I've been Paleo for about 10 weeks. I lift heavy things 2-3 times per week, walk 3 miles twice a week, and do grueling ab workouts 30 minutes 3 times/week. I've lost 32 lbs, and look and feel better than I have since high school. It does not seem as though I've hit a plateau on weight loss yet - which shocks me!
I've thought about adding some sprints as described by Mark Sisson. Though I'm doing fine, I like the idea of mixing it up and adding new forms of exercise from time to time.
Here's the rub: I'm 40, and I'm afraid of getting hurt sprinting - specifically blowing out my achilles tendon. The typical person who blows their achilles is a middle-age man.
Anyone have any experience with this, or know anyone who has? Any thoughts about adding the sprints or, since what I'm doing works for me, should I stick with the theory that if it ain't broke don't fix it?
There's a much higher incidence of injury doing flat sprints vs. hill sprints. On a steep hill you can't really get going that fast, but you're exerting yourself to the same extent. Since the goal is the exertion, not the speed, it's a much better choice.
I can't imagine that sprints will hurt you. Just warm up well and ease into it. So, don't go out and kill yourself the first day. Go at 60% and then build up over time. Admittedly this is not my area of expertise, but after 15 years of inactivity I started doing Crossfit, which included a lot of sprints. I scaled... eased into it, and had no injuries.
I was doing 400m sprints yesterday and pulled a hamstring.
Nevertheless, I'm a huge advocate of them. 400m sprints, 100% effort, with a 3-minute walking rest between sprints. 8 of them.
Put in 100% and you'll get amazing results. Possibly as tough as it gets workout-wise but tremendous upside.
Just ease into the sprints. Make sure recovery is good. And you can do swim sprints, or on a stationary bike.
I like uphill sprints, but for that you need a hill...
Btw, 30 minutes of abdominal exercises???
If you have a history of fluoroquinolone antibiotic use, corticosteroid use (especially injections to that area), past history of Achilles tendon injuries, then, yes, you probably want to see a physician before embarking on heavy sprints. Otherwise, what Sara said--ease into it. The biggest risk factor, besides those specific medications and age is going beyond your range of motion and going too heavy right off the bat. Work on your ankle mobility, go easy and you should be fine.
The fitter and stronger you are the faster you can sprint, and the faster you can sprint the more likely you will get injury. Runners-sprinters often have muscle pull injuries in hamstrings and achilles tendons. They generate so much force, and achieve so high speed that overloads muscles (sprinters usually have huge!!! legs) and may pull or tear them. Make sure you strengthen you hamstrings with dead lifts, and/or kettlebell swings.
If you want to mitigate injury, and you don't already own a pair, consider getting a pair of minimalist footwear like Vibram Fivefingers. If you're going to slowly ramp up your sprints over the course of a couple weeks, this would be the perfect time to adapt to such shoes. As your muscles develop, you'll get a better workout and take stress off other areas of your feet/legs.
If you are healthy and have no injuries then there is no reason not to sprint. Sprinting doesn't give you injuries! Running/Sprinting with bad technique gives you injuries. Only efficient, well coordinated movement is healthy.
Assess and correct movement patterns. Physiotherapist Gray Cook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75-c_xYHZHQ
Coach John Siffermann:
http://physicalliving.com/natural-movem ... n-perfect/
Most people are far from optimal in their movement patterns (result of too much sitting). Look for a Functional Movement Test (Gray Cook) or even better: Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) . I did the FMS test some month ago. It is cheap and easy to do.
Another cause of injury besides bad coordination is overdoing it. Your tendons, ligaments and connective tissue in general have to adapt to the increased demand and this will take some time. More time than for muscles
So ease into it. But this is also true for weightlifting, climbing, martial arts or whatever movement you do. If your training load exceeds your current capacity you are at risk.
Ageism is bad for your health. All self-limiting belief systems are. So get rid of it. Don't think you are crap just because you are over 40 or 50. You are crap because of 30 years of unhealthy lifestyle.
74 year old Ernestine Shepherd has no injuries (5ks, 10 ks, Marathons, weightlifting). She started training at the age of 56.
Madonna Buder did the Hawaii Ironman at 77. She started training in her mid forties. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUp9v8A46dk
I have no probs with sprints. But I watch my technique, use barefoot shoes and started to learn POSE Running. I strongly recomment using a POSE Running Coach if you have problems with running or sprinting.
For warm up I strongly recommend Joint Mobility (no - not stretching) I do it as a warm up with my dance students . It helps to transform motor morons into better movers. Your muscles do exactly what your brain tells them to do. You have to talk with your nervous system, not with your muscles.
What is Joint Mobility? Coach John Siffermann explains:
http://physicalliving.com/tuesday-qa-wh ... sifferman/
Interview with Sambo Coach Scott Sonnon about joint rehab (he had severe joint problems as a young man).
http://physicalliving.com/exclusive-int ... ng-system/
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