Friday, October 12, 2012

Cold Weather Cardio

Well, as some of you may, or may not have, noticed, it snowed! So the last post I was talking about adding running to your routine. Very important for getting in shape for tough mudder. But with the cold weather, running outside becomes hard for some. Here are some things to help you out.

First off, with outdoor running, stay covered enough that you’re a little chilly before you start. A bad idea is laying up and sweating, once you start sweating it’s very hard for your body to return to a regular temperature in the cold. If you are doing a 10:1 (or any ratio) run and walk, it’s a good idea to keep things like a toque for walking, removing it for the run. Or keeping your hands in your pocket during your walking period.

Your other option of course is indoor cardio. As I know not everyone has access to a track, there are alternatives. A few options would be swimming (indoor), stairs, stationary bike, skipping, burpees (I know, I know), and many others! Today I’m going to focus on a stair workout that can either replace your running during the cold days, or if you’re used to a lot of cardio, it can be added onto your running.

Stair Workout
The layout is very similar to the running routine posted last week. The main difference being stairs can be very hard on the joints, and knee specifically. Try to land as soft as possible, listen to each landing and with each landing try to remove as much vibration as possible. It’s much harder on the muscles to land soft, but muscles recover quick, and recover strong. Bones and joints can take permanent damage from things like a heavy landing with each stair. To give an example; I, as a 91 kg (200 lb) man, can land with so little noise that many a time I have scared people because they couldn’t hear or feel me coming. It has nothing to due with weight, it has to do with being ninja.

Day 1: 20 stories of slow and steady stairs
Day 2: 10 stories of quick stairs
Day 3: 5 stories of sprinting stairs.

Very similar to running from last post. So 1 story would be from floor 1 to floor 2. You do not need to find a 20 story building, if you only have your house and basement, that’s fine. Run up, and down (both ways, landing as silent as possible). Each story UP counts as 1. So in a 1 story building, it’s 20 sets of stairs. In a 5 story building it would be 4 sets (20 stors up in total). For day 1, the slow and steady stairs, hit every stair on the way up. On day 2, you can choose between each stair, or skipping a stair on the way up. On day 3, skip a stair with every step, you should be focused on speed and silence.

Just to be clear, the 3 days can be done any time during the week, preferably not 1 after the other, ideal leave 24 hours rest between.

Enjoy your cardio, it’s going to be a very large player in Tough Mudder! Running, stairs, or otherwise.

-Cory.

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