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Friday, September 13, 2013

Strength vs speed

Yesterday I was feeling pretty good. My elbow is back in order, so I was able to do heavy arms for the first time in nine months, topping out with 8 reps at 47 kg on the straight bar curls. My shoulder has recovered too, and while I'm not anywhere near my peak strength, that's mostly the consequence of having to bench light for the last four months.

Today is another story. I didn't like running into a few midfielders two weeks ago who could outrun me, and watching the national Under-15 team play recently was a reminder of how much of an advantage speed can be on the field.  So, I decided that running a few speed workouts might help me regain a bit of the speed I've lost over the two decades since I last ran track.

Back in college, our weekly speed workouts usually consisted of running 200 meters, walking 100 meters, jogging 100 meters, then doing it again. We ran them between 28 and 30 seconds; anything over 30 didn't count and meant a do-over. An "easy" day was six, the worst was a punitive day in which we ended up running a hellish 15. That was ugly.

After jogging two warmup laps on the 400m track, I ran the first one.  It seemed okay, although I felt a bit heavy and was huffing and puffing a bit towards the end. Even so, I was a little shocked when I was informed that the time was 34 seconds.  So, after walking and jogging around to the far side, I decided to pick up the pace on the curve a little. 35 seconds. That one burned, both physically and psychologically. I tried to cruise the curve and kick on the flat for the third... and found I couldn't finish without slowing down. I didn't even bother asking for the time.

Now, it's not like I'm utterly out of shape. I played 60 minutes in the midfield in last week's game and was just starting to feel like I'm in game condition in our last practice. But I'm not sure that even if I had blocks, spikes, and the wind at my back that I could crack 30 now... and I used to do it in 22 seconds. Now it appears I can't run three under 36 and it took about ten minutes for my glutes to stop burning.  About the only good sign was that my wind was fine; soccer appears to have helped in that regard.

We went home and told Spacebunny that I wouldn't blame her if she wanted to trade me in on a newer model. Heck, I want to trade me in on a newer model.

Quote of the day: "It's okay, Daddy. We can come back tomorrow and you can try again."

I will try again. And again. I'm determined to get down to 30 seconds in the 200m (theoretically doable) and I'd like to get down to 12 in the 100m, (which may not be possible). But not tomorrow.  Most definitely not tomorrow.

Labels: ,

71 Comments:

Anonymous grady September 13, 2013 4:11 PM  

The aging process is cruel. Keep enjoying your life and setting goals. We all get introduced to humility at some point.

Anonymous Josh September 13, 2013 4:15 PM  

That's 47kg total, right?

Anonymous Daniel September 13, 2013 4:18 PM  

The good news? Even though the hungry bear is more likely to catch up to you first, he's also more likely to pass you over for the more tender, succulent, faster models ahead of you. I'll pray that your next bear is something of a connoisseur.

And, just in case you hit your goals, I'm going to call it now:

"Get in the hole, Vox!"

Blogger Tiny Tim September 13, 2013 4:20 PM  

HIT (High Intensity Interval Training)is what your running program sounds similar too.

You should see a corresponding increase in your growth hormone level. Throw in some good minerals and the sun, raw eggs and red meat, coconut and other oils, and you should see a nice increase in testosterone as well.

Don't wash the skin with soap after sun exposure. Vitamin D3 is on the surface after exposure and is absorbed into the skin for several days. You can wash it off with soap.

Should be ready for the Octagon soon.

Anonymous Anonagain September 13, 2013 4:26 PM  

Striving towards the goal will do you good, regardless if you reach it.

Exactly what all factors go into speed? The mechanics of leg speed is interesting to me. The legs go round and round like a locomotive, the faster they cycle, the faster one is moving. Given the same length of the legs and the same muscle tone, what makes one guy's legs go round faster than the other guy's legs? Or are there other factors just as important as the leg movement that could make the difference in who's moving faster?

When I used to jog, I'd sprint the last 100 yards. I'd concentrated on getting the legs around as fast as possible and it was as if I'd be barely touching the ground. It was pretty exhilarating, but the will to make those legs rotate as fast as possible was the driving force.

Anonymous Daniel September 13, 2013 4:37 PM  

Here are some motivational posters for your efforts.

Blogger AMDG September 13, 2013 4:42 PM  

Running faster for longer distances requires a combination of speed work, hills, long runs, watching your weight and rest.

Anonymous allyn71 September 13, 2013 4:48 PM  

"...Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Anonymous Pinakeli September 13, 2013 4:57 PM  

Now you just make me long for the days I used to run.

Lead the pack on the 100m to about halfway, then run out of steam. Finally had the doctor ask "Have you parents never told you about your asthma?"

That was devastating. I knew then why I would never be an athlete.

Anonymous Mike M. September 13, 2013 4:58 PM  

Old age and treachery will triumph over youth and speed.

But this is why my primary sport is shooting. At 50, I'm still very competitive.

Anonymous Pinakeli September 13, 2013 5:03 PM  

And, yes, I had a proofread fail. Not my fault! I'll be 59 next week on National Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Anonymous VD September 13, 2013 5:04 PM  

That's 47kg total, right?

Yes. What sort of monster do you think I am? I'm not doing curls with 50kg dumbbells. Straight bar, total includes the bar.

Lead the pack on the 100m to about halfway, then run out of steam. Finally had the doctor ask "Have you parents never told you about your asthma?"

That was my problem too. Except I always crashed at 180m. It used to drive my college coach crazy; I was the only sprinter on the team with a 200m time greater than 2x my 100m time. I found out I had asthma about two years ago. I should have been able to break 21.

Anonymous Josh September 13, 2013 5:15 PM  

Yes. What sort of monster do you think I am? I'm not doing curls with 50kg dumbbells. Straight bar, total includes the bar.

But that magazine article said Obama was doing curls with 32kg dumbbells!

Anonymous WaterBoy September 13, 2013 5:19 PM  

Totally OT, but interesting: 11 questions to see if libertarians are hypocrites: Eleven questions that expose their contradictions and faulty logic

(Link courtesy of PZ: Talking smack at Libertarians)

Anonymous NateM September 13, 2013 5:39 PM  

Makes me want to go to the gym instead of taking a day off..

Anonymous Beau September 13, 2013 5:39 PM  

Last week I was rappelling with the kids of HQ Troop at NMMI, "You with the white shirt, put a harness and helmet on, grab some gloves and get up here!" The exhilaration took thirty years off my state of mind, easily.

The next day I was doing some yardwork repairing blackflow valves on my sprinkler system. Reaching over to grab a PVC fitting my right knee shot a blinding pain through my whole body. Laying on the ground I was gasping in shocked agony. Since then, ice and rest. Today I pedaled home from school with Scipio's brother. All in all not bad for a guy who had a stroke in December. Thanks Lord.

Anonymous Josh September 13, 2013 5:41 PM  

Makes me want to go to the gym instead of taking a day off..

Me too.

You think my muscles will notice?

Blogger Bard September 13, 2013 5:42 PM  

At 43, my biggest issue is recovery time. I still squat and dead lift, but am pretty much down hard for about 48 hours after. Elbows pretty worn out as well. Luckily, no back or knee problems. My 16 year old son is within 10 lbs of me on dumbbell presses and only about 50 lbs less on squats. Pretty humbling. Jogging is down to about 3 miles twice a week. Walked into navy dive school 10 years ago without training. What the hell happened?

Blogger Ciphra Summam September 13, 2013 5:52 PM  

VD,
What was your 100m time?

I ran track through my JR year of HS. Best in HS was 11.5, ran a 10.9 one year out of HS without any sprint training. Just lifting.

Blogger Baca Loco September 13, 2013 6:07 PM  

Vox, since you failed to mention it could be the first order of business is more aggressive stretching for improved flexibility followed by an effort to lengthen your strides. And coming off elbow and shoulder injuries I wonder if that's effected your arm motion and technique. Just a thought.

Blogger Iowahine September 13, 2013 6:21 PM  

Love the cross reference, "decline and fall." Aging is humbling. As my father said until he died at 92, "It's better than the alternative." He also said that at 92, mentally, he still felt 40. Humility has been the best remedy for my female vanity.

Anonymous Just Some Random Idiot September 13, 2013 6:24 PM  

Humble brag.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 September 13, 2013 6:29 PM  

Speed tends to fade over time, even for the genetically blessed and those who keep up their training.
Raw strength can be better preserved into old age with effort.
I'll never forget the time at the gym, I was on the bench press, and this old man -- late 60s or early 70s and he was built, but not ridiculously so -- asked if he could work in.
I said no problem. I had 315 racked for my final set, so I told him he could take off however many plates he wanted to for his set.
He chuckled, then told me what was racked was fine. He busted out 7 reps like it was nothing, got up and told me it was my turn.
Ever since, my training has been focused on being that old man when my time comes.

Anonymous VD September 13, 2013 6:45 PM  

What was your 100m time?

10.8 in HS, 10.6 in college.

Vox, since you failed to mention it could be the first order of business is more aggressive stretching for improved flexibility followed by an effort to lengthen your strides.

Yeah, my stride definitely felt shorter and choppier. The main thing is that what I mentally referred to as my "fifth gear" just disappeared about 12 years ago. It used to feel like a turbo kicking in. Now there's just nothing there and everything feels more labored.

Of course, I am about 30 pounds heavier.

Anonymous VD September 13, 2013 6:47 PM  

Humble brag.

No. Losing 12 freaking seconds on a 200 is not bragging. It's distressing. Especially when you never required 12 seconds to run a 100.

OpenID rufusdog September 13, 2013 6:59 PM  

I’ve noticed I am actually just a hair stronger now at 35 then in my twenties and I have lifted steady since my teens. But I know I am not as quick and man am I more injury prone. Shoulders, calf, seems life if I look at the weights wrong I tweek something. I am sure it is only going to get worse steadily.

Plus soreness is now weird, there is like a day delay between lifting and being sore.

My dad just laughs at me, says “just wait”.

Anonymous The Original Arrogant Pirates Fan September 13, 2013 7:00 PM  

Load up on some high grade deer antler velvet spray. It works well if you use enough of it.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus September 13, 2013 7:00 PM  

Fast twitch, 7 the Hard Way:

7 40 yd sprints, the rest period is the walk back to the start.

followed by:

7 100 yd sprints, the rest period is the walk back.

When I do these, the walk back always seems to morph from a linear path to a sinusoid.

Anonymous Noah B. September 13, 2013 7:02 PM  

"Of course, I am about 30 pounds heavier."

Well there you go. You're probably in better shape than it sounds like you're giving yourself credit for, but built differently than you were in college.

Anonymous Noah B. September 13, 2013 7:03 PM  

"Plus soreness is now weird, there is like a day delay between lifting and being sore."

I've noticed that too. When I was younger the soreness happened more the next day.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus September 13, 2013 7:03 PM  

Also, for the strength endurance, the nicknamed MM-Misery complex 1:

http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/sports-training/metabolic-power-training-for-mma-2/

OpenID rufusdog September 13, 2013 7:13 PM  

Right, you’d wake up and feel it and by noon you would really feel it.
Now I don’t feel it till the next day.

I went on a heavy, low rep cycle recently, started on Monday, Tuesday nothing, Wednesday I was a hurting unit. Same sort of thing at the swimming pool, the boy wanted to dive off the board so we did, one of the teenagers did a 1-1/2, he looked at me and asked if I could do that, I said I used to be able to, so, of course, I had to try. I managed it and did about ten more till I was coming around good (forgot you need to go up first), anyway, next day felt fine, the day after that EVERYTHING hurt, I mean everything.

Anonymous Adage Generator September 13, 2013 7:21 PM  

If you are over 40 and you get up in the morning and nothing hurts, it means you are dead.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza September 13, 2013 7:22 PM  

That is great and tomorrow is a new day, get back out there.

Endurance and effort over 30 or 40 is what concerns me the most. I used to track mileage or pounds of weights now I track time to pace myself.

Lifters always a few shoulder dings but staying active/moving is what matters. Realizing that, joint health and maybe supplement that contribute to joint longevity helps.

Speaking of which, I hurt my rhomboids last year probably due to misusing the machines or over-doing it. I landed up finding a experienced massage therapist who specialized in injuries, she is in her 60's and cured or greatly improved the shoulder/rhomboid issues.

Anonymous Harsh September 13, 2013 7:26 PM  

But that magazine article said Obama was doing curls with 32kg dumbbells!

*Michelle* Obama

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai September 13, 2013 7:48 PM  

Glad to hear your elbow's improved. I've broken one and had an overuse injury in the other; the latter was much more painful, oddly enough.

Anonymous Idle Spectator September 13, 2013 7:53 PM  

Yes. What sort of monster do you think I am?

White supremacist.


I found out I had asthma about two years ago. I should have been able to break 21.

A science fiction writer with asthma. This is just getting stupid now.



Since he is a so-called martial "artist" in the vein of Andy Warhol:

Vox's New Theme Song

Anonymous cds September 13, 2013 7:57 PM  

I used to feel old and slow. Then I went to my 20-year HS reunion and realized I was the fittest guy in the room. That was definitely not the case 20 years ago. Just stay in the game and play as long as you can.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2013 8:23 PM  

As I noted in your last thread on the subject, Vox: it's hell getting old.

> If you are over 40 and you get up in the morning and nothing hurts, it means you are dead.

I didn't find that to be the case, but it's a lot more true now that I'm in my 50's.

Anonymous ryan atl September 13, 2013 8:44 PM  

28-30 sec for what? The 200????

Anonymous Eduardo September 13, 2013 8:46 PM  

OT:

A putz attempts to backpedal.

Anonymous Bobo September 13, 2013 8:48 PM  

I been there, my brotha.
Hell, I'm there right now.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein September 13, 2013 8:56 PM  

I been there, my brotha.
Hell, I'm there right now.


Me too. then it gets worse...

Blogger IrishFarmer September 13, 2013 9:06 PM  

You just have to get over the "hump". The first two weeks are brutal, and the next month or so after that seems like nothing is changing even if it's getting easier. Then suddenly you realize you're a lot faster than you used to be one day. I don't think age will be too much of a problem yet.

Anonymous anon123 September 13, 2013 9:22 PM  

The clock...tick tock.

Anonymous zen0 September 13, 2013 9:22 PM  

What's this I see in my crystal ball?..........why, it looks like a tendon injury is immanent! How can this be?

Anonymous anon123 September 13, 2013 9:28 PM  

@james Dixon
Wait till you hit 60. It's worse.

Anonymous Ezra September 13, 2013 9:31 PM  

Load and Explode, Ground Claw, Arm Drives, and Dead Leg Run. These drills worked wonders in correcting issues in my stride and improving speed as I aged. Google can explain them all. The gains were enough to actually improve the separation I get on routes (WR) in my thirties over what I was attaining in my twenties.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2013 9:56 PM  

> Wait till you hit 60. It's worse.

I have no doubt.:(

Anonymous DonReynolds September 13, 2013 10:02 PM  

Years ago, one of the local cowpokes decided he knew a good way to build up his muscles slowly but surely. He would start with a new calf and lift it over the fence for exercise. In his mind, he (and his muscles) would adjust as the calf grew bigger....as they tend to do.....until someday, he would be able to put a bull over the fence. Well, it started out just fine....but the calf grew faster than his muscles.

Anonymous DonReynolds September 13, 2013 10:06 PM  

Like a decrepit old woman told me once....

"Getting old is not for sissies."

Anonymous Bobo September 13, 2013 10:28 PM  

"Years ago, one of the local cowpokes decided he knew a good way to build up his muscles slowly but surely. He would start with a new calf and lift it over the fence for exercise. In his mind, he (and his muscles) would adjust as the calf grew bigger....as they tend to do.....until someday, he would be able to put a bull over the fence. Well, it started out just fine....but the calf grew faster than his muscles."

Milo much?

Anonymous T14 September 13, 2013 11:20 PM  

I've brought back sprints into my routine. HIIT on my 3 non-lifting days a week. After attempting to time them once I've decided it better I not know..

I haven't done curls in ages - among current American lifting circles they are very out of fashion. Hence the GoT inspired shirt "House Squatrack - We Do Not Curl"

Anonymous Josh September 13, 2013 11:41 PM  

"House Squatrack - We Do Not Curl"

That's awesome

Blogger SarahsDaughter September 13, 2013 11:56 PM  

We went home and told Spacebunny that I wouldn't blame her if she wanted to trade me in on a newer model. Heck, I want to trade me in on a newer model.

Meh, there's something sexy about an old husband who still has a fire in his eyes. "As good once as I ever was" is your anthem and it works for us wives.

Just as men have their wife goggles, we wives have our own set of goggles that find the paunch and Rice Krispies joints irresistible.

Anonymous Baseball Savant September 14, 2013 12:34 AM  

Getting the curls back into triple digits! NICE!

Blogger Bosefus September 14, 2013 1:01 AM  

Boy for a smart guy you really are pretty stupid at times. Turtles finish the race... and have something harder and rounder than yours that sticks so far out of their pajamas you can hang a hat on it... it's called a brain. Bunny will need some botox too so don't dispair...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w9GMcJF0WDo&list=PLC0CDE9BA4578BFDB

Bunny probably runs this show anyway, if not for her...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=OZwncQfvaKk

But lately things seem to have changed...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=L9EKqQWPjyo

Im kidding... I know you know who's on the mountain...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0RPkJeziNyI

For the love of God... please no more pushups. ;)

Anonymous a good ROI September 14, 2013 1:15 AM  

Hey VD, do you take anything for your asthma?

My doc recently told me I have exercise induced asthma and gave me a script for Albuterol in an inhaler. I found that it really helps on the days I know I will be going hard. I have also used Bronkaid with good results. Both for its stated purpose as well as helping to cut body fat... maybe help with some of that extra 30lbs. I mean, unless it is all muscle.

I am having my do some sprint training w me and the first week they strongly disliked it. Second week they did better and now on the third week they are actually getting excited about improving their times and proudly talking about how their legs are still sore but not as sore as the first week.

Is Hollywood joining you in any of your training or do you have him do his own thing?

Anonymous a good ROI September 14, 2013 1:41 AM  

Also for those that are interested...

examine.com is a great nutrition, supplement, fitness site that has a lot of research to back up their info.


Examine.com is an independent compendium on supplementation and nutrition.

Founded in early 2011, we have one goal - to be the unbiased source for supplements and nutrition. We have spent thousands of hours collating the latest scientific research.

This site is run by editors who collate primary research. Users are encouraged to submit corrections and any research we may have missed.

Also exrx.net ...
ExRx.net (Exercise Prescription on the Internet) is a free resource for the exercise professional, coach, or fitness enthusiast featuring comprehensive exercise libraries (>1400 exercises), fitness assessment calculators, and reference articles.

Blogger Bosefus September 14, 2013 1:45 AM  

Bunny instructs our maestro on how...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEA6gzAAPfc&feature=player_detailpage

Blogger rycamor September 14, 2013 2:05 AM  

Baseball Savant September 14, 2013 12:34 AM

Getting the curls back into triple digits! NICE!


Hmm... I'm 47, and just got back into lifting after a 10-year hiatus, about a year and a half ago (nothing serious, mainly dumbbells and cals), and I have no trouble curling 50-lb dumbbells for at least 8 reps. I can cheat curl two 70-lb dumbbells several reps without too much trouble.

But it's not like I'm a super-built dude, nor can I bench more than about 210 max at the moment. I mean, I'm a fairly big guy (6'2" - 200lbs), but my biceps are not even up to 16". Is this unusual?

I did have to scale back on the curls after the first couple months back with the weights because I hit it too hard. In fact I was up to 55-lb dumbbells but that combined with a some too-eager Wing Chun sparring got me a serious case of tennis elbow. So I took it easy for awhile, scaling back to 20-lb dumbbells and built up slowly. Elbows are usually good, as long as I take pains to warm up slowly with smaller weights first, and continually vary the curl routine so I don't put all the stress at the same point each time.

Blogger rycamor September 14, 2013 2:13 AM  

In general, my experience with the age thing and hard exercise is that I have a fair amount of strength and speed, but nowhere near the stamina I used to have. I used to be the kid who could work a 12-hour day moving heavy bags of sand, or chop wood for hours.

Interestingly, as long as I stay on a fairly Paleo-ish diet (minimize the grains and sugars) I don't have a lot of aches and pains from lifting weights, pushups, pullups, etc...

What really gets me is if I do a few all-out sprints. I'm still pretty quick, but *man* do I feel it for the next day or two. Hurts way more than a full-body dumbbell routine, even finishing up with two 110-lb weights for the farmer's carry.

Anonymous Idle Spectator September 14, 2013 2:17 AM  

Perhaps I was too hasty about Vox's ambulatory predicament. I gave it some more, thought, and I think this might help.


Run With Us

When the cold wind blows,
Turn your collar to the cold,
Don't be ashamed,
If you need someone to hold.
If you're sinking in quicksand,
And it's dragging you down,
And you feel you're going under,
We'll be around.



Remember to put this on your MP3 player when running. With it, you are never truly alone. I see passion in your eyes.

Also try to expressively dance it out too, Vox. That will help the physical healing take place as the body repairs itself.

Anonymous T14 September 14, 2013 2:45 AM  

No frame of reference for "good" curls. Never heard of people maxing those out. Squat, deadlift, snatch, clean and jerk, and (grudgingly) bench are where you want to hit the big 1RM. Maybe OHP

Blogger Jamie-R September 14, 2013 2:47 AM  

Who knew when we were talking about weights years ago the internet now makes you feel lame. The bro culture has surpassed my generation. I used to walk into gyms and do weights, talk half the time, walk out, you do that these days and people will be like "not cool bro" while wearing a 'muscle domination' t-shirt, they also snicker and talk if you do something with poor form. I feel I am doing something profoundly wrong by participating in a public gym these days, so I'm just getting a cross-trainer and waiting for my kid to be old enough to pick on him at basketball.

Anonymous VD September 14, 2013 6:45 AM  

I mean, unless it is all muscle.

About 25 of the 30. I need to lose about five.

Blogger Didact September 14, 2013 6:59 AM  

If you are over 40 and you get up in the morning and nothing hurts, it means you are dead.

I'm often sore all over when I wake up after a hard workout, and I'm not even 30 yet...

Blogger Doom September 14, 2013 7:26 AM  

All else being equal? Speed, every time, for me. It isn't absolute, but in an all or nothing deal I would ask for speed. Strength isn't bad to have in the wings, but speed is primary. Short, mid, and long term speed, if those will be different of course. Get them and know them, and when to use them.

Anonymous paleopaleo September 14, 2013 11:55 AM  

@ DonReynolds
I have a daughter with Down syndrome (i.e. low muscle tone). She can't walk very far. I carry her on my back when her legs give out on longer walks/hikes. She's now 8 and about 65 lbs. She's the reason my back and core are rock solid.

Anonymous Rally September 14, 2013 4:05 PM  

Inspired by this post, I decide to try the 200. No actual track around, so I used a football field. To account for meters/yards, I ran from goal line to goal post, 110 yards, and back.

I used to be fast at sprinting (sub 4 seconds home to first) but never bothered with longer runs. I'm 42, have not run in years. I was winded after 50 yards but kept going. Made it in about 40 seconds. So you got me beat, Vox.

Anonymous dh September 15, 2013 9:53 AM  

paleopaleo

Same, except almost 9 and about 75 lbs. The muscle tone basically doesn't get past a plateau for her. She is quite tall so the back doesn't always work, but I've found that for paved or at least well taken care of dirt paths, a kids two wheel scooter with 200 mm wheels (like a razor or off brand, with larger wheel wells) plus a loop clipped to my belt gets her along well, and gives me a pretty good cardio, esp. up hill. It also helps her with her balance (she has to steer and balance).

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