Tuesday, February 8, 2011

VAIL! - Colorado 4

After a hard day of skiing I'm on the bike to replenish my glycogen and oxygen stores. We skied with 3 Australians today: Wayne (Wine), Karl, and John. They are great skiers, (who kicked our butts). But all in all it was an amazing day. Crazy snow and some sunshine. Some good pictures as well :-)

So all those who have trouble with their calves and toes (a small select "lucky" few like me) read on. I have a theory.

1) Skiing is a great Cross Training way to gain impact strength without dealing with injury. All those moguls rip apart your muscles like plyometrics do. Although, I have difficulty with my calve muscles, shin splints, and my toe joints. My calves become sore easily (probably due to lack of strength). Shin splints are self explanatory (tearing muscle from the bone, again lack of strength, particularly impact strength). And my toes, in 8th grade I fell out of a tree and broke my toe. Since them I've had pain if I overwork using my toes (running on my toes too much). Therefore I have to be very careful about working plyometrics and sprint workouts too much. Skiing is a great substitute. You can still overuse your muscles skiing, but my quads are far more in shape than my calve and therefore my calves need a break every once in a while.

2) This brings up another point. Heel striking? Good or bad. Every article you find (most anyway) will side on forefoot striking for maximum power production, and they are absolutely correct. Though it should be done in moderation. If you are a natural heel striker, you may develop chronic injuries by trying to convert to a mid-food striker. I have had calve muscle strains, shin splints, and the toe injury that I explained earlier. I compromise. During easy runs I allow my body to do as it pleases with striking, though I do focus on correct moving form (leg turnover, relaxed arms, upright position). This allows me to do high volume work without injury. When I get into workouts (5xmile, 8x800, 20x400, tempos) I develop my "racing" stride to produce the most power. This is my mid-foot strike. So just think it over :-)

Today's Workout

Hour Bike
20x30 second sprints w/ 1 min r

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