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Stair Running and Jump Rope Conditioning Workout:

John Wood, Conditioning Workout 7-14-2008
John Wood, Conditioning Workout 7-14-2008

"If you can not measure it, you cannot improve it" - that's what Lord Kelvin once famously said back in 1883, and exactly the reason why I am very particular and adamant about timing and keeping track of everything I do in my training.

One thing I always wanted to be able to do was to see what my running workouts looked like "under the hood" -- sure, I was running hard... but just how hard was I running?

I decided to invest in a super-duper heart rate monitor which measures pretty much everything that possibly can be measured. It was billed as an entire performance lab that you wear on your wrist -- and it certainly is... and it is one of the very best purchases I have ever made.

I added the boxes and titles but above is a look at the type of graph of I can generate with the hard data from yesterday's workout:

  • 17+ stair "reps," followed by a 2-minute rest, followed by 30 seconds on/30 seconds off jumping rope for 15 cycles, followed by 1-minute rest, followed by 2 more trips up the steps

  • You can see all of this represented physiologically in the graph. You'll notice that Maximum heartrate (the red graph at the very top) follows the activity phases pretty well and drops during the rest periods although over the entire 30-minute workout, my heart rate averaged 160 beats per minute -- that's almost 85% of my age calculated max maintained throughout the entire workout -- in other words, a real ass-kicker.

    Speed is the blue line along the bottom, measured with a foot pod. The speed graph shows the changes while going up and down the steps although when I jump rope, I basically stand in one place so it doesn't change much.

    This workout was a PR, but I'll beat it soon...

    I have talked about the inportance of conditioning on several occasions -- and it cannot be stressed enough. Do it and you will get stronger, yes, this includes your
    grip strength.

    I'm obviously into "gadgets" with this kind of thing but this level of technology is not necessary to get in phenominal shape, all it really does take is a willingness to go out and do it.


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