Dienstag, 16. August 2011

Selfmade Sling Trainer

The past semester I attended a Sling-training-course at USI (University Sports Institute, which offers cheap sport courses in hundreds of disciplines to students). A friend of mine is also a trainer and she introduced me to sling-training. It's a cool training-device to gain core strength and work every single muscle in your body.

That's what a sling-trainer looks like:

The original sling trainer is quite expensive, so I decided to build my own. And here it is:

I used old climbing gear (rope, harness) and a piece of wood to build it. I only had to buy the thinner ropes which cost me 6 euros only! So maybe it doesn't look as fancy as the original one, but it is unique and most important: it works!!
To get the best results you need the maximum of instability of the sling trainer and therefore it's best so set it up in about 3m height. Since my flat is only 2,5 high and I haven't figured out yet how to fix it to the ceiling (without breaking the ceiling) I montaged it to my pull-up-bar which is not that high, but better than nothing.

I also tried it at the gym last saturday. Maybe I'll make a video of me doing a few moves next time I go there...

Moving on...

Yesterday I went to the gym for 1,5 hours and practised kips. I still can't do one by myself but it is improving. I hope to be able to do one cast by the end of 2011 (it I'll achieve it earlier, I also don't mind ;-)

After gymnastics I ran 7,5km without a stop. The pace was not very fast, but I managed to run the entire distance without having to stop to stretch my calves what I had to do the days before. I still felt my calves got very sore because they are not used to it, but it will improve!!
My head was really red afterwards, because I started my run at 12a.m. with an outside temperature of about 30 degrees.

In the evening I did some stretching and set up some goals for the future: I want to be able to do a split, I want my upper body to touch the ground when straddling the legs.

Then did some further strechting:

Donnerstag, 11. August 2011

Starting over in new shoes

This year's training for the half-marathon was not focused at all. I did gymnastics, climbing (a little), sling-training, kettlebell-training, running, cycling...

I start a new blog to share and documante my journey with "barefoot" (or rather "minimalist-shod")- running. I will wear Merrell Barefoot Shoes which are different to common running shoes because they don't have any cushion and no difference in height between forefoot and heel. Since I ran only from time to time the last months, I experienced a little pain in my left knee. I know this pain from back in 2007, where the same knee hurt for a couple of days after running the half marathon at the Vienna City Marathon. Then I contacted a physiotherapist and went there for three treatments which helped me to get rid of the pain.

But now I have been thinking of what I can change in my training and life to avoid pain. Did the pain return due to the inconsistency in "training" (I'd rather not call it training at all, because it was not focused at all) ? I don't think so. If I argue like, this time, I trained to less, so my body couldn't get used to the strains and stress back in 2007 I could have argued that I trained to much.

These days barefoot running did become quite popular and I'm starting to think about the opinions that are against ordinary running shoes, with thick soles, cushion and everything.
When I look at the great runners from Ethiopia, Kenya and other countries, that trained most of their lifes barefoot and are better than many Europeans (of course it is due to their genes as well), but they are the living example that you don't need shoes (or super soft cushioned running shoes) to be a good (and healthy) runner.

So my next step (before returning to my physiotherapist) will be to try barefoot running for a few weeks to see where it will take me.

I did my first run in the Merrells last thursday (only 3,8km). That's usually not a big deal for me, but the next day I literally couldn't even walk normally! I had such sore calves, it was incredible! I started reading about other barefoot/minimalist shod runners on the web and found out, that the soreness/muscleache in the calves results from not being used to the stretching of the achilles tendon. If we wear shoes with thick padded heals, gel or air or whatever soles, then there is no such extended stretching of the calves and achilles tendon and therefore no muscle pain. It's also a totally different feeling to run with those minimalist shoes. You have to use so many muscles of your feet and calves, that you never used before, when your feet had a limited range of motion in ordinary running shoes. So far I banned my old shoes and only run in these! Yesterday I already managed to run 8km in them- with no muscleaches today! My legs are getting used to it pretty fast! I plan to keep runs short for the next weeks and probably start intervall training by the mid of September, if my feet and legs feel strong enough by then. I will participate in two 5km races in October and I'd love to run in my new Merrell Barefoot Shoes!