April 21–Primal Workout

One of the most important parts of your Primal Workout is to make the best use of your surroundings and to not be afraid to improvise as you move through the environment.

Tonight, the base of my workout was a run. For me, running is the toughest workout to do consistently. Even when I finally feel like I’ve made great strides to improve my running, following the event I’ve been training for I typically slack off. One of the ways I try to keep my running fresh is by taking the “Primal Approach.”

With the Primal Approach, majority of the run workout is…well…running. But, I spice that running up by changing the surface I run on–alternating between grass, dirt, hard sand, soft sand, pavement and sidewalks. Each surface presents its own unique challenges and helps train different muscles.

This evening, I was running along the St. Petersburg, Florida, waterfront–it was too nice not too. The temperature was in the mid-70s and there was a nice breeze out of the east. The sun was warm. The nice thing about the waterfront (at least in for my purposes) is that there is a small section of beach, lots of grass and along the water is a concrete seawall. For much of the run I’m on top of the seawall. The narrowness forces me to focus on my foot placement and balance–if I miss a step and stumble I either end up falling six inches into the grass or, in some places, six feet into the water or rocks or oysters at the foot of the wall.

One of the other things I did during my run this evening was what I call “quick steps” up and down the curb. Without breaking my running stride I quick step up and down the curb while still moving forward. Since I don’t have great woods trails to run all the time, this is a great way to help simulate the uneveness and explosiveness of trail running. It helps with your agility and balance. I did several sets of 10 on the way out and then on the way back on the same curb to work the other side.

On  my run back along the seawall, I would jump off the wall from time to time to jump up and run over some park benches. I finished with a nice sprint on the soft sand of the beach for about 100 meters.

Following the run I through on my backback–loaded with a small sandbag, some books and an old sweatshirt to help pad it out. I started walking…and then broke into some walking lunges. I made my way quickly back to where the seawall met the beach–where the sand was only 1-2 feet below the top of the wall and did some step-ups.

I was supersetting (circuit style):

Front Step-ups–one leg at a time 10 reps (so 20 total)

Side Step-ups–one leg at a time 10 reps (20 total). I stood next to the wall and stepped up with the leg closest to the wall.

Crossover Side Step-ups–one leg at a time 10 reps (20 total). I stood next to the wall and stepped up with the leg farthest from the wall (crossing in front of the other leg).

I did three times through the little circuit.

Then, I pulled my “ghetto TRX” (some old climbing webbing and improvised handles) and wrapped it around the pull-up bars on the beach. I put my backpack back on, dug my heels into the sand and did five sets of 10 horizontal pull-ups. I supersetted the pull-ups with push-ups. I did the push-ups with the pack on and my feet up on the seawall.

Next time I’m on that beach at the St. Petersburg waterfront, I have some other great ideas–but, that’s for another day at Kip’s Blog. Until then, train creatively and train hard.

~ by kipwkoelsch on April 22, 2009.

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