improvement. And in my business of fitness it a given for those who are able to run. For those who are injured and unable to run due to other conditions other alternatives are available, however the adaptation to running the body receives returns an enormous amount in benefiting you with Weigh Management, Mobility goals and generally hit that feel good factor.

Try a 5klm run at pace once you are conditioned and tell me otherwise?

The other benefit is the workload (for you ladies in particular) is your butt gets in all that running. As my colleague Andrew Read describes “The glutes really only activate when running, jumping, or moving up inclined surfaces, being almost completely inactive when at standing or walking. Not only does the butt provide much of the power for running, but it also has a role in stabilizing the upper body during running”

Compliment the running with a General physical preparation approach and you are doing what’s necessary in becoming fitter, stronger and more mobile.

Feel better, move better and look your best.

 

Claudefit Personal Training has been operation since 2006 and has over 25 years of own practical experienced.

Now based in Mill Park I’m able to offer various training options.

Stadium stomp stair climb

Stadium Stomp at the MCG

Well we did it. The weekend past was finally our time to run a lap of the famous MCG. Yep that’s right, our team from Claudefit personal training just belted out another running event, this time we hit the Stadium stomp and in doing so negotiated the spectacular MCG stands that basically involved running up and down while traversing along these very steep terraces all the way around. The price for you troubles here was approximately 7200 stairs. The last time I ran at the “G” was during the football in looking for a pie vendor at ¾ time as Dad was hungry – a very long time ago!

IMG_8005

 

It’s been a welcome event for the crew as we are not only visiting one of the most recognized Melbourne landmarks but were are going to take the tour de pain as we are going the long and challenging way around.  From a pure fitness point of view the benefits of stair climbing as a fitness tool are many! Technically Stair climbing forces you to utilise muscles stabilisers, like the gluteus (ladies take note) medius, the whole hip region and the calf muscles that don’t get the same overload during regular and flatter runs due to only activating one leg as the other takes stride. Stairs strengthen these areas and you’ll go a long way in reducing the potential for injury when getting back to friendlier flatter running.

 

On a lighter note if you are one of many people who just want to know why they should incorporate stairs as part of their (comfortable and flat) routine. Here’s a few more benefits coming from a fitness and important (to some) aesthetic point of view.

  • Stairs hit those trouble spots – oh yeah big time, if you want the backside to show its natural shape with no bulk, stairs will do it. Plain and simple, Take my work for it when you start running, those juggly bits will soon start to disappear.
  • Improves your fitness – well it is running after all and it’s been well documented that running gets you fit. In our case by increasing the angle you are taking it to another lever (no pun intended) and will earn your dose of fresh air when complete.
  • Boosts your metabolism – it’s not within the scope to describe the many elements of how this works , however the elevated systems that operates these many elements will certainly be required to work at a higher rate both during and post run. Basically you will be burning more calories even when recovering.
  • It will go a long way in helping you lose weight – ill keep this one simple , given a practical approach to your nutrition with regular exercise you will certainly effect your body composition. The stairs in your case will just cost you a hell of a lot more calories! This is a good thing ok?

All you need is a set of stairs and won’t cost you a gym membership to just run on a stationery machine. Goes without saying, if you want to get good at stair running, find some and hit them hard.

I’m using this approach as you should be aware that if you are the type to run up and down stairs you is not the type that will just take it easy. It’s basically progression from flatter running. So go out and find the nearest to you. So if these sorts of event take your fancy, Claudefit is quite happy to provide you with the tools to get it done. I focus on general physical preparation for whatever endeavour you are interested in.

Click here for our story featured in the  Herald Sun.

I’ll strengthen you body to cope well with what’s expected from it.

See you on the terraces

Tough Mudder preparation

Tough Mudder fun

So you think you are ready for the tough mudder experience do you? Well great. The first part about entering this great event is the decision to give it a try and work towards completing the challenging 20klm long course in tackling approximately 20 or so obstacles. It’s your decision.

At Claudefit we think the TM is a great way to work towards your all over fitness , weigh loss and is a great motivator once you and your team have put the money down and all have a clear focus on what’s coming up. It’s amazing how much ownership you take once you put a cost to it.

Out team here at Claude fit has now participated in 3 of these events and we are proud of the fact that in the second and third one we have always included newbie’s who have managed to complete it unscathed. No major injuries and a lot of fun had. I myself mostly enjoy the satisfied look of all my clients when they cross the finish line looking tired, covered in mud, soggy socks and a great individual story to tell.

So how do you prepare for Tough Mudder?

It’s pretty clear that in order to complete the TM you will need to have a solid running base that will get the job done. Now before you think that you can’t run 20klm think about the fact that you will be running from obstacle to obstacle and then stop (rest) negotiate the obstacle, wait for you team members and continue to run. As this is NOT a race the pace generally is kept by the slowest member of the group. TM encourages team work so don’t think that this is a fun run style set up where you are continuously running.

What you do need IMO is a solid minimum base of around 7-10 klm’s that will get the job done. Prior to the first TM I myself recorded my longest continual run at 11.5 klm. This was enough for me to get by. Now that I’m a regular runner the TM doesn’t really pose that much of a concern with distance. As the stop start nature of the event is great for recovery. So get running.

The obstacles are reasonable for anyone with an average base of fitness. Unlike other event you do not have to do all of them if you are intimidated or simply think they are out of your capabilities. It’s all right, just rest while the others in your team give it a go, then re-group and continue onto the next one. This is what TM is all about – Teamwork.

Without going over the entire obstacle that you will encounter (TM changes a few anyway) let’s go over the basic strength that you need to successfully cover the course.

  • You need to be able to pull your bodyweight up – whether it be climbing over the 3meter wall or getting over the rows of mud moulds, you need the strength and flexibility to get that leg over in making it through/over.
  • The ability to trudge through ankle deep mud for over 500 metres is also essential. Fit enough to do it and well balanced. Expect to fall on your butt and get covered in mud. Guaranteed.
  • A decent center of gravity is required and most of the obstacles require you to have good balance as part of the challenge. For example the balance beams are great. TM mudder also nails old tyres to logs that you have to walk around. Expect to get wet if you fall.
  • Have a decent sprint in your armoury. In order to get up to the top of Everest you need to have a bit of get up and go and sprint full on towards the ramp. (Think skateboard ¼ pipe here) Many don’t quite make it even when a helping hand is waiting to meet you half way. This one was frustration to the ladies in out group.  A few sprints in your training will certainly help out.
  • Hanging strength. The monkey bars are a bit of a novelty during TM. It’s one of the more well know obstacles where the set up allows for many rows of bars to keep everyone moving along. Basic holding strength and knowing how to move come in handy. At Claudefit the pull up is a as staple here so the holding strength should pose no problem. However with all things related to TM, you will have tired and slippery hands by the time you get to this obstacle. In the past we cop it around the 18klm mark.

The event is quite achievable for most as it attracts people of all shapes and sizes and is a well run safe event. It’s really suited t all types. You only need to want to give it a go.

One of my clients didn’t quite get by all the obstacles , however was thrilled that his body was able to at least take part and surprise himself with what he did. That what is t all about

Participating, challenging you and having a hell of a time.

See you in the mud.

 

Go here for my Obstacle course Page

Spartan ready, Aussie style.

Well it’s getting close to the Spartan race again for here in Victoria so suit up, grab your gear and head out to the bush! It’s time to run and get dirty!

For those few fitness enthusiasts who are wondering what a Spartan race is and why you should do it? Well its simple. It’s there to be conquered and for this old man, a mental, strength and conditioning litmus test to go by. That’s all really, oh and you get a t-shirt (can’t miss the ever important event t-shirt can we?) a rather cool looking medal that you receive as a participant and in true Aussie fashion, a Beer. Please don’t confuse this medal with a winner’s medal.  It is simply a verification of an event you participated in and survived unscathed. Still it’s a rather cool piece to collect and shows off the accomplishment in completing this rather challenging event.  For others, it’s an important keepsake to remind then how awesome they were, or something to talk up.

Spartan is a race over several challenging obstacles through muddy water, shrubs, hills, in tackling obstacles where you are required to lift heavy awkward items, lift them onto shoulders, run up and down a hill, swim across a small dam, drag a 5kg+ cement block attached to a rope, and finally climb a rope to ring the bell at the top. Phew! (and don’t forget to pose for the photo) You might even see a Kettlebell here and there!

If that’s not enough you are made to perform 30 burpees if you fail or decline the invitation to negotiate any obstacles. And believe me the burpee debt will be paid.

The training for an obstacle course is quite simple yet effective if done well. Not to be confused with easy. First of all find out what type of movements, lifts and challenges are required and get started. The first one clearly is Running.  Make no mistake, this is first and foremost a running event and you need to run. The obstacles are just there to give you a rest in between your sprint bursts (a poor attempt of humor by me) until you reach your next one. So if you are too busy bench pressing instead of running, stop now and run. One element of conditioning to possess is the constant ability to carry your own bodyweight over the many obstacles, the humble chin up /pull up and its variations comes to mind. Never underestimate the ability to pull yourself up! You will need it on this day my friend.  You also need to perform in lifting heavy items from the ground and with one memorable obstacle load them onto your shoulders (you are no longer at the Gym so, no one will pass them to you) and carry it for distance up and back down a rather steep looking hill. The exercises here that replicate some of these movements would be Deadlifting for the 55kg dead ball that you will find or the wimpy smaller one if you chose, Heavy shouldering with the sandbag for the carry and for us at Claudefit, a familiar dose of Kettlebell Military presses for overhead strength and shoulder stability. be aware the shoulders cop a regular beating during the day.

Another likely obstacle you will need to take on is the ever challenging rope climb, in preparation get a thick rope (Now) and find out the best way you feel getting up and back down without injury (its only required once) find a person who knows the technique and drill it often, Just a reminder that you will most likely encounter the rope climb exhausted along with wet, cold and slippery hands, be prepared. Don’t say I didn’t warn you – drop and give me 30 burpees if you fail.

Is it like tough mudder? NO. The difference is that with Spartan you are actually racing for time as the top end guys who do this seriously compete for placing that qualifies them onto more challenging races against other like minded Spartans, to ultimately find out who the best one is. Incidentally this event is growing in popularity and its getting serious within its own community. AROO is the catch-cry!  With tough mudder is it’s a different event in that the promoting of teamwork is highly regarded and you are not racing the clock, you are simply negotiating the obstacles as a solo entrant or within a team structure with the view of completing the course and opting out of certain obstacles is an option. With Spartan you don’t get such benefits.

A major difference, between TM and Spartan is the pace. With TM and given the possibility that you have trained for it you could comfortably be able to set your running tempo over a 20klm course in negotiating the 20 or so obstacles. Unfortunately with the Spartan race running flat chat through the Australian bush for say 7, 14 or 21klms depending on the race type is expected.  Due to the undulating terrain that you have to race through in reaching the obstacles, I’m certain your heart rate will be up, along with other competitors attempting to share the space on improving  their own time.

Being prepared allows you to be focused. Being focused prevents injuries. So you either tackle the challenge, give up and do 30 burpee’s, or simply get out of the way, the young folk are coming through. Previously we older ones paced ourselves well and managed not to get run over by the younger fitter and stronger young guns running past. We are smart and have nothing to prove……yeah right.

For us at Claudefit who are tacking the Spartan race we simply factor in what’s required for the event and incorporate it into our clients particular goals. We all run when time permits, lift weights and practice the rope on a regular basis. So getting focuses on just the Spartan race is not our main objective, It’s just something we do to test us in a challenging environment and trial our overall conditioning as a consequence of the training we simply do.

General physical preparation for whatever life throws at us. In this case the Spartan race.

As they say Aroo. Now drop and give me 30.

http://spartanrace.com.au/race-info/melbourne-sprint-may-31st-2014/

 

Book A Session Today!