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Jessi Stensland - Adventures in Endurance Performance

6 Posts tagged with the performance tag

It wasn't hard to come up with this year's list.  The smarter the world is getting in the world of human performance, the more options that are being created to facilitate all the right stuff! More options has made for quite a long list. Enjoy!

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Get IT | SLEEP!

 

Before hydration, nutrition and movement strategies should come great sleep strategies. My favorite definition: "The suspension of consciousness when the powers of the body are restored."

 

Gear to go for: The Zeo Sleep Manager


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What gets measured gets improved.  Think of it as a power meter for your  recovery.   Like a power meter for the bike, the tool itself it won't make you sleep more or better, but by having quantitative data to measure, track and analyze, you can get to know more about your sleep habits and implement strategies to make quantitative improvements in your sleep and ultimately your performance.

 

 

I first heard about the Zeo Sleep Manager from Dr. Allen Lim who was using it as a training tool with the riders he was working with.  He spoke about how on  any given day, the squad might have an A, B or C ride (differing in  distance and intensity.) Which ride the riders were allowed to do on a particular day was dependent on their quality of sleep the night before as indicated by their Zeo Sleep Score.   Something else he mentioned that stood out: if one gets one more hour  of sleep per day in the week before a race, they will perform better in the race.   How great is that.  Sleep to perform better? I love learning things like this.

 

Zeo Sleep Manager has both a bedside unit (above) and the new mobile version (below right.) On the left is a sample of a graph you'll get every morning of your sleep patterns along with an overall sleep score.  My PR is 155! I love sleep.

 

 

Mobile_box_imageSleepgraph_1

 

 

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Work IT | Happy, strong feet!


The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering + a work of art. - Leo da Vinci


So true IF you let them be themselves.

 

"Phalangeal Freedom + Phalangeal Fitness = Phalangeal Fun"


...says Mark Verstegen of Athletes' Performance.

 

Gear to go for: Vibram 5 Finger Shoes


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Forget about running in them for a moment.  Forget about fashion and think function. There are so many  things your foot, all of it, would love to do with you:  walk, strength train, skip, hike.  There are numerous muscles of the foot and they want to be loved and put to work.  Most shoes force the foot into an unnatural shape (similar to a cast.)  They can limit mobility of the certain joints necessary for natural motion and they often soften the forces the foot has to withstand during activities thereby allowing some muscles to weaken and others to have to compensate, often unhappily.  Just like bigger muscles you can see and feel like glutes, quads, biceps and triceps, the muscles of the foot must be strengthed gradually to handle increased loads.  Depending on your level of phalangeal fitness, Vibram Five Fingers may be an even better option than simply going barefoot as they also help spread the toes.

 

I'm amazed I have seen only one, ONE, other person doing their movement/strength training in my local gym in Five Fingers.  Running shoes, cycling shoes, casual shoes more the norm.  Let's move it!

 

Your feet are a huge part of your performance.  You wouldn't wear mitts when swinging a bat, club or racket would you?  Have fun with them this year.

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Get IT | Smooth, supple muscles.


How?  By hydrating, eating right, massaging tight tissues and activating, strengthening and stabilizing other muscles.

 

Gear to go for:  Self-Massage Tools

 

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Self-massage tools should be just that: tools. Not crutches. Trigger Point Performance has lead the way with their tools and concurrent education.  I go no where without my GRID, Quadballer and Massage Ball.

 

A new kid on the block that I immediately put to use and is now a permanent addition to my gear bag is the Myorope.  Although I maintain my movement so well I rarely need to spend much time with the tools, they are an important part of my pre-covery and recovery strategies.

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Move IT | Whenever, wherever.


Wherever you are, be there.


Gear to go for:  Gaiam's Travel Yoga Mat


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Why I love it: It takes up virtually no space.  Great for adding to a gear bag so you don't have an additional item to carry.  Also perfect for the frequent traveler who doesn't mind others turning their heads while he or she indulges in some pre-flight movement preparation (or post-flight when waiting for a ride while everyone else is in line at Dunkin' Donuts OR when one misses a flight and has to spend a night in the airport in which case it pairs well with the TP Therapy GRID as a head rest.)

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Reduce and Reuse IT | For yum on the run.


Gear to go for:  To-Go Ware RePEat Utensil Set


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I have saved the lives of more plastic forks, spoons, knives and even chopsticks than I can count since I started carrying these with me.  Not only great for the environment but for convenience as well.  They are incredibly handy, wash easily and are just plain bamboo cool.

 

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Create IT | Au Natural Beauty


If you wouldn't want to eat it, why would want to smear it on your face?"


...says Supermodel Sunny Griffin in this video from The Cool Vegetarian.


Gear to go for:  Organic Body Care Recipes


Organic Body Care Recipes

 

Stephanie Tourles offers a better solution to  everyone frustrated with  the endless cycle of expensive, synthetic,  famous-name cosmetics that  often fall short of expectations. With Organic Body Care Recipes you  can take control of beauty treatments  with homemade products that use  safe, nourishing ingredients to pamper  the body and soothe the senses. Click on the book to read more about  Organic Body Care Recipes.

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Prepare IT | Athlete Food Fast


"Skills in the kitchen, rather than skills on the bike,  were such a limiting factor for so many of the athletes I was working  with.” - Biju Thomas


Gear to go for: The Feed Zone by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas


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I'm a huge fan of Biju and Allen's work.

 

Get a glimpse of their genius in the videos below:

 

Dr. Allen Lim's Beet Juice

 

Dr. Allen Lim's Rice Cakes

 

 

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Get After IT | Be great. Train great. Race great.


Get after it with...


A week of individualized performance training + nutrition with Jessi

 

A week of training at Athletes' Performance in PHX, Dallas, LA or Gulf Breeze

 

A race entry

 

A mountain bike skills clinic

 

A Functional Movement Screen

 

A massage

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WHATEVER YOU DO...GO GET AFTER IT.


BE YOUR BEST YOU!!!

 

Jessi Stensland | Elite Multisport Athlete | MovementU

1,429 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, nutrition, endurance, performance, multisport, holiday, jessi_stensland, jessi, stensland, functional_training, movement, self-massage

Yesterday I twittered:

 

"Killer  wrkout @ gym incl cardio system developmnt on treadmil. HR in 190s.  Hadnt committed 2 that n a while. Felt gr8! #bustinguphomeostasis."

 

kristmjo replied:

 

@JessiStensland what is cardio system development? Sounds awesome...

 

I  tried my best to respond in 140 characters but it was impossible to nail  the scope of it so I decided a blog post, even if brief, was a good  idea.

 

"Energy System Development (ESD) is the cardiovascular component of Core Performance training programs" says CorePerformance.com. I tend to call it Cardio  System Development in public because it gives people a better idea of  what I am referring to.  In the rest of this post I will refer to it as  ESD.

 

There is a comprehensive article on the Core Performance website here and I recommend the read.  For the purpose of this post I will relate  ESD, its relevance and application, specifically to endurance  performance.

 

Think  of it this way. Cardio capacity (including cardio strength, endurance  and power) is only ONE component of swim, bike and run performance.   Other components include: muscular strength, stability, joint mobility,  flexibility, elasticity, nutrition, sleep and mindset to name a few  (major ones.)  In purposeful performance training then, the idea would  be to maximize your body's ability to perform each and every one of  those elements and then coordinate them into a movement pattern that is  your sport.  For example: the ability to stabilize the spine in the  neutral zone and maintain pelvic neutral requires core, or PILLAR,  strength and stability.  Every minute of life, save for sleep maybe,  requires it (to stay free of chronic pain and to be able to perform any  action you want.)  Every individual movement, including the incredibly  dynamic action of running (which is simply a series of coordinated  movements) requires spinal stabilization and strength in order to be  properly performed, let alone produce power when and as needed.   Training your ability to do that, as many people have experience who've  done some sort of core training, is easier maximized by doing movements  that focus specifically on that element of performance, allowing us to  bring that strength and stability and posture to our daily life and  sport.  Said another way, its hard to work on, and certainly near  impossible to maximize, core strength while running, no matter how hard  you try.

 

Cardio capacity can be considered in much the same way.

 

Swim,  bike and run are all very different movements, though all requiring the  same strong spinal stabilization and strength.  Similarly they also  require similar cardio strength, cardio endurance and cardio power.  The  only major difference between sports is the dynamic movements required  to do that activity.  Additionally, it is also important that one's  cardio capacity is able to withstand, and complement, the demands of the  leg speeds, leg power and core power that each sport requires.

 

If you  only ever do swim, bike and run training for the sake of putting in  miles and minutes as many endurance programs do, without regard to the  precision and efficiency of each element going into the performance, it  is quite impossible to maximize each element they require in order to  reach true performance potential.  For example, you can get much better  elastic qualities of the muscles in specific plyometric movements (squat  jumps, hops, bounds and particular running drills, for example) than  you will in just running.  Training muscles and movements to be elastic  as a component of a training program is key to being able to bring that  elastic component to running. Ideally, one would then train their  movements in order to be able to also control that elasticity where/when  and as needed throughout a dynamic action such as running.

 

Similarly,  our cardio system needs to be maximized.  VERY VERY often I'm finding  now, athletes training for endurance are far from maximizing their  cardio system development.  They tend to hover around that threshold and  never bust through it.  Busting through that threshold (think sprint  interval training) - serves to INCREASE one's anaerobic threshold (AT)  thereby allowing an athlete to do more work at the same effort.  Sure  one's threshold will increase somewhat over time with some basic  endurance training and increased fitness level, but not often pushed to  its maximum potential. Simply stated when you go harder, over your  threshold, especially WAY over your threshold, your muscles are  screaming for more oxygen carrying blood and your body WILL respond to  that request immediately.  Muscles will develop to  be able handle those  demands, and over time it won't be so "hard" for you to get the  required blood flow and oxygen to those muscles.  Your body will soon be  able to do it quicker and more efficiently.

 

Think  of it this way.  Wouldn't you rather your heart beat at 180bpm than  160bpm for the same amount of effort...getting that much more blood and  oxygen transported to your muscles helping them do more work?  Energy  system development aims to do just that with purpose-driven sprint  interval training:  bust through that threshold often, thereby  INCREASING IT, and maximizing your performance potential.  Similar to  the elasticity example mentioned above, in which you may end up with  more elasticity than is needed for a sport or distance, you can then  choose how much of it you use instead of never having enough. The same  goes for cardio capacity.  If you increase your threshold to 180bpm from  160bpm (I say this because that is what I did in 2004 over a 3 week  period,) running at 160bpm feels quite a lot easier.  That is where  sprint interval training with the purpose of increasing cardio capacity  and anaerobic threshold can make a positive impact during a longer  endurance race, say a half marathon or marathon distance.  Incorporating  this type of training has the potential to play a major role in  maximizing efficiency and overall performance.

 

In a  lecture I attended last week, a study was referenced in which it was  found that 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produces biochemical  changes in the muscle equivalent to 10.5 hours of endurance training,  when looking at the markers related to endurance performance.  I  experienced the immediate and positive impact that purpose-driven  cardio system training can have when i was introduced to it within  the Core Perforamance methodology back in 2004 while training for the  Olympic Trials in triathlon.

 

Consequently  doing this type of training also allowed me to have much more time to  work on my strength, movement, recovery, things that most endurance  athletes don't think they have time for since they spend all the time  they have swimming, cycling and running many minutes and miles, often  with little purpose other than because that's what their training  program said and that's what everyone else is doing.

 

Side note:  ESD also involves download periods of recovery sessions as well.

 

There are any number of types of methods, intervals, times, etc. that can be used in cardio system development.

 

Yesterday my set was simply:

 

3 x [ 4 x (1min @ 10mph + 1min @ 6mph) ]

 

I  chose 10mph hoping I'd be able to hold that for all of the 1 minute  intervals, and I was.  My heartrate was getting up in to my "red" zone:   185-192bpm.   ESD has only 3 zones:  easy, hard, hardest. Red =  hardest.  I was recovering down to 155bpm during the 1 minute recovery  at 6mph.  I was way over my threshold on those 1 minute intervals.  My  goal is to be able to run 10mph at threshold as my race pace (5-10km.)   In other words: my goal is to be able to do the same amount of work for  much less effort.  A few more weeks of consistent ESD and that'll be no  problem.

 

Here's another example of ESD which I did on a client that gives some more insight into the power of  pushing through the 'threshold' of mind and body when it comes to  maximizing cardio capacity in endurance performance.

 

One  final note.  Notice in that twitter mentioned above I finished with the  phrase:  busting up homeostasis.  That I quoted from Nick Winkelman  during his brilliant lecture on periodization last week at Athletes' Performance's Phase 4 Mentorship. He mentioned, quite emphatically, that a goal of performance training is to bust up homeostasis.

 

According to Wikipedia, homeostasis is from Greek: ὅμοιος, hómoios, "similar"; and στάσις, stásis, "standing still".

 

Busting  up homeostasis therefore means to me the opposite of staying the same.   Creating change.  In performance training that would mean making an  improvement. I have seen DAILY improvements in my training, in one  element or another and often more than one at a time. I aim for daily  improvements in my strength, stability, coordination and cardio capacity  to name a few.  In that sense then, my threshold of today is higher  than my threshold of yesterday. Said another way: today's 100% is  tomorrow's 99, which means I can, and will, go harder and do more work  for my 100% effort than I did the day before.  It's a simple concept  that I hope will be more widespread in mainstream endurance training  programming sooner than later.

Much more where that came from, but there you go.

 

Go bust up homeostasis!!

2,359 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, endurance, performance, cardio, jessi_stensland, stensland

Venturing Off-Road

Posted by Jessi Stensland Apr 2, 2010

I would  have considered myself an off-road virgin…until last year.  For 10 years  I’d been racing triathlon on the road with the odd trail running race  mixed in. It was about two years ago that I started to get curious about  off-road multisport, went to watch a race and then borrowed a mountain  bike and did the 2007 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.  Still, 2008  passed by, and it wasn’t until January 2009 that I got my own mountain  bike, hopped into an extreme trail running race, did a 12-hour MTB race  on a 4-person team, and finally did an awesome off-road sprint triathlon  in a pristine park just outside of the craziness of Los Angeles, CA,  that I was fully hooked, almost immediately to the point of no return  (to the road!) More importantly, I’ve been inspired to inspire others to  venture with me and enliven their typical multisport experiences.

 

I  raced off-road more than I trained off-road in the beginning.  I  quickly realized I had to seek out new people and places for these new  adventures and in doing so, I ended up finding a whole new world, and I  love that I have so many more years to enjoy it!

 

I  continue to be amazed by the endless options I now have to enjoy  training, racing and challenge myself as a person and an athlete.  In  July last year I raced an on-road sprint triathlon near the ocean in  Carlsbad, CA, the following weekend I was up in the mountains in Big  Bear, CA racing an off-road duathlon and after that I did Muddy Buddy  Boulder with family on our vacation! In August I did the King of the  Rockies mountain bike race in Winterpark, CO and the SkirtChaser 5k in  Denver the same evening.  And in September I did an 8 mile trail run  called, Race to the Top of Mt. Baldy, just outside of Los Angeles, CA,  all uphill, with 4000’ of climbing up to the summit at 10000’.  The  terrain and views were absolutely heavenly and super hard all that the  same time.  I had no idea what I was in for, and I loved it!  That was  followed up that same month by an off-road duathlon (run-MTB-run) in  Comfort, TX and an on-road sprint triathlon in Connecticut for charity.  I’m having a blast meeting all types of people who love to do what I do  and seeing new parts of this beautiful planet we live on.

 

One  key thing that made my transition to off-road so easy and allows me to  be so diverse in my activities, is my performance training.  Before  sport-specfic training like swim, bike, run, I focus on training my body  to be athletic, powerful, injury resistant and therefore capable of  doing whatever my mind asks it to do.  This gives me the confidence in  myself and my body to jump into new challenges with two feet and without  worry of injury.  My key workouts (3-4 times per week for 60-90  minutes) include a joint focus on all the elements the body needs to get  the job done.  These include mobility, flexibility, stability,  strength, elasticity and cardio capacity followed up with sport-specific  drills for proper mechanics and movement efficiency.  Doing these  workouts makes me a better swimmer, cyclist and runner.  So with the  rest of the time I have, I go out an have a blast in my training any  which way I want. It all works together.  A body that moves well, is  more capable of coordinating movements in new sports, like mountain  biking and trail running for example.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t  made learning mountain bike skills a piece of cake!  I’ve taken quite a  few spills, but my body has handled it well and my progress has been  fast and fun.  The best part is my training on the trails, which tends  to include much more climbing, has transferred greatly to my power ON  the road.  It’s a win-win situation.

 

Props to the race  organizers committed to putting on these off-road races.  They put a lot  of passion, sweat and time into putting them on and often don’t see the  numbers of participants that their on-road attract.  I’m on a mission  to help them flourish and continue to be able to offer them!

 

Stay  tuned for more experiences, both on and off-road this year, along with  more of what I’ve learned and continue to learn.  If you haven’t gone  off-road yet, hope you’ll join me!

3,721 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon, performance, multisport, off-road, jessi_stensland

The other day I twittered this...

"Had client on treadmill @7mph for 1min.  Said it felt like 9 out of 10 difficulty.  End of 18min workout he's @10mph :15sec on :15sec off!  Possible!"

I thought it was worth a bit more explanation, especially after Jeff White inquired about the following on Facebook, "What adjustments do you attribute that kind of improvement?"

Here's the scoop.

 

Earlier today I had a one-on-one session with one of the participants from last weekend's MovementU here in Arizona.  I like to call these sessions performance consulting.  I enjoy them.  A lot.  They are tailored to the needs/wants of that individual person, and depending on the open-mindedness/curiosity/knowledge of the individual will also include some degree of learning "what you don't know you don't know." Today's was a two-hour interactive learn-by-doing kind of session in the gym.  It started off with someMovement Prep, then a rundown of key functional strength exercises includingdouble-leg front squats and single-leg balance squats, RDLs, rotational rowand anti-rotational chops and lifts along with some key TRX Suspension Training movements like the low back row and the single-leg chest press.

 

Then we headed for some Energy System Development (cardio) on the treadmill...and that's where it got really good.

 

The client:  40-year old male, tall, lean, athlete-back-in-the-day, new to running.

 

My plan for him was based on where I've started my own pre-season training in the past:

 

3 sets of 3 x [1min hard + 1min off] with an extra minute between sets.
Total of 9min of effort within a 20min period.  No sweat, right?

 

First I took him through a 7-8 min warm-up at about 5.5-6mph where I threw out one cue at a time to focus on and interspersed those with over-exaggeration drills (focus on one leg, then the other for example.) I also had him switch back and forth between his 'old' form and a stronger/taller 'new' form for about 15 seconds at a time.  He was more than warmed up by the end.

 

Then after a brief rest period we started the main set.  He did not know what speed he should start at so I took a stab at 7mph to start.  Here's how it went.

 

7mph for 1 min.  1 min off.

[Perceived exertion on a scale of 1-10 was a 7-8 (somewhat hard to hard.)]

 

7mph for 1 min.  1 min off. 

 

[Perceived exertion on a scale of 1-10 was a very out of breath, doubled over 9.]

 

Not a good sign for him making it thru another minute at that speed so I modified it...by INCREASING the speed.  Yes, you read it right, BUT...I decreased the length of the interval and increased the recovery period.

 

7.5mph for 30sec.  1 min off.

 

7.5mph for 30sec.  1 min off.

 

End of first set.  1 min break.

 

Second set...

 

7mph for 1min + 1min off. 

 

Watching him it hit me.  It was so apparent...and I told him so:  "7.0mph. That is LAME." He looked at me funny through the sweat that was dripping off his forehead into his eyes.  I continued "and you'll realize it.  Soon."  Little did I know I was going to make him realize it in the next 10 min.  But I had an inkling, and it went like this:

 

I got on the treadmill next to him.  Him: a fit-looking, tall, healthy dude, only running at 9min mile pace or so and for only 1 minute feeling like it was a 9 on a scale of 10 of difficulty.  No doubt it was, but I wanted more work done, for that same effort.

I put my treadmill at 10mph (6min/mi.)  We started the next interval together.  Him at 7mph, me at 10mph.  Without trying (at least I wasn't trying) our cadence was exactly the same stride for stride.  I would've loved to see this on video from the side.  All I could do is look down at his treadmill and see the logo on his tread coming around a lot slower than mine, but still our strides were in sync.  The minute finished no problem.  I hadn't even broken a sweat (which I was kinda stoked about not knowing where my fitness is at the moment, but that's not important here...) He did the interval fine.

 

He had one more minute of work left in that set. I asked him if he wanted to do another minute at the same speed or go higher speed for the :30 intervals again.  He gave a thumbs up.  Speed.

 

The 3rd minute of the 2nd set went like this:

8.0mph for :30 + ONLY 30sec OFF.

 

[Getting back to a 1:1 ratio of work to rest. Good.]

 

8.0mph for :30 + 30sec off.

 

1 min break.

 

The third set is where it got fun.  At this point, he was working his butt off, and I loved it.  For him it was that beautiful love/hate relationship (more or less is what I think I got from him.)

 

He admitted during this little break two things:

 

1.  He wouldn't have put the treadmill over 6mph.

2.  He rarely broke a sweat when he was running.

At the moment he was sweating, red in the face, breathing harder after that one minute of rest than he would've been during his entire run the way he was used to doing it.  His heart was working like crazy.  Awesome!

 

Then came the 3rd set.

 

He himself adjusted the speed for the first 2 intervals.

 

It looked like this:

 

1min @ 8.5mph + 1min off

 

1min @ 9.0mph + 1min off

 

He was WORKED.  For all intents and purposes DONE.  He had one more minute of work left to do.  So what did I do?

 

Jacked the treadmill up to 10mph and decreased the interval time.  Kept the work to rest ratio the same though.  I wanted any little leg speed he had in him even if only for 15 sec.

 

He finished his last minute of work this way:

 

4 x [15sec @ 10mph + 15sec off]

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Then I was satisfied. He was REALLY done. : )

 

Only 9 minutes of effort.  So much benefit. Pushing the cardio system to work over and above the anaerobic threshold causes an improvement, an increase in that anaerobic threshold.  The result?  He'll be able to do more work at the same effort next time OR do the same work (speed) will feel easier than it did the week before.  Leg speed got worked.  The core HAD to activate. He HAD to take control over it to keep his legs under him.  The harder I asked him to go, the harder he had to activate his core just to keep his legs under him.  Tightening things up.  Getting more out of his same effort.  Awesome.

 

So to answer Jeff's original question:

 

Was it mental?  Was it physical?  I'd say it was a little bit of both.  The mind is capable when given a purpose.  15 seconds is much easier to focus on and push through the effort than 1 minute.  If I ever think my mind or my body can't handle the interval, i'll shorten it and eek out my last bit of energy that way rather than slowing down to accommodate my mind/body.  I only gave subtle running form cues to the athlete during the workout.  Just by him having to try to keep his legs under him to achieve that speed, was causing him to run more biomechanically correct and efficient.  He wouldn't have been able to go that fast if he hadn't. So there's something to be said about working on mechanics, thinking through the process, but combining that with simply challenging the body to move the way it was born to move...is just as important in the performance process.

 

Redefine your 100%.  You can change it.  Daily.   You've just gotta push your limits.  Be curious.  Go where you haven't gone before!

 

More to come.

 

Move well!

5,085 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, triathlon, endurance, performance, jessi_stensland, movementu

Introducing MovementU

Posted by Jessi Stensland Oct 31, 2009

Created to combat mediocre mechanics that more often than not lead to chronic injuries or at the very least prevent athletes from reaching their true performance potential, MovementU aims to enhance the understanding of the body and what it requires to perform injury-free, energy efficiently and powerfully in life and in sport.

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INTRODUCTION TO MOVEMENTU


MOVEMENTU IN ACTION!

 

I was inspired to create the aptly named MovementU after seeing a need in the world of human performance.


“Mediocre movement has become epidemic, and even worse, acceptable.  Not coincidentally so has poor health, sub-par performance standards and chronic pain and injury in life and in sport. It became obvious to me that the problem was not the availability of solutions or the motivation to achieve.  Instead, it was in the inability to choose and/or implement the proper and most efficient day to day solutions for optimal health and sports performance, due to a lack of a basic level of knowledge about the body and what it requires to, quite literally, run.

 

MovementU’s goal?  Motivation through education. The U stands for university and a U-turn back to basics of human form and function.

 

It is important for people to realize that their health and performance is in their own hands.  It’s not about spending more time, but about spending your time efficiently.  Take right now for example. Stand or sit just a little stronger and taller with better posture.  It takes no more time to do that than to slouch.  If you don’t relate your inability to maintain proper posture directly to your day-to-day health and sports performance outcomes including injuries and finishing times, you don’t know enough about the body.  It’s not rocket science, but it can be as powerful.  And once you get it, you get it for life.

 

MovementU provides a practical and interactive education-based resource consisting of a website and workshops focused on communicating to athletes and non-athletes alike the foundational principles about the body and what it requires to perform to its potential in health as well as training and racing.  MovementU is not a training program, methodology or system.   It aims to make simple scientific principles of biomechanics and physiology relevant, relatable and retainable.  As one participant put it, MovementU “gets to the point of the point.”

 

It’s first workshop:  Swim Bike Run: Movement Efficiency and Performance is being held across the US this fall in seven cities at top performance training centers such as Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, AZ.  It is a full day interactive hands-on experience that discusses the roles and relationships of performance elements such as mobility, stability and strength as well as how they are directly related to one’s ability to move efficiently and powerfully in the sports of swimming, cycling and running.  It is designed to benefit all levels of coaches, trainers and athletes, from beginners wanting to start off on the right foot to seasoned athletes looking to avoid injuries or get an extra edge in their performance.

 

“We all left in awe,” says Keith Cook of Solis Performance in New Jersey who had brought a group of his athletes to MovementU in New Jersey. “We were taught how to go back in time and re-think.  We were provided the tools to re-train our bodies to perform efficiently and injury-free.  It was eye-opening.”

 

Upcoming dates and locations:

 

November 7, 2009 - Lake Forest, CA

November 8, 2009 - Vista, CA

November 14, 2009 - Phoenix, AZ

December 5, 2009 - Dallas, TX

December 6, 2009 - Austin, TX

 

I attribute my knowledge, understanding and ability to communicate performance to a few things.  Certainly my BS in Exercise Science from George Washington University didn't hurt but moreso I attribute it to my own inherent drive and curiousity to continue to understand my own body and push my limits of performance.  This ultimately lead me to Core Performance creator Mark Verstegen in 2004.  Since then I have worked extensively with his team to eliminate my movement inefficiencies in order to stay injury-free and performing powerfully.  It has given me a whole new perspective on my performance potential and that is what I'm driven to empower others with through MovementU.

 

USA Triathlon, USA Cycling and the American Council on Exercise have approved the course for continuing education credits.  A number of additional courses with a variety of focuses will be available in 2010.

 

For more information and details on the upcoming workshops, please visit the website at www.movementu.com or contact me directly at jessi@movementu.com.

 

Come join us and prepare to perform happily, healthfully and to your potential!!

 

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Here are three statements I've heard over the years, from all levels of athletes, that have made me cringe.  I've been thankful to have known differently and have always wanted others to know the same, whether they are looking to set a personal best, dealing with injury, or just believe they "can't run anymore."  There's a good chance I would not be running today, certainly to this level, let alone racing, if the following were true.

 

1. Injuries are inevitable and/or unavoidable and/or just a part of the sport.

 

2. If you want to run faster, run more and run faster.

 

3. Running is basically a technique-free sport.

 

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1. Injuries are inevitable?

 

Change that to: Injuries are avoidable. By taking responsibility for your actions, your body and your movements and committing some of your training time to creating injury resistance within your body, you can avoid chronic injury 100% and minimize your chances of acute injuries as well with increased body awareness, coordination and quickness of movement.

 

2. If you want to run faster run faster?

 

If you want to run faster, more often than not you'll benefit most from learning how you can be more efficient with your efforts every stride. Less efficiency = more energy leaking. Running farther = even more energy leaking, more pounding on the body, and greater chance of injury. Running faster can force the body into somewhat better running mechanics naturally, however it is not the cure all for inefficiencies in your running and will only get you so much faster and who knows for how long.

 

3. Running is technique-free?

 

Running is highly technical. At least efficient, injury resistant and fun running! Much like swimming, running is heavily driven by body position, mechanics, technique and efficient power production along the ground. Just as simply moving your arms and your legs around in the water does not constitute swimming (as it pertains to the sport,) the same goes for running. Understanding even the most basic running mechanics and being deliberate with movements during running is key to more efficient, injury resistant and, i'll say it again, FUN, running.

 

Think about it...then spread the word! : )

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