Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dr. Caton's Totally Serious Strength Training Advice

I normally write about running, not strength training, but there's one thing I'm all about, in life and training: balance. So here are some basic truths about resistance training, as I understand them from my life and strength coach, Tom C.

1) Too much, too soon, too fast, is the starting point of any serious training regimen. Look up an advanced training plan for whatever it is you're trying to accomplish, and then do just a little bit more. It won't be fun at first, but you'll get there eventually.

2) Is it okay to work out while sore? Let me rephrase this. Is it okay to work out while NOT sore? No. If working out doesn't hurt REAL BAD, you're wasting your time. There's no way around it: you can't get fit and healthy without being disabled and in pain.

3) If you're not overtraining, you're not training.

4) Always make lots of extreme changes at one time. Especially diet and exercise together. For example: right as you start strength training, switch from a high-carb to a zero-carb diet. You'll find that after your meals of raw tuna, if you clench your teeth tightly enough, you can usually keep yourself from vomiting. After all, if your body doesn't want to go along with it - then it deserves to be punished anyway.

5) Consider yoga. Again, it's important to balance.

6) Serious training is always and only motivated by spite. Only anger will help you, young Jedi: against yourself and the world. Let the hate flow through you!

Next time: child-rearing advice! And if you have any problems with this, hey, take it up with the UCLA School of Medicine.

In Pennsylvania? Want to Help Preserve the Outdoors?

Then get your special PA plate! If you got one of those wildlife ones with the tigers on them, good for you for showing support, but the last time there was a tiger to preserve in PA was maybe never. Have to say it, these are cooler. Note to AT through-hikers: yes, maybe the plates should say Rockylvania, but you can only ask for so much.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

One Man's Trip Down the Whole San Joaquin River to the Golden Gate

CNN's JD Sutter did it in a kayak. You can find his Twitter feed here - scroll back to about June 14th if you want to read through the whole thing, which is worth it. (Trivia: Saint Joachim was Mary's father). Add this to yet another interesting/fun thing about the Central Valley, listed here.

One of Sutter's main points was to show how, like most highly-engineered rivers, it doesn't connect directly to the ocean anymore and dries up (photo below). The drought that we're in has made this much worse, and the ground has subsided almost an inch in the last two months in some places as a result of water being pumped out. As enjoyable as his trip was to read about, he really only lightly touched on the fisherman&conservationists vs farmers controversy, or whether it actually is a conflict.

Top: looking back at the San Joaquin river at one of the places where it just peters out. Bottom: the riverbed where it's just plain gone. Both from JD Sutter.

Other interesting observations: Sutter mentions that when he finally arrived at he Delta, he felt like he'd been teleported to North Florida. Good description. If you live in SF, take a drive out there some summer weekend. The demographics change to white and some Latino only (i.e., NOT San Francisco) and recreation consists of fishing, waterskiing, and relaxing in marina bars, with warm breezes that make you actually want to go swimming. Sutter also landed on Red Rock just south of the Richmond Bridge, which I've always wanted to do.