|Aerobics & Cardio Information|
Running in The Zone: A Personal Account
Running in The Zone has to be one of the most satisfying experiences. When it all fits together it can seem effortless and intensely rewarding. But why are some runs better than others? Is there anything we can do to help ourselves get into The Zone? Here is a personal account of one of my most memorable runs.
I hadn't intended to go for a run following a ten miler the day before. But it looked such a beautiful summer's evening I was tempted to get out for a three, maybe four mile jog. Following a warm-up I headed out at around eight o'clock. I wasn't disappointed. It was perfect evening for running with a light fresh breeze, warm air and the birds singing.
I headed off down the hill and started my checklist ? jaw is free not tight; I'm aware of my skull sitting on top of my spine and I've not stiffened my neck; my shoulders are relaxed and my arms swing freely from their ball and socket joints; I'm allowing the air to enter my nose and letting the ribs move into the gap between my torso and arms. I think 'light arms' to open up the muscles in the upper back to keep my upper body poised. Next I apply awareness to the space where my hips joints are and allow the legs to swing freely from these points. I maintain all of these thoughts as I allow my lower legs to fall and bounce back from the road giving me a lift right back up to the top of my head. That's it! The hand break is off. A sudden lightness and simultaneous feeling of release and elation tell me I'm there. I'm now in the zone. I pass the first mile mark ? a turn in the road.
I have consciously reached the zone by removing all the obstacles that prevented it happening. Because it was a conscious process that brought me here I am able to consciously maintain it.
Seemingly without effort, the hedgerows begin to flow by faster as I get a lift from the road's surface. I keep up with my thinking, I call it 'interactive awareness', but it's easier now as once there it requires no effort to maintain ? its all encompassed in one thought.
Another two, three then four miles pass by and my pace is good. Perhaps slow by some standards but for me its fine; in fact it doesn't really matter at the moment. I turn off the main road and start a climb of about half a mile. I consciously check for signs of my old habit of getting set to climb the hill. My face is free, no facial expression required to try harder in anticipation of this fairly steep section. I allow my arms to open up a little to increase the swing and imagine my head is releasing forward and upwards to lead my body up the hill. As the gradient gets steeper I become aware of a greater push (ground reaction force) and allow it to propel me up the hill as I keep my knees released so my lower legs stay swinging. My breathing has increased but I maintain an 'upness' and soon see the top of the hill.
Once over the brink I slow my pace a fraction and let the air flow into my lungs. With the hill out of the way and my breathing recovered I start to think about increasing speed. I hold this thought for a moement to prevent any inappropriate effort building up. Not too long ago this action would have brought my shoulders up and my head back as I pushed the pace. Now I just keep my shoulder and hip joints free and become aware of the direction my elbows and knees are moving. Even though I have followed this procedure thousands of times before, I still get a lift from seeing it in action. With little perceived effort I am now moving much faster. I have about a third of a mile to go downhill. I check that I'm not braking in fear of falling over ? again another old habit. Letting go of my legs and keeping the hip, knee and ankle joints free I release and let gravity bring me down the gradient.
Dark clouds are gathering but the evening sun is still peeping through a slit in the horizon bringing a reddish tint to the cornfields on either side of the road. A warm light rain begins to fall and I get a picture of Gene Kelly singing in the rain. I feel his joy and there is 'a smile on my face'. I pass the old barn with the rusty green tractor and know that's seven miles. In another half-mile the road forks; the right one takes me home in about a mile; the left fork opens up more options. On some of my previous runs there would have been no debate as the short route home is very tempting. Tonight there is no question of ending it so soon and I head left taking me away from home. I don't care about planning out any directions because at the moment I feel I could run all night.
I guess I've now covered about ten miles and start to feel the first signs of fatigue. I run though my checklist again to find my shoulders have lifted a fraction and I have collapsed a little in the torso. With this realisation I am able to release the shoulders, release my arms and return to a lighter state as my breathing opens up again.
I reach a crossroads and know it is three miles from home if I turn right; five miles if I go straight over; and God knows how far if I turn left. I make an informed decision and turn right, after all I don't want to spoil this evening my pushing myself too far. The last three miles are a joy, partly due to maintaining an efficient style but mainly because I know I'm nearly home where a well deserved cool drink and bath are waiting. The rain has stopped and I can just see the sun starting to sink below the horizon. I arrive home and stay on a high until I go to bed.
This is why I run. Not for glory, not for achieving personal bests, its for times like this when everything comes together creating a feeling like no other. I'm fully engaged, being in the moment, enjoying every moment. This is living consciously in the here and now where I have total control and nothing can stop me.
Roy Palmer is a Teacher of The Alexander Technique and author of The Performance Paradox: Train Smarter to enhance performance and reduce injury. More information can be found at http://www.artofperformance.co.uk. He works with sports people of all abilities to recognise and overcome performance-limiting habits.
Spinning Classes - Indoor Stationery Bicycle
Over the years I have changed my exercise routine continuously. That wasn't exactly planned, but it probably kept my interest up. I started with twice-a-week through Adult Education at the local junior high school. That was simple non-impact bending. That was too easy. Then I moved into Jazzercise, which was high impact. I began to really enjoy that. But it was only offered twice-a-week. My energy level blossomed. I now am up to six days per week, and sometimes even that isn't enough!
How to start your aerobic training program:
Run for Your Life
Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However, it is common for people to blame running for injuries rather than accept that it may be how they run that is at fault. Is there more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other?
Your heart is between one to two times the size of your clenched fist. Contrary to popular belief, it is not located to one side of the body - it is located almost in the exact center of your chest. Due to the shape of the heart and chest cavity, the heart pounds against the chest wall on your left side, so the heart rate is stronger when felt there. Your heart is responsible for pumping about six quarts of blood throughout your body, with about the same amount of force that the average person applies when squeezing a tennis ball. The heart is not under voluntary control. A system known as the autonomic nervous system, which includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, is responsible for regulating your heart rate.
Cardio Enthusiasts: Discover a More Effective Training Method for Fat Loss and Heart Health!
It is common to hear fitness professionals and medical doctors prescribe low to moderate intensity aerobic training (cardio) to people who are trying to prevent heart disease or lose weight. Most often, the recommendations constitute something along the lines of "perform 30-60 minutes of steady pace cardio 3-5 times per week maintaining your heart rate at a moderate level". Before you just give in to this popular belief and become the "hamster on the wheel" doing endless hours of boring cardio, I'd like you to consider some recent scientific research that indicates that steady pace endurance cardio work may not be all it's cracked up to be.
The Best Cardio Workouts
The benefits of exercise are abundant and well documented, and the best cardio workouts can increase your quality of life. One can hardly read a magazine or watch the news without stumbling across a study or doctor claiming a new benefit from exercise.
How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness
Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Council. It is far less hard on the muscles and bones than jogging.
Aerobic Cross Training for Weight Loss
Do you sometimes get bored with your aerobic exercise? Do You sometimes feel like you're not getting the results you should from your aerobic exercise? If so, then aerobic cross-training is for you.
Elliptical workouts basically involve aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Elliptical cross trainers can be intimidating at first glance but once you get familiar with them you will find them easy to use and a fun part of your routine.
Too Much Water Can Kill
Long distance runners and other endurance athletes have long been educated to believe that drinking lots of fluids during a long distance or endurance event was critical. And if you didn't drink enough water, you ran the risk of dehydration.
Running for Success
Though it may not seem like it when we're drenched in sweat and our legs feel like lead, marathon running is as mental as physical. When we're exhausted, continuing consists of mind over matter. This takes enormous mental power. Once developed, this skill can be transferred from the racetrack to the boardroom.
Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time
What if I were to tell you that most if not all of the cardiovascular exercise you do was worthless? Well, guess what? over 50% of the people who perform cardio in an attempt to burn fat are wasting their time? hours and hours of it! Are you one of them?
Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio
So, you're doing cardio religiously and you're not getting any results?What's the deal?! Good news. You're probably just making some minor mistakes that need to be corrected. If you want to make changes to your body, it's probably pretty important for you to understand how your body works. After all, I doubt you're running on the treadmill because your cable got shut off and the cardio-theater at your gym is the only place you can watch "The OC." I'm almost certain you want to burn fat. So, let's learn how that works.
Spinning exercise or studio cycling is not only popular these days it's an excellent form of fitness. It helps strengthen your heart, tone your glutes, calves, thighs in addition to being a great exercise to slim legs.
Cardio-Boxing for Super Fitness
The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:
Fat Burning Exercises
Fat burning exercises are the slow, aerobic, long duration types of exercise that involve most of the major muscle groups. Your body will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat with lower intensity cardio exercises.
Guidant Corporation Recalls Heart Defibrillators
A worldwide recall was announced by Guidant Corporation for nearly 50,000 of their heart defibrillators due to potential malfunctions in these devices.
Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun
Research shows that in order to lose weight safely and keep it off, you need to exercise. And even those who are not overweight benefit from an exercise or workout routine. But many people don't exercise regularly, which puts them at risk for heart disease, accidents or injuries, and other health concerns. There are many reasons people give why they don't exercise more. It's boring, it's too difficult, they don't have enough time or they'd rather be doing other things. Some people aren't sure how to exercise and they are uncomfortable going to a fitness center to work with a trainer. But with a good treadmill and a workout routine that fits your needs, exercise can be enjoyable, convenient and beneficial.
The Fitness Cardio Secret That Propels Lance Armstrong
What is Lance Armstrong doing that you can do to improve your results?
Benefits of Elliptical Training
The basic motion of an elliptical trainer is a smooth, flowing...well...elliptical motion. The low impact nature of these machines greatly reduces stress on the joints of the lower body (ankles, knees, and hips).
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