Hip extension (squat, leg press or step-up)
Standing bent-arm lat pull down (bent at the same angle as during freestyle swimming)
Chest press or push ups
Abdominal curls (core body work)
Back extensions (core body work)
The first item is from Manpacks. (Full disclosure, that’s a referral link. You can use it to save $10 off your first purchase, and I get $10 credit if you do). Manpacks has grooming goods, underwear and other consumables that busy men don’t seem to get around to shopping for themselves. A pack arrives every 3 months, so I find it manageable to change the order to stuff I actually need. This item, Brode Electrolyte Vitamin is supposed to help you stay hydrated by providing the needed electrolytes before you get dehydrated. It’s aimed at travellers (long plane rides with that recycled air), hikers and athletes. Obviously keeping water with you is the best option, but I have found that a lunchtime run (or runch) after a morning of coffee drinking is hard on my system (I have often said that I only exist in two states: Under-caffeinated or Dehydrated) and I often don’t pack a water bottle and belt or hydration pack, so I was curious to try these. I will say that they seemed a little hard on my stomach and I experience some mild cramping and discomfort immediately after swallowing them, but I think I could notice the effect on some of my runs, especially since the weather has been getting warmer than I am used to.
I’m not exactly Mr. Compression, but with an aggressive training schedule, I’m open to trying things that will help me recover better and stay injury-free. I have a few pairs of compression socks (most of which are lousy and ineffective), and a pair of calf sleeves from 2XU. Those are all focussed on lower body, obviously, but that’s where the work is principally done for your average triathlete (like me!). Still, I took advantage of a guest sale at the Reebok/Adidas corporate store to pick up a few items, including this TechFit T-Shirt. It’s the first time I’ve had compression on my upper body, and I wore it under a work shirt after a tough strength workout (in the ‘Specific Preparation Phase 2’ part of my training program, the strength workouts are primed for ‘Maximum Strength’). I was hoping it would aid recovery so I’d be primed for a benchmark swim the next day – frankly, it felt weird. Not necessarily bad, but weird, and I kept it on for about an hour and a half. It might be better to wear it during the workout; like I said, I’m not Mr. Compression, and this stuff confuses me a little. The official description says: “techfit® focuses your muscles’ energy to generate maximum explosive power, acceleration and long-term endurance” and the next phase of the program (starting next week) focusses on Power Endurance which combines strength with velocity (including plyometric work), so we’ll see.
- As evidenced by our outfits at the Spring Into Action 10k, I’m liking the combination of red and black. I also like hoods (it goes with the whole ‘Rogue’ theme), but I don’t really need any more warm red hooded sweatshirts, so at the same sale, I picked up this long sleeved top with a hood. It’s Crossfit branded, but that doesn’t bother me; with the warmer weather, I’m not sure how much more use I’ll get out of it till autumn, maybe for some early morning workouts.
I’m on a bit of a Saucony kick right now. My Saucony ISO Triumphs continue to serve me well, and provide the cushioning I like on the road. I’m happy enough with them that I got Saucony’s for trail running too. They kept me on the trail in the very muddy 5 Peaks Terra Cotta run and I can’t wait to get more mileage on them. Heck, even my wife is on the Saucony bandwagon…
Another product I scored from Manpacks is this Everyman Jack Face Moisturiser. I needed something for the post-shave, and I’m not looking any younger, so one way to keep the face protected is with some sunscreen (which I also like for preventing melanoma of course). I always like killing two birds with one stone when I can.
This was our second time running in the Spring Into Action 10 km run. After last time, I knew we weren’t going to run with both boys in the Chariot; they’re getting bigger and packed like sardines in there, and they seem to be struggling with the behavioural skill of “keep your hands to yourself” (to say nothing of feet). So this year we brought along my mother-in-law to watch Shark Boy near the starting area while my wife and I pushed the Lightning Kid (who still seems to like this sort of thing) on the run.
Spring Into Action had a convenient ‘Family’ registration package that saved me time and money. Getting extra bibs for everyone took a little extra time and effort so that I missed the yoga warm-up, but luckily, the rest of the family got to participate.
I got Shark Boy a tag and bib, because I could imagine what the outcome would be if he was excluded from the bling, even if he was happy to not run the race.
I got a chance to say hi to Barry Samuel (the organizer of the race), beforehand, and he asked a few of the families in attendance to come on stage and kick the event up with the National Anthem. If my off-key singing hurt anyone’s ears, I apologize!
We got Shark Boy to start the race with us for kicks, but as soon as he touched the starting line archway, he headed back to go play. I hope you don’t mind me skipping to the end to tell you he had a great time playing in the surrounding woods, engaging in the kind of old fashioned outdoor play that you think kids don’t know how to do anymore.
It was a beautiful day for a run and the spring colours were in full effect in Sunnybrook park.
At the 2.5 km mark the volunteers had the 5k runners turn around to complete their out and back. Last year there had been some trouble with people getting lost or off of the 10k course, and Barry had mentioned to me that they were going to do better this year. Just after the 2.5 km mark we veered up one of the biggest, steepest hills I can imagine on a run. At the top was the 3 km mark, where they had us turn around again. I was a little puzzled since I knew heading back to the start wasn’t going to add up to 10 km, and if getting 10 km was simply a matter of doing the 5 km course twice, why did we have to go up that big hill to 3 km?
All would become clear to me soon enough, because at the 1 km mark on the way back, we turned back again. At that point we had run 5 km, running another 2 back to the top of the hill and 3 till the starting point gives us a total of 10 km. A little confusing, but I have to say it was much easier to stay on the course and not get lost. This run has to compete with the Mississauga Marathon and the Toronto Goodlife Marathon for participants and volunteers so you have to appreciate that it’s a little smaller. What the volunteers lacked in numbers, they made up for in cheer and enthusiasm.
With 2 km left to run, the Lightning Kid was eager to get out of the Chariot, going to the point of trying to bluff a bathroom break. 2 km is a little far for his little legs, but once the finish line was within sight, we took him out and he ran his heart out. I can tell you he wore the medal he earned for it the rest of the day.
There was a post race barbecue with hamburgers (and veggie burgers and hotdogs. The buns were provided by Cobb’s Bread, who also gave out vouchers and various buns and scones (like delicious cinnamon scones which Shark Boy and I stuffed ourselves with). There was also lemonade for sale (basically for a voluntary donation to a Diabetes cause); lemonade cannot taste better than on a hot day after a run.
There was a DJ playing some nice remixes of older tunes and a clown doing face painting. Shark Boy asked for a cheetah (his favourite animal – no, I’m not changing his nickname), and the results are below.
Before leaving, we grabbed a group shot with Barry and thanked him for a day of fun, run in the sun!