Train - Sweat - Succeed!

Compression Socks: Are They Effective?

Compression Socks

Walk in any CrossFit gym in the country and you are sure to see quite a few people wearing knee-high compression socks. These socks, also popular in the running and triathlon communities, are sold with the promise of improved athletic performance and quicker recovery. Certainly compression socks have shown great benefit as a means to improve circulation in people who have diabetes or are bedridden due to illness. As blood tends to pool in the lower extremities, … Read more

Active Recovery

Active Recovery

If you are a runner, a cyclist, or a regular at a CrossFit gym, you have probably heard the term “Active Recovery.”  The phrase itself seems a bit oxymoronic, but the concept appears to have some basis in science (More on that later). Active recovery is the use of low-intensity exercise to resupply nutrients to muscles and to speed up the removal of waste products produced during bouts of high-intensity training or competition.  Think of … Read more

What is Health?

What is Health?

What is health?  According to a 1948 definition by the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Ok, I like the broad definition which includes physical, mental, and social, but I am not so sure about the word, “complete.”  That word sets a pretty high bar.  The British Medical Journal has this to say about the WHO definition: “The … Read more

DIY Plyo Box: Build Two for $40

DIY plyo box

Plyo boxes are a fantastic tool to improve your vertical jump by building explosive power and strength in your legs. If you workout at a CrossFit gym, the plyo boxes are typically narrower at the top and have a wider base, and this helps you to avoid scraping your shins along the top edge. This style of plyo box can be purchased online. But, if you are have a table saw, you can build them … Read more

Lauren Fleshman: It’s Freaking Science Dude

Lauren Fleshman

Lauren Fleshman is a feisty, world-class, super fast middle and long distance runner competing as a member of the Oregon Track Club Elite team.  She is also a “smarty pants.” Yep, she has a BA from Stanford in Biology with a bonus MA in Education. But Lauren isn’t simply “book smart.”   She has combined what she learned in school with her running experience to create a real food refueling option called Picky Bars . Lauren, along … Read more

Usain Bolt: 41 Steps for 100 Meters

Usain Bolt 41 steps

Ok, so I am not Usain Bolt, and I never will be – I get it. But I would like to be a faster runner.  As I wrote about previously, I have a goal to run a sub-60 second 400 meter dash.  And given that I am currently 45 years old, that would be a pretty big accomplishment, especially since I had NEVER run track until last summer. Over the past 12 months I have … Read more

Thoughts from James “OPT” FitzGerald on the 400 meter and the 800 meter

Kirani James and David Rushida

The track and field events at the 2012 London Olympics have been exceptional – how about 19 year old Kirani James with a 43.94 Gold medal performance in the 400 meters?  I wonder if he will eventually break Michael Johnson’s record.  What about 800 meter super star David Rudisha and his NEW WORLD RECORD of 1:40.91?  All I can say is WOW. While we might look at these athletes as “genetically blessed,” the reality is … Read more

Amanda Smock: Peaking at the Right Time

Amanda Smock

Amanda Smock can appreciate the supreme disappointment felt by 90% of the athletes that competed in the Olympic Trials last month in Eugene, Oregon.  In 2008 at the Trials, Amanda placed fifth in the triple jump, failing to qualify for a trip to Beijing.  And following that failure, she was tempted to set aside her Olympic dreams and move on with her life. But in spite of a number of challenges, Amanda found the will … Read more

Amanda Beard: The Limitation of Labels

Amanda Beard

“People call these things imperfections, but they’re not, aw, that’s the good stuff. ” – Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting By all outward appearances, Amanda Beard’s life looks like a fairy tale.  As a 3-time Olympian and a 7-time Olympic medalist in swimming, Amanda has accomplished more as a competitive athlete than most people can dream about, much less realize.  However, her life out of the swimming pool has been less than perfect.  In her … Read more

Amy Yoder Begley Practices Perseverance

When American middle distance runner Amy Yoder Begley talks about preparing for the Olympics, she knows what she is talking about.  In 2008 she qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the 10,000 meters by crushing the last 800 meters.  However, her performance at the Games left her unsatisfied.  And, given her aspirations for London, in an ideal world she would be well into her preparations for the Olympic trials on June 22, 2012. But this … Read more

Elite BMX Rider Amanda Carr Chases Her Olympic Dream

    21 year old Amanda Carr is without a doubt a gifted athlete.  During high school she earned an incredible 17 varsity letters in sports such as golf, track and field, weight lifting and soccer, all while maintaining a 3.84 GPA.  But at this point in her life Amanda has narrowed her focus and is dedicated to a singular purpose, becoming an Olympic BMX Rider for Team USA and taking a medal in London. … Read more