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Archive for February, 2009

Endurance Training and the 20 Minute Pushup Challenge

Posted by scott on February 23, 2009

I was inpsired by Adam‘s series of 20-minute challenge workouts to give the 20-minute pushup challenge a go.  I had been doing loose sets of 20s and25s off and on, so was curious to see how far I could go.  My first attempt got me up to 139, which I was pretty proud of.  My next attempt went up to 143 – not bad, and I had already done Fitness Yoga earlier in the day (harder on the arms than it sounds).  Then my running buddy Phil dropped the bomb – he had done 200!

That’s when I realized the problem wasn’t my arms – it was my head.

photo credit:  obo-bobolina (

photo credit: obo-bobolina (

I needed a strategy – this was an endurance test after all.  I realized that if I did 10 per minute, that would already be 200.  So I attacked my next round and did 203.  Then Jeremy drew another line in the sand by doing 230.   w000ttt!!!  This was getting fun!

So last Sunday after getting home from the lake, I set out the timer and hit the floor with the goal of doing 12-rep sets every minute.  That worked for about 9 sets, then I started dropping them back for a few.  I then worked back up to 10s and did them gradually more frequently than once per minute to catch up.  It was amazing that after just a few shorter reps I could get back up to 10s.  Total this time:  238.

I will break 240 next time I do it – just to say I can.  But the interesting activity here is not the total number, its the experience of pushing through exhaustion and breaking limits.  I never would have thought I could do 200 pushups in that amount of time… and then I did.  This is great for the upper arms, but its even better for overall endurance – physical and mental.  This is definitely going to be a core cross-training exercise for me going forward.


Posted in Training | 2 Comments »

Maybe I Would Like The Treadmill More If I Had One Of These?

Posted by scott on February 17, 2009

I saw this the other day on Make TV and could not resist:

Kelly’s comment:  why wouldn’t you just run?

My comment:  I want one!!!

Be sure to watch the video to see them going down stairs, riding ramps off of picnic tables, etc.

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Sore Calves and the Treadmill

Posted by scott on February 14, 2009

I have been a fair-weather winter runner and have only been going outside when the temp is in the balmy 20s and up.  So that means a lot of treadmill time, and I hate the treadmill.


photo credit: normanack

One thing that I particularly don’t like is that my calves get really sore.  I have been a sort-of Chi runner since I started running in 2007, when Jeremy threw the idea at me as kind of a gag.  And I’m now reading the POSE book and trying to mix some of that in.  But the bottom line is that trying to do any kind of “falling” or forward-leaning style on a treadmill is a challenge.

I also love running in my Vibram FiveFingers, but again the treadmill is not ideal.  I find that my calves get a lot more sore when I’m on the treadmill, even when I run with 0 incline and at the same pace as I run outdoors.  I haven’t analyzed why, but it’s odd.  I also find that the balls of my feet get more sore on the treadmill – I’m guessing this is because you can’t naturally lean or spring off your feet as easily – you are too focused on trying to keep up with the machine rather than running naturally.  Oh well.

It feels great to be running again, even if only a little and on the treadmill.  I’m up to 3 miles per run, 3-4 times per week.  It’s a far cry from the the plan I had for this week when I made my 2009 training plan last fall:

M – 6
T – 5
W – 8
Th – 6
Sat – 20

for a weekly total of 45.  I’m going to stay at about 3 miles per run this week, do stairs or the parking ramp (the office is in total flatland) on Thursday and see how it goes.

Posted in FiveFingers, Training | 1 Comment »

Medtronic Global Heroes Program Seeking Candidates

Posted by scott on February 9, 2009

Medtronic is currently seeking candidates for our Global Heroes program for the Twin Cities Marathon and 10 Mile races.  If you are a runner with diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain or a spinal or a neurological disorder you should take a look.  There are program guidelines to review on the site (if you are aware of some controversy over the guidelines last year, that has been corrected).

Benefits are a paid entry into one of those 2 races, covered travel expenses for yourself and guest, a $1000 donation to a nonprofit patient organization that educates and supports people with your condition, and an incredibly memorable experience with a group of runners from around the world.  Last year the team captain was Alberto Salazar – a unique experience to be able to train with a great like that.

If you fit the bill and are interested, I can submit a recommendation if you contact me.

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Cold Weather Barefooting and Other Winter Kicks

Posted by scott on February 4, 2009

While most normal runners are spiking their shoes for winter, I’ve been experimenting.  I actually haven’t been running much, just some short runs here and there to test out the injury.  But I have wanted to get outside to test out some barefooting options for cold weather.

When things get into the high 20s and above, I stay in the FiveFingers.  I added a cutoff sock as an ankle warmer between my tights and shoes, and this has worked out pretty well:

FiveFingers Ankle Warmer

As the temperature heads towards zero, I turn to my Body Glove Cold Weather Distance Flats:

Wearing Body Glove Shoes

These are actually just 2mm water shoes from the marina near our cabin.  I wear Injinjis with them and they are fantastic in the colder weather.  They have tons of flex in them and a very soft thin sole, so you really feel the ground.  They are really warm and repel water a bit to keep feet dry.  They are definitely not waterproof, but they are definitely closer to it than typical running shoes.

For any notable distances or when things get really cold, I use my New Balance 790 trail shoes.  I got these last fall and haven’t put serious miles on them yet, but love them.  As far as full shoes go they are very minimal and lightweight.  They have a bit of tread on them, but not too aggressive, so you can actually run comfortably with them on pavement.  These will likely be my main shoe for any races in 2009.

Posted in FiveFingers, Shoes | 6 Comments »

Cleared the Hurdle with the FiveFingers Challenge!

Posted by scott on February 3, 2009

When I threw out the challenge, it was just a wild last minute idea and who knew what was going to happen?  To be realistic, a lot of folks were just making us wait and got their donations in at the last minute, or handed us checks the day of the Walk.  But I’m going to choose to believe that the FiveFingers challenge had something to do with us making our goal.  In fact, we didn’t just make our goal of raising $3000 to help find a cure for diabetes, we smashed it!

JDRF Walk 2009 Thermometer

Our Walk team raised a total of $3801 this year, which is so exciting.  I have no solid data to back this up, but ‘m going to credit Mike Hugo with heeding the VFF challenge call and getting in a very generous donation to tip us over the $3000 mark.  Thanks Mike!  And thanks to so many other generous friends and family members.

So I kept my part of the bargain and slipped into the ‘Fingers at the Mall for the Walk:

JDRF Walk 2009 FiveFingers Closeup

I’m sure embarassing our large group of friends:

JDRF Walk 2009 Group - 2

I saw a few odd looks, and got a couple comments.  Kids were especially interested in them – maybe their parents will let them stay barefoot longer!

Thanks again everyone, hopefully we will beat this yet.

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