T.J. is covering all his bases on the way to healthy running in 2011.
Written by: T.J. Murphy
Last week I had my second session with Brian MacKenzie, founder of CrossFit Endurance. The idea right now is to take me—an injury-riddled old-school distance runner—and gradually build up my strength so that I can handle actual CrossFit workouts. I need the ramp up for sure. Watching the more advanced CrossFit crowd rip through workouts included dozens of pull-ups, fantastic looking Olympic power lifts and gymnastic moves like handstand pushups or ring dips—I honestly don’t think I have another choice.
This was my starting point: recovering from a knee blowout, an embarrassingly low level of core strength, and wretched mobility. I can report amazing progress so far with a minimum time investment—spending 10 minutes a day doing the Kelly Starrett Mobility Workout of the Day (http://mobilitywod.blogspot.com) has been miraculous for me.
Brian has introduced me to several fundamental moves: The squat, the deadlift, the pushup and running technique. Throughout all of it he’s stressing the idea of training core muscle groups and the “posterior chain”—particularly hip and hamstring strength. This Saturday I’ll be reporting on Brian’s “Run and Performance Seminar” at CrossFit San Francisco, and starting next week I’ll also be working with C.J. Martin at CrossFit Invictus here in San Diego. One thing that’s true about the CrossFit Endurance world—there’s a very strong community involved.
I’ve also been adding to a growing tool kit to help advance me forward, like fish oil supplementation to help marginalize inflammation and electrolyte tabs to enhance hydration. Brian recommended SFH “clinical grade” omega-3 fish oil for both quality and taste—with flavors like mint and tangerine it has brought a refreshing twist on the idea of taking fish oil. There’s a growing number of electrolyte tabs on the market—Nuun and Zym are both favorites of mine. Camelback has new product out as well—“Elixir”. I love this stuff—very low in calorie and the electrolytes help your body and muscle tissue absorb water so you’re not just guzzling away with marginal effect.
The mobility training has yielded such fast results I added a set of Trigger Point Therapy tools to my living room—namely the TP Total Body Package with a massage ball and foot and quad rollers. The “Quadballer” is my new best friend—roll your hip flexors or IT band on this baby and be wowed by what Starrett calls “nastiness.” But I’m a new fan of doing this sort of work and then walking around feeling as if I just lubricated the joints. I’m addicted.
T.J. Murphy is the Editorial Director of Competitor Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.