Blitz Conditioning http://blitzconditioning.com Community Oriented Fitness Tue, 03 May 2016 11:00:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 You don’t pick your race day: How Boston didn’t go as planned. http://blitzconditioning.com/you-dont-pick-your-race-day-how-boston-didnt-go-as-planned/ http://blitzconditioning.com/you-dont-pick-your-race-day-how-boston-didnt-go-as-planned/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 11:00:11 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12818 Boston Marathon 2016

It has been two weeks since the marathon and although this blog was never going to be easy to write – I think this is an important story to share.

By now you may have heard that the Boston Marathon did not go as planned, or even remotely how I anticipated. For those unaware, the flu got the best of me and after a week of pretending I didn’t have it, I landed in Boston only to struggle more and more to hide it. I thought mental toughness could outweigh my body slowly breaking down but alas; I woke up on Monday, April 18th knowing that it wasn’t going to be my day. Regardless of my sentiment – I was already in Boston, I had trained hard for this, and there was nothing stopping me from putting my toe to that start line.

The morning of the Boston Marathon is unique to most races. You spend an hour busing to Hopkinton, where the race starts, only to hang out in athlete’s village for about three hours before making your way to the start line. During this long lingering time, I kept telling myself that I would run through it, that I just need my body to adjust and that I was strong enough to pull off my goal time even with an illness.

By the time my corral was off, it was already 70 degrees Fahrenheit, not ideal for an Edmontonian post-training through winter but for an ill-Edmontonian, it may have been the cherry on top of this recipe for disaster.

Mile 1 felt like mile 20 and that didn’t change as I continued to put one foot in front of the other. My chest was pounding, my head was dizzy and it felt as though it may explode. I remember thinking about how many check points I would have along the course and breaking it down that way. The first part of the marathon is downhill but my legs did not feel the benefit of the decline yet I managed to feel every little rolling hill. I was dumping water on my head at about 5km, something that typically happens far later on in the course, I found myself grabbing Gatorade and water in both hands at aid stations and yearning for the next one to appear. It wasn’t fun and I wasn’t feeling the benefits of my perfect pace workouts, the hours logged or the confidence I had acquired during a great training season. I was slowly breaking down along the course and there was nothing I could do about it.

Everything I ingested, I threw up. My gels, freezies, even an orange slice. Looking back, I wonder what the crowds were thinking when this is happening to a runner at kilometer eight but in the moment, I didn’t care.

I remember crossing the 15 kilometer checkpoint and asking where a medical tent was. From that point on, all I really recall was seeing stars, weaving, slowing down to about a 6min/km pace and feeling pain throughout my arms. The next thing I remember was someone helping me off the course and into the medical tent. The relief of being in the shade and standing still outweighed any of the disheartening sentiments I was experiencing in that moment. I could not sit down, as my legs were like cement so I stood in the middle of the tent with a blanket around me trying to answer questions, as my jaw was locking up.

When I felt a little less miserable (about 30 minutes later), I decided to try and go back onto the course. I headed out and made an incredible 500m effort before turning around and returning to the tent with my tail between my legs. I refused an IV because I feared they wouldn’t allow me to go back out on the course so I sat on the warm pavement with a face on fire and a body shivering for another 40 minutes until I asked the doctor if she thought there was any chance of me finishing. She said if for some reason I could finish, I would be a very hurt individual for the next week and kindly reminded me of my 500m attempt and the lack of success I had there.

After having a little cry on the phone with my dad, I threw in the towel and waited for a van to take us back. The ride of shame was about an hour from start to finish and included a van, bus, visit to the main medical tent near the finish line (a place I wanted to be as far away from as possible). The final portion of the journey was made on foot and Uber back to the hotel. I showered to warm up and then retired to my bed, where I remained from approximately 3pm to mid-morning the next day.

Now that I have shared context with you, the important part is what I learned and took away from this horrendous experience.

1. You don’t pick your race day.

I had the perfect training season, I nailed workouts in the cold weather, I nailed workouts on limited sleep, I nailed workouts when they were back to back and I knew I was ready for Boston. Unfortunately, the week leading up to Boston wasn’t ideal and the timing of the flu should have resulted in a reassessment of my race day plan but my stubbornness took over and I thought I would wake up cured.
This is something that is unique to the Marathon. You work so hard and for so long so hope you wake up on race day with all the elements aligning. There are so many variables out of your control and more often than not – the run doesn’t come with ease. It is part of the thrill but part of the frustration. A constant assessment of your goal time and continual growth of your mental toughness – you accept a shitty day and you get back out there for the next run, workout or race.

2. Taper the best way for you.

This is something I am really researching and figuring out. I thrive on stress and my body doesn’t like to “relax”. I have found that cutting back too much, is actually harder on my body. What I am going to do from now on is figure out what will help limit stress in my life and what level of activity/stress I need in my life to assist with my race preparation. This will come through trial and error but that’s part of the marathon challenge.

3. Just because you stop puking, doesn’t mean you aren’t still sick.

I came back too soon. It took me until this morning to feel like I had my energy back. I don’t think a diet of cereal and peanut butter is likely the most nutritious but it definitely stayed in my stomach over the past two weeks. My advice would be to take more than three days off and make sure your energy is up. Running 20km five days later will hinder not help you.

4. I really love running.

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Exercises you can do on a BOSU – Global TV Segment May 4, 2016 http://blitzconditioning.com/exercises-you-can-do-on-a-bosu-global-tv-segment-may-4-2016/ http://blitzconditioning.com/exercises-you-can-do-on-a-bosu-global-tv-segment-may-4-2016/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 17:59:49 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12810 Unstable surface training (UST) has been all the rage in the fitness industry. Semi-inflated discs, pillows, discs and gliders, swiss balls, and BOSU balls are some of the many pieces of equipment developed with the intent to create surfaces that your body needs to react against. UST was first developed in the rehabilitation world for the purpose of strengthening ankles but is now used to in many instances. There are both advantages and disadvantages in using these pieces of equipment:

Advantages: adding it into a workout on occasion forces the body to react and adapt, it can be used for upper and lower body rehabilitation for joints.

Disadvantages: it has been shown that UST can negatively affect power and strength. Too much training on these surfaces can cause a delay in muscle activation on harder surfaces.

Exercises with these pieces of equipment are great compliments but should not be used for all workouts.  If you’re looking at adding some full body and heart pumping workouts try these out:

1) Alternating Lateral Jump on BOSU:

Global TV Lateral Jumnp on BOSU 01

  1. Place body weight on the foot that is on the BOSU ball
  2. Jump with the foot on the BOSU ball
  3. Switch feet in mid air
  4. Land on the opposite foot
  5. Repeat

Global TV Lateral Jumnp on BOSU 02

 

2) Spiderman Push-Ups on BOSU:

Global TV Spiderman Push Up on BOSU 01

  1. In a push up position (on your knees or toes), keep your hands in line with the centre of the ball
  2. Go down into a push up
  3. Bring one leg beside your elbow
  4. Go back up into a push up
  5. Switch sides

Global TV Spiderman Push Up on BOSU 02

3) Burpee on a BOSU ball:

Global TV Burpee on BOSU 01

  1. Start in a push up position
  2. When coming out of a push up, hop your legs so your knees go towards the chest
  3. Keep your core tight as you bring the BOSU towards your chest
  4. Hop up again and bring the BOSU above your head
  5. Bring the BOSU back down to the ground in a controlled manner
  6. At the same time, go back into the push up position

Global TV Burpee on BOSU 02

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Trail Running Races in Edmonton http://blitzconditioning.com/trail-running-races-in-edmonton/ http://blitzconditioning.com/trail-running-races-in-edmonton/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:12:55 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12799 Mill Creek Ravine Edmonton

There are a growing number of trail races in Edmonton. We have over 160 km of multi-use trails so runners are taking advantage of them and competing to see who can become the fastest cross country runner in the city! Here are a few links to some companies who host trail races:

Frank McNamara Races: Wednesdays at 6:00 pm – Various Locations:
United Cycle Runs: Tuesdays at 6:00 pm – Various Locations:
5 Peaks Races: Once a Month, Saturday: Use Code: CHRIS

Running Room: Moose is Loose July 16, 2016

https://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=12697

 

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Boost your running efficiency with this post run band workout http://blitzconditioning.com/boost-your-running-efficiency-with-this-post-run-band-workout/ http://blitzconditioning.com/boost-your-running-efficiency-with-this-post-run-band-workout/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 12:16:41 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12776 The workout below is designed to work on strengthening common underactive muscles in runners. Strengthening these muscles can help to avoid injury and improve running efficiency.  Here you can find another runner specific workout I created.

Running long distances can put a lot of stress on the body. As you tack on the kilometers your body starts to lose form and efficiency when you begin to fatigue; which is often where overuse injuries come from. Adding a cross training routine can be said to enhance running economy from a physiological standpoint. What this means is your muscles become stronger, motor unit recruitment patterns become more efficient and there is an increase in tendon stiffness (as the tendon stretches out it stores elastic energy, as it contracts it releases that energy i.e. the movement of the Achilles tendon as your foot strikes the pavement) (Midgley, McNaughton, & Jones, 2007). All of which can lead to an increase in mechanical efficiency. As a result greater mechanical efficiency leading to greater running output.

Specifically targeting these muscles with a cross training routine or throwing it in to the end of your run can help lead to improve your runs.

You just need a flat band for this workout that you can tie into a circle, and use flat as well.

Repeat circuit 2-3 times.

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  1. Banded deadbug (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Core complex, glute medius

  • Place a band around your thighs and lie down on your back
  • Bend your hips and your knees to 90 degrees and bring your knees and feet out to hip width, with your arms straight up in the air
  • Start by keeping tension on the outside of your glutes
  • Extend your opposite arm and opposite leg while keeping your core engaged
  • Then bring back up to starting position, maintain tension on your glutes, alternate sides

 

 

 

 

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  1. Dorsiflexion with band (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Tibialis anterior (shin)

  • You’ll either need a partner or tie your band around something sturdy as an anchor
  • Sit on the ground with both legs in front of you
  • Pick a leg to do first and place a band over the top of the foot
  • (With partner) Push your toes away from you toward your partner. Your partner will hold the band, slightly pulling for some resistance. (With no partner) Set up is similar, except you will need to make sure you are sitting back far enough so there is tension on the band.
  • From here, move the ankle by flexing your foot toward you, hold for 2 seconds then relax your ankle by pointing your toes away from you. (Tension should be on the band the entire time)
  • Repeat all on one side then switch sides.

 

 

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  1. Overhead trap pull (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Mid-lower trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapulae, latissimus dorsi (secondary)

  • Start by holding a band overhead approximately wider than shoulder width
  • Pull the band behind your head thinking about rotating your shoulder blades downward and squeezing them together, bring the the band to approximately ear level
  • Keep tension between the shoulder blades, if you lose tension between your shoulder blades you’ve brought the band down too low
  • Bring the bands back overhead and repeat

 

 

 

 

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  1. Banded monster walks

Target muscles: Glute medius, hip abductors, hamstrings

  • Step both legs through the band and place it around your ankles
  • Get into a half squat position bending slightly at the hips and the knees and keep your foot position nice and wide
  • Stay on your heels and take wide, controlled steps forward maintaining tension on the outside of the glutes
  • Take approx. 20 steps forward, then repeat walking backward for approx. 20 steps

 

 

 

 

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  1. Russian twist with band hold (12-15 reps per side)

Target muscles: External/internal obliques, transverse abdominis, shoulder stabilizers

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground
  • Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, making sure to keep the spine straight and not rounded
  • Hold a band straight out front of your chest, make sure your shoulders are back and keep a constant tension on the band
  • Rotate to the right using your core keeping your arms in front of you
  • Staying controlled rotate to the left maintaining tension on the band

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this workout!

If you have any questions or need modifications shoot me an email at erin@blitzconditioning.com and I would be happy to help!

 

References:

Midgley, A. W., McNaughton, L. R., & Jones, A. M. (2007). Training to enhance the physiological determinants of long-distance running performance. Sports Medicine, 37(10), 857-880.

 

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April 6 Global TV Edmonton Segment: Exercises you can do with a towel. http://blitzconditioning.com/april-6-global-tv-edmonton-segment-exercises-you-can-do-with-a-towel/ http://blitzconditioning.com/april-6-global-tv-edmonton-segment-exercises-you-can-do-with-a-towel/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 22:31:34 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12766 If you have been looking for pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym, you may have noticed that the prices can skyrocket! Dumbbells cost at least one dollar per pound of weight, elastic bands can cost upwards of $25 per band depending on the resistance, and even gliders can cost upwards of five dollars per glider!

element slider glider.jpg

At Blitz we’re all about adaptation. You don’t need the most fancy piece of equipment, you can make due. Gliders or sliders were initially brought on as piece of exercise equipment because it reduces friction on the exercise surface. This increases the difficulty of the exercise because it forces you to use more core, and more stability muscles in each movement. Introducing a slider also reduces the impact through the movement since you are forced to glide in a controlled manner. These movements should be done in a controlled and slow rhythm so all the muscles involved are active. Here’s a tip: instead of heading to a fitness equipment store you can use one or two towels on low friction surfaces like linoleum and hard wood. You can also head to a local home and garden store and find furniture sliders which are the exact same as the fitness gliders but less than half the cost!

Here are a few exercises you can do with sliders:

One Legged Reverse Lunge:

Glider Towel Reverse Lunge.jpg

Instructions:

  1. Stand with one foot on a towel or glider, with both feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Place pressure on both legs.
  3. Slide the glider leg back slowly and try and activate the glute and hamstring on the planted foot.
  4. Pause slightly when your knee is a few centimeters off the ground.
  5. Pull with the glute and hamstring on the planted foot to come back to a standing position.

Glider Lateral Lunge:

Glider towel sliding side lunge.jpg

Instructions:

  1. With one foot on the towel or glider, stand with feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Put equal amount of body weight on both legs.
  3. Slide the foot with the towel or glider out while sitting back on your planted foot.
  4. Pause momentarily at the bottom of the movement.
  5. To stand back up, pull with the inner thigh of your planted leg.

 

Push Up to Glider Slide Out:

Push Up to One Arm Glider Extension.jpg

Instructions:

  1. In a push up position (on your knees or toes), place the towel or glider under one palm.
  2. Depending on the level of difficulty, place some of your body weight on the hand with the towel or glider. If you want to to be more core intensive and difficult, put more body weight on the towel.
  3. Perform a push up but slide the towel or glider above your head.
  4. Pause where you feel the most amount of core activation.
  5. Pull through the palm on the towel or glider and push through the palm in the push up to get back to a table top position.

 

V-sit to Row:

V sit to Row with towel.jpg

This move can’t be performed with a regular glider so it’s a towel or band only move.

  1. In a V-sit position: you can keep your feet on the ground as a modified exercise.
  2. Hold the towel at eye level and pull lightly to activate your shoulders and back.
  3. Pull the towel back towards your sternum and try to activate your back.
  4. Pause momentarily and then bring the towel back to eye level.
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Learning Opportunities: My Journey to the Boston Marathon http://blitzconditioning.com/learning-opportunities-my-journey-to-the-boston-marathon/ http://blitzconditioning.com/learning-opportunities-my-journey-to-the-boston-marathon/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 18:07:00 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12772 Every moment presents an opportunity to learn, grow and evaluate. My journey to the Boston Marathon has been no exception.

From the much talked about “listening to your body” components, to program designs, to nutrition, I have had subtle and not-so-subtle reminders of each. Some made significant impact while others I interpreted as soft guidelines (a.k.a. my continual over consumption of peanut butter).

During this training cycle, one memory stands out among the rest. It happened a few week ago, between two tough workouts. I headed down to United Cycle to chat with Beto, their running expert. My original intent was to get tested for a new pair of kicks and to learn the rationale behind their shoe wall. These events were outweighed by the lessons I learned and the affect our conversation had on me.

Beto Bustos United Cycle.png

The highlight was witnessing someone describe their passion. It is never the words used but the excitement in their voice that tells that story. Tone is where enthusiasm lives. I heard passion when I asked Beto to explain his role at United Cycle. As a runner of over 42 years, Beto spends his days finding the perfect shoes, asking people their goals and making sure it all comes together before they head out the door. He has become an expert in his field, not only due to his race hardware but from the continual commitment to educating himself on what is happening in the sport of running and being able to communicate that to customers, friends and the Edmonton running community.

As he was telling me all this, I became proud of my morning workout and pumped up for the workout to come in approximately 18 hours. He has a way of making you realize your potential and feeling special about whatever goal you are about to take on.

My First lesson of the day: share your story. Sometimes it acts as motivation for someone else and sometimes it just feels good to know someone is excited about your journey.

Next, I asked about the shoe wall. At first glimpse, the shoe wall may not seem complex or substantial but that is far from reality. Beto took the time to give me insight into how it has evolved and the rigorous test the shoes must make it through before landing on the wall. Since inception, the shoe wall started with details and remains the core concept today. Beto is never sold on fads, he backs up his recommendations with genuine rationale and doesn’t push brands. He listens to you and bases his recommendation on the information you have provided him, not a trend.

My second lesson of the day: focus on myself. Do what is best for me and what will help me in my race. Remembering that will help me push myself but also enjoy every mile of the journey.

Lastly, we talked about goals. We briefly chatted about racing but rather than sharing personal goals he told me an incredible story about a woman that came in for shoes. It started with her son calling and asking for Beto. Beto had previously assisted this gentlemen and he wanted to ensure that when he brought his mother in on the weekend, that he would be there to assist. That Saturday, Beto was paged to the front and was greeted by a man and his entire immediate family, including an elderly woman holding a cane – his mother. This did not deter Beto from finding a shoe perfectly matched for this woman. He asked about her capabilities, and learned it had been years since she walked without a cane. Beto asked why she wanted shoes – he made it clear that it was her question to answer, not a family member’s. She responded and he came back with two options. The first she liked, the second she loved. She stood up, put the shoes on and passed her husband the cane. As she made a lap around the shoe section, her entire family had dropped jaws – she hadn’t walked without assistance for years. She left with more than one pair and continued to enjoy her day without her cane.

My third lesson of the day: life is full of surprises and it is up to us to find them.

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It isn’t every day that we learn so much from one conversation or that we leave a conversation feeling so inspired. It is a rare experience, one we sometimes take for granted. Even as I write this, I have a smile on my face. There is something about Beto that really make you feel good about yourself, has you believe you are capable of great things and I am excited to share my Boston experience with him when I come back.

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Adventures with the Trek Farley 5 http://blitzconditioning.com/adventures-with-the-trek-farley-5/ http://blitzconditioning.com/adventures-with-the-trek-farley-5/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 19:03:48 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12751 Trek Farley 5 Chris 01.jpgFatbikes are becoming an all too common bike here in Edmonton. As this category of bike develops we’re seeing a multitude of modifications; from suspension to even wider tires, it seems like the possibilities are endless. I managed to pick up the Trek Farley 5 from United Cycle this past week and take it on a few trips in order to compare it with my previous fatbike riding experience. The biggest difference between the Trek Farley 5 2016 and the Specialized Blizzard 2015 editions is the width of the tire and frame. Stock, the Farley 5 can handle a whopping 4.7 inch tire where as the Blizzard maxes out at a 4 inch tire. This is definitely noticeable when riding on powder or sheer ice since there is more tire contact to the surface; tire pressures don’t need to be as low so the ride can be more aggressive. The Farley 5 is also a 20 speed bike whereas the Blizzard is a 10 speed giving far more options when tackling obstacles. The Trek bike can also accommodate up to a 27 inch diameter and a 5 inch wide tire so you have a lot of options for tire sizes!

Trek Farley 5 02.jpg

I managed to take the bike out on multiple occasions: single track trails with sheer ice, snow, and dirt. The Farley 5 definitely gets the rider a lot closer to a mountain bike feeling with a more aggressive and responsive ride and even better grip to the terrain. I confidently rode across single track trails that were covered in ice with very little difficulty and without loosing too much traction or having to change the tire pressure. The extra gears also helped in tackling some pretty muddy inclines without having to bail or slip back down the hill.

If you’re looking at buying a fatbike now is the time! The 2015 bikes are on clearance in preparation for the 2016 bikes are on clearance and there is still plenty of trails that are fun icy and snowy trails to bomb around on. Check out the Trek Fest Sale on at United Cycle here: http://bit.ly/1QT6P1P.

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Skiing like Mike: Returning to skiing as an adult beginner brings back the fun. http://blitzconditioning.com/skiing-like-mike/ http://blitzconditioning.com/skiing-like-mike/#respond Thu, 10 Mar 2016 19:14:04 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12737 There are a lot of reasons not to ski. But Mike Cotfas’s excuse is one of the better ones I’ve heard. In grade 6, Mike went skiing with his school. Somehow, he went A/T (that’s A over T, as in ass over teakettle) and wound up lacerating his head—this was in the days before ski helmets. He had to go to the hospital for six stitches, the first three or four of which he felt as they were being done because the local freezing hadn’t quite taken.

“I think my dad’s hand had some crushed bones,” Mike laughs, now. “I was gripping pretty hard.”

Before Mike, I didn’t get it: why wouldn’t you ski? As someone who grew up skiing from age six, spent family vacations skiing in the Rockies and wound up a professional ski bum of sorts, as well as a volunteer ski patroller, I thought – no, firmly believed – that skiing was something everyone should do. And, well, I still do. So I convinced Mike to get back on skis. His first thought when I put the idea to him, says Mike, was, “How much do I want to get fresh stitches?”

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At 31, it’s been about 20 years since Mike’s incident. Yet he’d never tried skiing again, although he had snowboarded about three times in as many years. It’s not that he’s a cautious type. I’ve seen him rip around town on a fixie with that speed-eating grin you only get going too fast. But childhood trauma can linger, and adulthood’s priorities, obligations, competing entertainments and social engagements distract us and lure us into different patterns. We adults become rational with age, wasteful and yet frugal with our time, and self-conscious of our flaws and falls. Literally: we don’t like to fall. But skiing—and having adventures—requires you to sometimes fall. However, much of the pain of learning to ski, or returning to skiing as an adult can be avoided with a lesson or two to get the basics down. If you’re learning to dance salsa, do you just watch Lambada and then do it? I took Mike to Snow Valley Ski Club and set him up in a private lesson. Standing over six feet, he looked a bit like a giant next to most of the other students on the hill that sunny February afternoon. That might embarrass some people but Mike took it in stride. (We adults often forget that we look more foolish standing on the sidelines with our arms crossed than we do actually trying something new.)

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The next hour was filled with airplane gliding, sidestepping, snowplow stops and turns, but within the hour he had graduated from magic carpet to chairlift. And that same smile, that beaming, riding-a-fixie-fast grin, was back.

“It was maybe a half hour of being really bad at it, and then it was like, yeah, I can do this,” Mike says, reflecting on his experience in the lesson. “Your body kicks in and your muscles learn what to do.”

“Mark [the instructor] was really good at challenging me and saying, here’s the next step if you want to get there. Once you’re comfortable, try this.”

One of the things I love about skiing is that that same concept, “once you’re comfortable, try this” can potentially be an endless ladder into increasingly more challenging experiences. With the scars of the past behind him, Mike was evidently feeling the same rush of excitement.

“I’m disappointed the day is ending. I could be out here for a couple more hours. It’s given me an appetite to get back on the slope,” he says. “I forgot how fun this was!”

Even as the snow melts and it looks more and more like spring in town, there’s lots of time still to hit the slopes. While the streets and sidewalks are an icy mess, a decent mid-winter snowpack combined with snowmaking and good grooming means the slopes are in reasonably good shape. Edmonton’s local hills – Snow Valley, Edmonton Ski Club, Sunridge and Rabbit Hill (in Devon) generally stay open until after spring break. And the mountain resorts will be going until May or longer. Marmot Basin in Jasper still has a solid one-metre base and March is often one of the best snow months in the Rockies. The hill was reporting new snow to celebrate the leap year. Sunshine Village also had new snow to kick off the month, and it will draw out its high-elevation snowpack until May Long weekend.

So if you’ve been waiting for the right moment, stop putting it off. As Mike learned, there’s no time like the present to get back into some good, old fashioned fun on skis.

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Boston Around The Corner. http://blitzconditioning.com/boston-around-the-corner/ http://blitzconditioning.com/boston-around-the-corner/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 14:26:40 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12730 image

Tomorrow will mark six-weeks to the Boston Marathon. That means five more long runs, eleven more speed workouts and more than 500 kilometers to log before the big day.

This is the point in training where you start to really ramp up. Every run becomes more intense, every workout is harder than the last and a big part of you wants to “just get it over with”. Yesterday’s run was a humble reminder of that.

After a last minute 48-hour trip to Regina, I arrived back in Edmonton at 7:50 a.m. (A wakeup of 4:20 a.m. MTS). With an hour before I was scheduled to set out for a long run, I dragged my tired but overly caffeinated body off the plane and into my car. As I drove, my mind filled with the hundreds of less painful ways I could spend my Saturday morning, and given my mental state, any of which would have been easily self-justified. Justifiable to me, not to the four other people who were on their way to our meeting place and ready to log some miles. The run was going to happen at some point and if I delayed it even a day, I risked the chance of going solo. I soon found myself parked right in front of the Starbucks where we meet.

As I changed in the bathroom, a small part of me hoped that no one knew what my training plan had mandated for the day. They did – and under no circumstance were they going to let me skip it. Everyone was committed to the first 16km and one of them was even willing to join for the “fast-finish” (10km at my marathon pace). This was accountability at its finest. A part of me hated them, knowing that they would settle for nothing less than me achieving what my training plan demanded. With that, we set out to tackle the run. Upon completion, happiness replaced my previous sentiment. The run reminded me of my capabilities and that perseverance pays off.

It also reminded me that everything is better with support. If it were not for the support and encouragement of great friends and partners, the challenges we each take on would be harder to achieve. Fortunately, I have multiple groups that I can rely on as I prepare for this one. The kinds of friends that show up for the early morning runs and do not resent me for becoming a hermit on weekends. Not to mention the incredible fitness community we have here in Edmonton, especially those at Blitz who routinely ask how I am doing in my training. Recently, I have been blessed with a new partner on this journey, United Cycle, who has a team of experts helping me with the technical aspects and selection of my gear.

Why is this relevant? Because whether you have trained for a marathon or not – we all face these kinds of weeks in life. We are humans. We get tired. We lose motivation and sometimes, we just want to watch Netflix and chill. It is during these tough times that a strong support network makes a world of difference. Just know that every time I consider sleeping in or slowing my pace, I think of all of you.  I thank all of you for supporting me and I apologize in advance for what I need over the next six-weeks.

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Axes and Allies: reviewing Axe Hole Edmonton. http://blitzconditioning.com/reviewing-axe-hole-yeg/ http://blitzconditioning.com/reviewing-axe-hole-yeg/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 14:22:37 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12705 Axes have always had a certain level of bad-assery. Think about it, the only time you need an axe is when you’re making a fire, building a log cabin or a lean-to, or traipsing through the woods in flannel, jeans, and a pair of beaten up leather boots. There’s something raw and empowering about holding an axe but why stop there? Throw it. Axe Hole is one of two indoor axe throwing centres in Edmonton and it is fun for all ages! Garrette McGowan and myself went last weekend and had an absolute blast! The studio space was clean, the staff were very helpful and I definitely recommend heading there for all of your axe throwing needs. Check out this video to see a bit of the fun times that we had there.

You can check out Axe Hole here:

Axe Hole YEG

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