10k reboot: turning back the clock

After a few years in the wilderness, I was back competing last year (2013) in my local 10k series. It’s a fun race – mostly on-trail (grit/grass/mud) – and the distance sits well with a relatively low training overhead. Note to self: you do still need to train! See 2013 times for evidence.

Finish times for 10,000m local trail race

10k results: 2006/2007/2013

Anyway, the plan for 2014 is to revisit those “glory days” of 2006 and see whether my older and (hopefully) wiser self can once again duck under that magic sub-40 min barrier.

For more on my training plan, stay tuned to workingouttheworkout.wordpress.com/tag/running/

Stoop blasting back exercises for desk warriors

If you spend all day, everyday, sat at a desk then over time (and from the side) you will look like the letter “c”. Not good. To help straighten out this situation, here are two of my favourite stoop blasting exercises – both of which are sworn enemies of the letter “c”.

• Seated cable row with a rope attachment or two handle straps
Using the rope or straps gives you a great range of motion to fully engage your back, bring your shoulder blades together and really open out your chest to defeat “the stoop”.

• Inverted row using a fixed bar
What’s nice here is that you can easily adjust the resistance by changing the angle of your body to the ground (the more horizontal you are at the start of the move, the harder it will be), or by bending your legs at the knee to shorten the lever. Also, as Carolina Hurant from Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA points out in the clip below, you can include this exercise as part of your outdoor workout by keeping an eye out for suitable bits of fence, or park furniture.

Other fans of the inverted row include Velocity Sports Performance of Santa Clara, US, who have included the exercise in their “drill of the month” series.

Lastly, to close out today’s post on building a desk-proof back, check out this awesome piece of improvisation from trainnowlivelater.