Category Archives: Technique

Aerobic Fitness Measurement: VO2Max

VO2 Max Chart

Appalachian State University is conducting a running  study via the North Carolina Research Campus Human Performance Laboratory. I voluntarily signed up for the test with a couple other friends and today was the baseline appointment. Baseline included a VO2Max test, BOD POD body composition, stool and blood sample.

This was my first VO2max test which came in at 67.2, along with a max heart rate of 185 BPM. According to the VO2Max norms, for my age, I am just shy of Olympic (70+).

My body fat percentage was a lot higher then predicted. At the weight of 147.7lbs and a height of 69.3 inches, my true body fat was 11.1% according to the test. I hope training and a strict diet will push this number down over the next months.

My friend Ras during his VO2 Max Test




Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Of course you did, everyone does.

Have you fulfilled your resolution or goal? If not, your goal might have been too vague.

Let’s break down an example: lose weight.  Sounds simple right? If this was your goal, 9 times out of 10 you would fail. The reason– you have no way to measure success. Now, if your goal was lose 10 pounds, you would actually have something to work towards, thus improving the chances of success.

1. Keep your goals simple. If complex, break into multiple goals, focusing on one at a time.
2. Ensure direction by adding a number, or commitment date.
3. Partner up with someone else with a similar goal

Now the easy part, what’s your new goal?

photo credit- Flickr: aknacer

Steps per minute

Photo by Esbjorn Jorsater

What is the ideal number of steps per minute, regardless of your pace? The correct answer is 180 steps. Proper running form makes you a more efficient runner. Not only will your turnover improve, but your landing shock will decrease, causing less damage to your legs.

Next time you are out running, try this simple trick to calculate your stride rate:

  1. Count the number of times your left foot hits the ground during 60 seconds.
  2. Next, multiple that number by two.
  3. BAM! You now have your steps per minute.

If your count is below 180 don’t frown, over time try to increase your turnover by taking quicker steps. At first this will feel unnatural, give it some practice and you will run faster and reduce impact.

Best Butt Exercises

Running is a lifestyle…with any lifestyle there will be challenges, especially the challenge of dealing with a small butt. First, I would like to state this article is not for everyone, as some runners have great buns, yet others will have a small or no butt at all. Let’s try this first. Stand up and checkout your butt, take a good look…are you happy with it? Your answer is probably no, don’t worry there is hope.

This will be a two-part blog. The first part will focus on the butt muscles how to enhance shape and gain strength. The second part will focus on the right active wear and jeans to make your butt look the best (still in progress).

The butt is composed of 3 main muscles:

Gluteus maximus –  The largest and most predominate of the three muscles, responsible for hip extension, or moving your thigh to the rear

Gluteus medius – Second largest gluteus muscle, serves as an abductor (lateral movement)

Gluteus minimus – Smallest gluteus muscles, responsible for balance (supporting the body while on one limb)

Remember, the gluteus muscle fibers do not run vertically, instead they wrap around the bone, almost at a 45 degree angle.

Continue reading Best Butt Exercises

Running with your slow friend

Mike Baird photos

Your friend asks if you want to go on a run…you balk with some excuse, when the true reason is they are just a slower runner. Here are three approaches to help you deal:




Let’s start out with the easiest, the truth. Be perfectly honest, explain that you are training for a race. This will take the pressure off, as your friend will understand that you are a stronger runner, going for fast mile splits or a quick tempo runs. Or, if they do not get the hint, just tell them you plan on running at a fast pace today and you do not want to make them uncomfortable- a good friend will understand.

Why lie to your friend? Not only is lying to your friend not cool, but it could create a bad relationship plus invoke some bad-karma, like an injury in your future.

My favorite, the compromise. Ok, you plan on doing 10 miles, your friend asks you to do 3 miles (at a slower pace), what do you do? Run 10 miles, then do a nice and easy recovery run with your friend. Miles accomplished, plus you ran with a friend, and gained a few miles. Another solution is to schedule your slower friend runs on your recovery days. Slower pace + miles + friend = great run!!