ExRower’s 400m Training: Road to Sub-50

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    ExRower on #108469

    June 3: Recovery

    10′ elliptical
    10′ bike

    June 4: Special Endurance + Lift

    28′ warmup
    3x(300m, 1′ rest, 100m) w/ 5′ between sets:
    42, 12.mid
    41.mid, 12.hi
    42, 13
    800m cooldown

    -30 minutes rest-

    Quick Lift:
    lunge jumps w/ DBs: 10xbw, 3x10x+20s
    SL RDLs w/ DBs, each leg: 6x20s, 3x6x35s
    superset 1:
    a) lat pulldown: 6×150, 2x6x180
    b) bench machine: 6×150, 2x6x190
    superset 2:
    a) step-ups with DBs, each leg: 6x25s, 6x45s
    b) lying hamstring curl: 6×100, 5×120
    c) DB standing push-press: 5x40s, 5x50s

    This is my last hard workout before my final race on Wednesday. The goal was to cruise through 300m and then practice running the homestretch close to all-out with lactic acid buildup. Not sure what to make of the times but I was definitely spent after the last one.

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    ExRower on #108494

    June 5: Recovery

    15′ very easy on stationary bike (55% max HR)
    static stretch

    June 6: Pre-meet + Strides

    30′ warmup + 15m practice start
    100m on curve from 4pt start: all out first 20-30m then cruise
    5′ rest
    100m w/ flying start on back stretch in 11.02

    Not feeling terribly fresh but hope to by Wednesday. The flying 100m was very relaxed and not quite at 100%.

    Hamstring still feels like it could get injured if I did a big speed endurance workout, but luckily I don’t have any more left.

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    ExRower on #108538

    June 7: Pre-Meet

    June 8: Mission Accomplished!

    Raced 400m, hand timed in 49.84 and 49.97.

    I tried to stay relaxed during the first 200m, but I still think I went out too fast because I was falling apart the last 30-40m with all sorts of sideways movement. But, I got across the line in time!

    Not sure what my athletic plans are from here. I will keep up the running to some extent but as I enter my 2nd year in grad school I need to be shifting focus, so I may just keep the fun and/or easy stuff, such as speed work and extensive tempo 200s.

    I’d like to also work toward a few short-term athletic challenges such as 25+ pullups, full stadium of stairs, or a charity 5K.

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    COV-GOD on #108684

    Well done mate that’s a great achievement, you should be proud of your self with that

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    ExRower on #223896

    Hey guys, I’m back, sort of. It’s good to see guys like Matt still going at it.

    The last 3 years I spent doing a lot of general cardio — swimming, biking, running — and did a half-marathon (1:38), but no lifting and hardly anything on the track. It’s amazing how you lose sharpness without even realizing it — less strength, less motivation, more alcohol and junk food, more procrastinating in general. The other day I hit the gym for the first time in earnest, and I was at only 60-70% of my previous strength.

    Since I have a newborn and I’m nearing the final stretch of my grad school program, not to mention turning 30 later this year, I don’t want to get distracted by intense performance goals, but I’d like to get back in shape and check in once a week or so with the progress.

    A few general goals:
    -lose the 10lbs or so of fat I gained and bring back overall healthy lifestyle
    -gradually build back to doing full-speed track work without injury
    -improve muscle imbalances*, posture and form
    -have fun and don’t get obsessed

    *As with most, I’m guilty of sitting hunched over at a desk most of the day. I’ve also noticed that when my form breaks down from fatigue, I tend to have a lot of side-to-side rotation with my arms and legs coming out wide and my feet point more outwards. I have wide hips for a runner but it may just be an issue of muscle imbalance or bad form. Can anyone diagnose this sort of problem?

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    Peter_Thach on #223971

    Best of luck with getting back into grind of things! Think all the funky form stuff just might be from posture issues? Bet it’ll sort itself out once things get going.

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    ExRower on #223973

    Thanks, Peter. I do think that it’s a posture issue. In fact, I think it was something I was struggling with a few years ago without realizing it at the time…even though I was in good shape I had significant imbalances (too much squatting and acceleration work, too much forward lean and emphasis on quads, tight hip flexors, anterior pelvic tilt, and nagging hamstring injuries all in a reinforcing cycle). Despite all the hate on static stretching, I think I need a lot of it in a few places until I can get proper range of motion and activate the right muscles.

    By the way, has anyone ever tried the FitnessMeter iphone app for taking splits on MaxV flies?

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    Peter_Thach on #223974

    Imbalances are brutal!  Static stretching sure is something else. I think Jay Dicharry said something like one has to hold a stretch for up to 3-5 minutes for up to 12 weeks to see gains! I’ve never thought of static stretching to that extreme before. Although, it may be needed on account of my tight hip flexors…I usually sort of just half-heartedly hold a stretch for 15-20s. It’s definitely a start knowing where the problem is that’s for sure. On the topic of activating the right muscles, what’s your opinion on corrective exercises? I definitely needed some glute activation stuff before I got the hang of using my glutes for hip extension instead of my quads.

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    ExRower on #223977

    Yeah, I’ve never made a consistent effort to static stretch, much less to pay any attention to stretching form, like not bending the spine to get extra distance.

    As for corrective exercises, I am a believer…I think it’s important to learn what it feels like to use certain muscles and then carry over that awareness into running. They aren’t terribly exciting, plus it isn’t so fun to work on weaknesses, but I can see a lot of room for improvement. With targeted glute stuff, like glute bridges, I’m really struggling to keep the back from arching…plus I often get hamstring cramps, so I think even my best efforts in the past to work on posterior chain were hitting hamstrings more than glutes.

    Do you or anyone else read Bret Contreras’s stuff? https://bretcontreras.com/abc-ask-bret-contreras-hamstring-cramping/ He has marketed himself as the glute expert, but he seems smart and reasonable.

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    Peter_Thach on #223983

    I still have that same problem…it’s very annoying for sure. It’s the reason why my running volume isn’t as high as it use to be. There’s just no point in getting fitter with faulty mechanics. Those bad miles sure add up! Monster walks with a band and those glute activation drills really help. Huge fan of Bret Contreas’s stuff. Nothing revolutionary or anything, but he sure does bring a light to the importance of having a smart and strong behind. I never realized how important glutes were for hip extension!

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    ExRower on #224195

    Last week I did a 2x5x200m workout with 90s rest between reps, 4′ rest between sets, at 34s/200m. Pretty tough – nearly maxed out at the end.

    On another day I did a lift, worked up to 6x185lb on squat and 8x45lb on DB incline bench. Way, way off old targets.

    But here are the positives:
    -flexibility in hip flexors improving
    -gaining more awareness of glutes and calves
    -increased energy and appetite (long cardio+carbs is a recipe for becoming skinny-fat, weak and sluggish)
    -started taking creatine again

    I’m thinking that this time around I’m going to focus less on numbers on my lifts and more on 1) getting as close to perfect technique as possible, and 2) executing lifts explosively. So after I regain a reasonable amount of general strength and work capacity, I’ll probably be doing less squatting and more olympic lifts and more plyometric versions of other lifts (push press, single arm DB snatches/cleans, clap pushups, various jumps).

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    ExRower on #226165

    Can anyone please offer some critiques of my running form here?

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    ExRower on #226166

    didn’t go through last time…can anybody offer a critique of my form on a short clip here?

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