Health, Muscle & Fitness Articles Section
Home - Fitness & Muscle | Muscle Building Articles | Cardio Articles | Fitness Equipment Articles | Weight Loss Articles | Exercise Articles |
Yoga Articles | Supplement Articles | Exercise Motivation Articles | Nutrition Articles | Acne Articles | Breast Cancer Articles | Beauty Articles |
Attraction Articles | Dating Articles | Depression Articles | Diabetes Articles | Goal Setting Articles | Hair Loss Articles | Martial Arts Articles |
Meditation Articles | Motivation Articles | Pregnancy Articles
Running in The Zone: A Personal Account
Running in The Zone has to be one of the most satisfying experiences. When it all fits together it can seem effortless and intensely rewarding. But why are some runs better than others? Is there anything we can do to help ourselves get into The Zone? Here is a personal account of one of my most memorable runs.
I hadn't intended to go for a run following a ten miler the day before. But it looked such a beautiful summer's evening I was tempted to get out for a three, maybe four mile jog. Following a warm-up I headed out at around eight o'clock. I wasn't disappointed. It was perfect evening for running with a light fresh breeze, warm air and the birds singing.
I headed off down the hill and started my checklist - jaw is free not tight; I'm aware of my skull sitting on top of my spine and I've not stiffened my neck; my shoulders are relaxed and my arms swing freely from their ball and socket joints; I'm allowing the air to enter my nose and letting the ribs move into the gap between my torso and arms. I think 'light arms' to open up the muscles in the upper back to keep my upper body poised. Next I apply awareness to the space where my hips joints are and allow the legs to swing freely from these points. I maintain all of these thoughts as I allow my lower legs to fall and bounce back from the road giving me a lift right back up to the top of my head. That's it! The hand break is off. A sudden lightness and simultaneous feeling of release and elation tell me I'm there. I'm now in the zone. I pass the first mile mark - a turn in the road.
I have consciously reached the zone by removing all the obstacles that prevented it happening. Because it was a conscious process that brought me here I am able to consciously maintain it.
Seemingly without effort, the hedgerows begin to flow by faster as I get a lift from the road's surface. I keep up with my thinking, I call it 'interactive awareness', but it's easier now as once there it requires no effort to maintain - its all encompassed in one thought.
Another two, three then four miles pass by and my pace is good. Perhaps slow by some standards but for me its fine; in fact it doesn't really matter at the moment. I turn off the main road and start a climb of about half a mile. I consciously check for signs of my old habit of getting set to climb the hill. My face is free, no facial expression required to try harder in anticipation of this fairly steep section. I allow my arms to open up a little to increase the swing and imagine my head is releasing forward and upwards to lead my body up the hill. As the gradient gets steeper I become aware of a greater push (ground reaction force) and allow it to propel me up the hill as I keep my knees released so my lower legs stay swinging. My breathing has increased but I maintain an 'upness' and soon see the top of the hill.
Once over the brink I slow my pace a fraction and let the air flow into my lungs. With the hill out of the way and my breathing recovered I start to think about increasing speed. I hold this thought for a moement to prevent any inappropriate effort building up. Not too long ago this action would have brought my shoulders up and my head back as I pushed the pace. Now I just keep my shoulder and hip joints free and become aware of the direction my elbows and knees are moving. Even though I have followed this procedure thousands of times before, I still get a lift from seeing it in action. With little perceived effort I am now moving much faster. I have about a third of a mile to go downhill. I check that I'm not braking in fear of falling over - again another old habit. Letting go of my legs and keeping the hip, knee and ankle joints free I release and let gravity bring me down the gradient.
Dark clouds are gathering but the evening sun is still peeping through a slit in the horizon bringing a reddish tint to the cornfields on either side of the road. A warm light rain begins to fall and I get a picture of Gene Kelly singing in the rain. I feel his joy and there is 'a smile on my face'. I pass the old barn with the rusty green tractor and know that's seven miles. In another half-mile the road forks; the right one takes me home in about a mile; the left fork opens up more options. On some of my previous runs there would have been no debate as the short route home is very tempting. Tonight there is no question of ending it so soon and I head left taking me away from home. I don't care about planning out any directions because at the moment I feel I could run all night.
I guess I've now covered about ten miles and start to feel the first signs of fatigue. I run though my checklist again to find my shoulders have lifted a fraction and I have collapsed a little in the torso. With this realisation I am able to release the shoulders, release my arms and return to a lighter state as my breathing opens up again.
I reach a crossroads and know it is three miles from home if I turn right; five miles if I go straight over; and God knows how far if I turn left. I make an informed decision and turn right, after all I don't want to spoil this evening my pushing myself too far. The last three miles are a joy, partly due to maintaining an efficient style but mainly because I know I'm nearly home where a well deserved cool drink and bath are waiting. The rain has stopped and I can just see the sun starting to sink below the horizon. I arrive home and stay on a high until I go to bed.
This is why I run. Not for glory, not for achieving personal bests, its for times like this when everything comes together creating a feeling like no other. I'm fully engaged, being in the moment, enjoying every moment. This is living consciously in the here and now where I have total control and nothing can stop me.
Roy Palmer is a Teacher of The Alexander Technique and author of The Performance Paradox: Train Smarter to enhance performance and reduce injury. More information can be found at http://www.artofperformance.co.uk. He works with sports people of all abilities to recognise and overcome performance-limiting habits.
Dumbbell Routines & Exercises eBook - Click Here
Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days Or You Get To Keep This Breakthrough eBook FREE!
"Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines To Help You Gain More Muscle, Lose Weight, or Just Get Yourself in Better Physical Shape... WITHOUT the Hassles, and Expenses of Health Clubs"
"Instant Access to An Illustrated, PDF Ebook That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get In Better Shape in 90 Days or less - Or Your Money Back!" Get the scoop here.
"Instant Access to
Downloadable Guide That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get
In Better Shape in 90 Days or Less - Or Your Money
Back! Learn More."
Serious Fitness Supplements - Muscle Builders
"A Completely Different Approach To Bodybuilding That Can Build Your Physique To Its Maximum Genetic Potential!"
A step-by-step guide that teaches you the secrets, tips, and techniques you need to know to build a chiseled, muscular, ripped, head-turning physique...FAST!
The "Hyper-Growth Muscle Mass Training" course is an extremely effective natural human growth hormone stimulator and packs on slabs of muscle mass, size and enourages hypertrophy faster than you would've ever thought possible...while burning off body fat like crazy!
Highly recommended! Click Here For Maximum Muscle Growth
Fitness-and-Muscle.com Site Navigation
Home Page | Muscle Fitness Magazine | Muscle Fitness Hers | Fitness Supplements | Muscle Supplements | Fitness Muscle Equipment | Muscle Building | Fitness Competition | Muscle Compeititon | Arm Muscles | Home Fitness Workout | Huge Muscles | Muscle Building Workout | Fitness Muscle DVDs | Fitness Accessories | Fitness Dating | Muscle Fitness Articles | Muscle Links | Contact Us
How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness
Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise according to the U.S.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
The real benefits of aerobic exercise are achieved by increasing your heart rate and breathing hard for an extended period of time. During this aerobic activity your body produces more energy and delivers more oxygen to your muscles.
Cardio-Boxing for Super Fitness
The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:· Increased Stamina · Increased Strength · Increased Speed · Increased CoordinationCardio-boxing also promotes a person's well being by strengthening their self-discipline and combined with strength training it's well and truly the total package for self-defence and fitness and usually consists of:· Adjusted heart rate work · Actual boxing techniquesThe usual workout consists of the age-adjusted heart rate work starting with 10 minutes for beginners and leading up to 20 minutes for the more advanced. For the second part of the workout, you'll need to perform and practice 20 minutes of actual boxing techniques.
Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time
What if I were to tell you that most if not all of the cardiovascular exercise you do was worthless? Well, guess what? over 50% of the people who perform cardio in an attempt to burn fat are wasting their time? hours and hours of it! Are you one of them?Before you call me crazy, let me explain. I'm not saying that cardiovascular exercise can't or doesn't burn fat; it's just that most people are not performing the right type of cardio workouts.
Run for Your Life
Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However, it is common for people to blame running for injuries rather than accept that it may be how they run that is at fault.
An Alternate Fitness Tool
Any competitive or recreational athlete will use a variety of cross-training methods or tools to complement their particular sport or to meet their fitness needs. One such tool that is becoming increasing popular is the Kickbike.
Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio
So, you're doing cardio religiously and you're not getting any results?What's the deal?! Good news. You're probably just making some minor mistakes that need to be corrected.
Chronic Headaches And Pain Often Can Be Eliminated By A Special Dentist
Denver, Colorado/Las Vegas, Nevada-Sometimes as Freud once said, "A good cigar is just a smoke." A headache, on the other hand, occasionally can be a sign of something much more serious than just a headache.
Fat Burning Exercises
Fat burning exercises are the slow, aerobic, long duration types of exercise that involve most of the major muscle groups. Your body will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat with lower intensity cardio exercises.
Playing Your Cardio Right
To many, that half-hour a day is the most enjoyable, most therapeutic part of your agenda. To others, it's as dreadful as taking out the trash and doing the dishes.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits
There are so many elliptical trainer benefits to list that some would say it's the perfect way to exercise. Elliptical exercise trainers meet the overall need of any exercise program.
Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 2
The previous article looked at postural issues and possible muscles imbalances involved with cycling. Now that we have an understanding of the imbalances that arise from a prolonged cycling position, we can develop an effective program for correcting those postural distortions.
What Should Runners Think About?
What do you think about when you are running? Does it make a difference? Research suggests it definitely can.A survey into what runners think about when competing identified four categories.
Walking for Your Health
Walking is the easiest way of exercise because it is accessible at anyplace, anywhere and anytime. Several studies show that walking can:* reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile* reduce body fat* enhance mental well being* increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis* reduce the risk of cancer of the colon* reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes* help to control body weight* help osteoarthritis* help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of fallsAlthough walking can reduce body fat for weight loss purpose, it is actually not an effective option of exercise, because it doesn't burn lots of calories and only bring small increase in metabolism.
Guidant Corporation Recalls Heart Defibrillators
A worldwide recall was announced by Guidant Corporation for nearly 50,000 of their heart defibrillators due to potential malfunctions in these devices.Although the U.
Benefits of Elliptical Training
The basic motion of an elliptical trainer is a smooth, flowing..
Stay in Shape - Cycling Workouts For the Winter Months
It's that time of year. The time when you decide it's fine to ride in 12 degree weather.
Burn 340 Calories a Day with Aerobic Exercise
Strengthen your heart and lungs and give your body a wonderful shape with Aerobics.Aerobic Exercise - Improve your fitness the right way.
Cardios Effect on Overall Health
When most people hear the word "Cardio", their mind automatically pictures jogging, or threadmills, or stationnary bikes. Yes, those are some forms of cardio.
How To Start a Running Program
Running or jogging is one of the best ways there is to lose weight fast. It burns tons of calories and gets your body burning fat.