Outdoor Trainer

Too far too fast—overtraining and injury
Overtraining syndrome is the most common cause of injury and physical ailments. In a rush to accomplish too much too soon, people often do themselves—and their fitness goals—real harm. Play it smart, and you stay healthy, make steady progress, and enjoy your exercise uninterrupted by injury and fatigue. Overdo things, and you risk a host of injuries, including shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, knee and lower back pain, and foot pain. 
 
Learn the Signs

Tree Sit
Works: Quadriceps, core abdominals, shoulders, mental focus, environmental integration
Props: Tree with a strong base, light post, wall or mailbox

The Tree Sit exercise is an updated version of that classic ski-conditioning exercise, the “wall sit.” It’s usually done within the confines of large gymnasiums with wood floors and beige walls, but here I’ve added a much more interesting prop—the tree.

Hey, is that you sweating up a storm on the treadmill? That’s fine if you just want to keep the pounds off and maintain an average level of fitness, but if you want to get truly fit and kick butt at your favorite sports, you’ll need more. Athletic training, serious athletic training—requires rigorous and disciplined physical and mental preparation.

Cardiovascular Training - Using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
 

RPE is a simple and effective method of monitoring your heart rate. It is a useful tool for monitoring the perceived level of muscular, cardiovascular and psychological fatigue. Whether used with or without a heart rate monitor, the RPE offers a correlation between your perception or “intuition” of your physical and mental output, and your actual heart rate.
 

Setting up an RPE during a workout

This simple RPE scale goes from 1 to 10—1 being a very weak (easy) effort, and 10 being maximum effort.  The RPE scale can easily be used in correlation with the Heart Rate Training Zones.

Air Quality and Exercise

Particulate Matter and Air Quality
Particulate matter is a broad term used to describe solid particles sometimes found in the air. These particles are coarse in nature and some can even be seen with the naked eye, like dust particles or soot. The particles may come from cars and trucks that stir up dust on the road, factory emissions and windblown dirt on trails. This form of pollution may impair respiratory function and decrease lung function, especially with exercise.

Snot Rocket, Cannon Ball Blow, Air Hankie, Golfer’s Blow
It’s all about nose clearing on the fly.  Experts call it Exercise-induced rhinorrhea (EIR). And according to the Annals of Allergy & Asthma Immunology, it’s common in athletes; particularly outdoor exercise enthusiasts. What's more, the condition appears to occur regardless of underlying allergies.  I call it Flying Biohazards!  As coach, trainer and the best friend to one offender I’ve been sprayed and spit on…and I’ve taken it upon myself to be the “habit breaker” for many. 

Find out how outdoor exercise measures up to indoor gym workouts -- and then hit the trails!
NOTE: The following is from an interview I did with FITNESS MAGAZINE's Betsy Stephens.
 
Question: "Can I quit the gym this summer and still stay in shape by exercising outside?"

Answer: Absolutely.

Exercise is good for us, but too much can be harmful.  Did you know that too much cardio can actually increase stress and the levels cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body?  It's true. 
 
Learn the single, most important thing you can do to avoid the wrong types of exercise and keep your cortisol levels under control.
 

Enhance your perfomance and mental prowess with this one simple exercise.  (CLICK FOR EXERCISE PODCAST)
 

Turn the terrain around your neighborhood into the ultimate gym.

One of my favorite workouts is what I call "terrain training." Terrain training is simply taking advantage of whatever type of terrain you have and using it to your advantage. So for example, in the mountains, I like to make my way up a hill and use the downhill to slalom the pine trees (and sliding on their needles) to mimic skiing. Or using a dry riverbed for intense drills, by loading my legs and springing boulder-to-boulder. Other types of terrain training can involve grassy knolls, urban steps and sandy beaches. This is the first post in a series about terrain training - how to scout it, how to create workouts for maximum benefits, and how to keep it safe.

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