A Short Bit About Fitness

Coaching Tip

Frequently, I’ll post about sports activities other than archery. Those are primarily cardio workouts. If you look over a USA Archery Training plan you’ll find blocks of time set aside for cardio fitness.

An early run in the woods – River has sprinted ahead
Riding a bike off road you come across neat stuff.

I enjoy running and cycling. Archery is my primary sport, but running and cycling where with me long before a bow. Lately, I’ve been running and riding on trails. Trail running is much more appealing that running on a road. Mountain bike riding isn’t more appealing that road riding. I just like being in the woods.

This mountain bike trail is just right
One of the locals in the woods is giving me the eye

Either way, off road or on road, cardio-fitness is a benefit to health and can keep you, as an archer, in better shape prolonging your enjoyment of archery. If you happen to be a 3D competitor you know some ranges can leave you huffing and puffing when you reach a stake. Should you be a hunter, you will know that hauling a kill out of the woods can be a major physical effort.

An ER Physician friend of mine says, “You’re not having fun until someone is bleeding.” I suppose I was having fun

I write about fitness often. That’s because I cross paths with too many folks, in all walks of life, that are not fit. It isn’t hard to be in shape. It is also better for you in the long term.

Finishing this day with 3D practice

Decisions, decisions.

Each year for the past several decades or so I have made a training and competition plan for the subsequent year. Before that, those plans were made by my cycling coach. Typically, it was done in December. Before December I would begin thinking about what events I wanted to complete for the next year. This year I am doing the same.

Before there was archery I raced bicycles, ran, and competed in duathlons and triathlons. Since I began shooting a bow, those events have dropped off the planning and competing list of activities to some degree. I continue to run and ride a bike, so it if impossible to not think about racing.

Marathons and Ironman events are floating through my head and dissolving pretty rapidly. I’ve run seven marathons. Four we just plan old marathons: Las Vegas, The Outer Banks, ING Miami and Tokyo. The other three we the final leg of Ironman events: IM Louisville, IM Lake Placid, and IM World Championship. They were all fun but a bit outside the zone where I raced best.

My best distances for a running race are 5Ks and for longer run a half marathon. I honesty have no idea how many of those I completed. To guess dozens would be an under-estimate. I could easily surpass a dozen of those in a single year.

It is hard to train for both running and shooting. It is harder still to practice to run, ride a bike, swim and shoot. Archery practices eats up about 3.5 to 5 hours per day. I still have time to run and ride, but I simply can’t add swimming to the mix. So, another triathlon is probably out of the picture for 2019. That is with the exception of a sprint. I have no doubt I will always be able to swim well enough to get through a sprint distance swim with minimal training. Sure, I’d lose some time during the swim, I always did lose time swimming, but I’d make it up on the ride and hold on during the run. No one wins a triathlon with the swim. That strategy served me well in the shorter triathlons.

Duathons, running and cycling, is something I might be able to add to my 2019 schedule. At the moment, duathlon remains only a thought. The primary focus is on archery.

When I am planning, expenses and travel is a matter of interest. Essentially, which tournaments are the best bangs for the buck? Two tournaments that are likely not to make the final cut are Lancaster and Las Vegas. Both will be costly and neither offers me much more than excitement. I’d need to be certain of a win before I made the investment to compete in either of those tournaments.

The USA Archery National Indoor and Outdoor Championships will more than likely make the cut. So will the NFAA Indoor Nationals. The Gator Cup is also likely to be an event I’ll want to enjoy. As far as the local events, such as State Championships, I’ll hit all those I can manage. The drive is usually decent and it will be a camping activity.

3D remains an outlier for perhaps another year. The ASA in Augusta is a strong probability and from there I’d consider another major 3D event. If there were IBO tournaments nearby I’d switch my 3D focus to IBO. But, IBO isn’t a big deal here in the Deep South having the Kennesaw, Georgia based ASA and a bigger local promoter of competitions.

Coaching tip

During the course of their career athletes need to set long-term, mid-term, and short term objectives. Developing an annual plan is essential in the growth of any athlete. By having an annual plan the athlete can establish goals for the next year that can be worked into training plans. Those goals can be associated with events and matched to practice sessions.

 

A Little Outdoor Adventure

The trails on my property at 0545

This morning, like the others lately, it was dark when I ran. Running trails in the dark is fun. Afterwards, I was at Ace Hardware in Social Circle, Georgia shooting at 18 meters. Again, a lot of fun.

Ace in Social Circle, Georgia

Here’s the thing, aside from archery, there are other ways to get outside. Actually, this morning I was inside while shooting. But, mountain bike riding is pretty much an outdoor activity and I chose to hunt for riding trails near my house during my midday workout.

2.68 miles from my driveway

So far I have only found a few. I can take my mountain bike over to Hard Labor State Park and ride; they have plenty of trails. That means time wasted making a drive. If I can find trails out here near my home, that is better and a time saver.

Most of these trails are short or blocked

Right now, I can pretty easily get an hour of mountain bike riding if I include a gravel road less than a mile from my driveway. That’s not too shabby. From that gravel road I can cut off onto several trails in the woods.

Several old buildings and what might have once been a church are falling down in the woods near my home. I wish I knew the history of them.

That’s what I did for an hour before heading home.  The trails are okay, they seem to have be made by ATVs. I’d have taken more time looking through the woods on those trails by there’s an afternoon archery practice waiting at home.

So, now that I’m off the bike, had a snack, I’ll head back into the woods and practice 3D.

Running, Archery, Cycling – With Archery in Mind

On multiple occasions I’ve written about health and fitness. Part of that is to provide examples of how to increase your quality of life and maybe add some years to your life. There could be some unfortunate accident that ends mine too some but there isn’t much anyone can do to avoid unforeseeable events. I go into methods of staying alive as long as possible in my book, Simple Ways to Add to Your Life, which is available in Amazon. On this site I basically share some of my activities. Included among them are running, archery and cycling.

Buy my book. Inexpensive, few typos, not too many words

Everyday, I try to run and ride a bike. Everyday I follow a training plan for archery. These other physical fitness workouts are in support of living longer and become a better archer. An example of this is:

Coaching tips
Starting to get light

Wake up, and after stretching and having breakfast I trail run. Right now it is dark in the morning when I start running so I wear a headlamp. I am also wearing bright orange. On my run course I pass 5 deer stands. So far, no hunters, but that is probably going to change soon. On the weekends I stay strictly on my land. During the week I hit other trails not on my land. Those trails are locally known as renegade trails. Meaning the trails have been cut through private land without permission.

I just run them. These trails are all over the place
I pass tree stands everyday in the woods

I understand there are hundreds of miles of renegade trails around Athens. Most were cut by mountain bikers. I can’t say who cut the trails leading off my property but I am using them. There are zero no trespassing signs.

I also run pass these and mostly run smack into them

After running I move directly into archery practice. At the moment it is 18-meter practice. Today, rather than shoot another three-spot I took aim on a five-spot. The primary objective of today’s practice was follow through so I didn’t matter a lot whether I shot up a three-spot or a five-spot.

Time to change practice

Archery practice in the morning lasts an hour and a half to two and a half hours. From there it is usually lunchtime. I have a light lunch and almost always take a short nap. By short I mean 30 to 40 minutes. I always take that break lying on the floor. The trick is to be comfortable enough to doze but not so comfortable that I fall into a complete REM cycle.

This is one smoking fast bike

Once I get going again it is time to head out for a bike ride. Cycling in and around Athens is just about as perfect as it gets. I don’t take real long rides, only an hour or so. When that’s done it is back to the archery range for another hour to two hours.

A couple of days a week I go to the gym and lift weights. I’m not trying to build body mass, just support the muscles I do have.

It can be a grind. But, by setting goals, measuring the results and finding ways to keep things fresh makes this is a good system to become better at archery.

Buy My Book – It Might Help You Live a Bit Longer

Writing this. “Simple Ways to Add to Your Life,” was easy. Editing was an entirely other matter. I think I finally have the revised version online at Amazon. Even if it isn’t the edited version, the typos aren’t all that confusing. Here are the typos from the unedited version:

The (left out.  I put it back.)

Se(she ‘h’ missed, also fixed)

Done (should have been down.  It is now down.)

Dpre- (shoud just be pre-.  Amazon keeps telling the the typo is there.  I changed it.  I can’t find it after the change.  You might.)

Exercsie (Should be, you guessed it, Exercise. Amazon claims the error is in the tex. Can’t find it either.)

And a few more ‘opps’ errors – maybe. I think they’re all accounted for.

There are not a whole lot of words in this book. It is  like those old school self-help books –  less than 10,000. You can read it in one sitting. If just under 10,000 words is still too many, buy the book, go to the last page, it is all summarized there. (If I could have done this with pictures or cartoons, that’s all I’d have used.)

Buy My Book – It Might Help You Live a Bit Longer! It is also very inexpensive. Of course, you’ll never know whether to not following these five easy steps added any years to you life. But, you can know is that these steps are associated with longevity. You can just buy the book and not read it.  I’ll appreciate the small payment ($4.99)

 

Some Days I Get the Range Pretty Much to Myself

Typically, I practice archery at home. I’ve got a really nice range. The archery butts are a mess. But, a short walk versus and 30 minute drive to shoot at an indoor 18-meter range is a real pleasure.

When it is raining I’ll still shoot at home unless it is just too much. With Hurricane Michael bringing wind and rain I decided to make the drive to stay dry.

The range,at Social Circle Ace Hardware, is nice, has good lighting, the butts are in pretty good shape and arrows are easy to pull. There’s always a bit of friendly conversation from the pro-staff. It is a bit of a drive but the atmosphere makes up for the hour round trip loss of time.

All arrows shot from the same position.

It is usual to find a few other shooters at the range. The past two days, I’ve pretty much had the place to myself. Other archers came in, shot a few arrows and left. I don’t think anyone came in and practiced more than 15 minutes. They seemed to be simply checking out their equipment for hunting.

No matter, I was there for a good long time and got my money’s worth. Oh, that’s the other thing; at home I don’t have to pay an extra fee to practice. (It isn’t too pricey)

It Was Like Being Chased

We took a week for vacation. Granted, Brenda and I are officially retired. Still, she teaches yoga and I work hard trying to become a seriously competitive archer and archery coach. While there’s little money in those endeavors, they each represent a form of work. As such, we needed a vacation from our normal routine. Hence, a vacation.

Vacation was a trip down to Panama City, Florida. We loaded the Winnebago and headed south. Along the way we stopped in Cordele, Georgia and camped at the Veterans Memorial Park. On reaching Florida we met up with our life long friend Ken who was camping as well.

Pitt Springs

Before we hit the road, I’d been looking at a disturbance in the Caribbean. At that point it was only rain and a little wind. But, the pattern suggested that sooner or later it could become a hurricane. I was thinking, maybe we’d make it through vacation before this area had a chance to turn into a storm.

Camp Helen

For a few days vacation was wonderful. We visited parks, springs, ate great food and hung out on the beach. On Monday, October 8th, I said to Brenda and Ken, “You know, I think we should get out of here. That storm is going to come this way.”

Panama City Beach

I could tell Brenda didn’t want to head home. Ken wasn’t too eager to leave early, either. Actually, Ken had plans to depart and head northeast in his motorhome toward Savannah, Georgia in a few days from Monday.

Not looking good at all

It took only a small amount of effort and showing them the track of Hurricane Michael before we decided to part ways with Panama City. As Ken looked more closely at the potential path of the storm he remapped his planned trip and headed northwest – away from the projected path.

Palm trees are seen during a Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida, U.S., October 10, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. WeatherNation/via REUTERS

By Monday afternoon Brenda and I were in Cordele, Georgia, again. Hurricane Michael was now a Category 3 storm and aimed directly at the campground we’d left earlier in the day, or so it seemed. By Tuesday, Michael was a Category 4 and passing through Florida aimed at Cordele. On Tuesday we were back in Good Hope, Georgia, just outside of Athens. On Wednesday night Michael was knocking down limbs, flipping over trees and pouring rain on us. Michael’s punch was merely glancing  for us but enough to feel we’d be chased.

Hump Day

It’s Wednesday. Sunday was a recovery day. Since then I have an hour and a half of running, an hour of stretching, three hours of cycling, a trip to the gym, and nine and a half hours of archery practice under my belt.

Big Sky over a bicycle ride near Athens, GA

This morning we, River my lab, and I were practicing. Well, I was practicing and entertaining my canine companion between ends, which is mostly tossing sticks as I walk the 18-meters back and forth to pull arrows. River seemed to have more spring in her step than me.

River runs with me in the morning. She’s almost 9 and still has plenty of spring in her step.

Working toward an athletic goal is demanding. At times it can be grueling. The long-term effort needs to have breaks. Those breaks are periods for recovery. On Thursday we go on vacation. On this break I am not bringing a bow. I will, however, bring a mountain bike and running shoes.

The sun is coming up later as winter approaches and the air is cooler at 8:00 am in the morning.

The cycling will be easy active recovery rides. Running may turn out to be walking. For sure, after archery practice this afternoon I won’t pick up a bow for a week. If I carried one on the trip I would no doubt be tempted. But, I also know that rest is too important to take for granted. So, the bow will be left behind.

There’s a coaching tip in this post.

 

A Beta-Blocker and Pot Use Bust at Vegas

Chris Perkins has been named 2018 Champion of the Vegas shoot. The 2018 Vegas shoot has long passed. The prior champion was busted for using a beta-blocker during competition and the USADA found THC in his tested samples.

THC, the active ingredient is marijuana is legal in some states. But, you can’t smoke dope and legally compete in WADA sports. At the first Olympics where snowboarding was introduced the men’s gold medalist was stripped of his award because he tested positive for pot. Looking back at that situation it comes as no surprise.

Pot is legal in 9 states and legal for medical us in another 30. In other states it is decriminalized or illegal. I don’t know where the busted Vegas ex-winner lives, but perhaps his home is in a puff free zone. Either way, smoking a joint isn’t going to improve shooting a bow. I think the THC ban by WADA and the USADA is a bit puritan, but don’t really care enough to make a big deal about it.

What I do care about is the use of beta-blockers. Beta-blockers can improve shooting. I’ve fussed about beta-blockers on this site in the past. For archers with conditions that require use of beta-blockers they can apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). For the archer that simply wants an edge beta-blockers are easily within grasp.

When I raced bicycles I can say with complete confidence I have trained with and raced against dopers. Sadly, in archery I can say with conditional confidence (no testing done to prove or disprove) I have competed against archers using a beta-blocker without a TUE.

https://www.thevegasshoot.com/news/perkins-named-2018-vegas-champion-following-disqualification-of-eyler

 

The Big Dot Versus the Little Dot

The big ten on a 3-spot has been a nine for a while. The little dot, which was once an X is now just a ten. Shooting an ego friendly 300 or 600 isn’t what it once was. In fact, it is gone.

I admit, I am as yet to feel the satisfaction of a 60X or even a big dot perfect score. But, Lord, I have come close on the old big ring ten. Through the first 10 ends this afternoon I’d dropped two. By the final arrow I’d dropped six, all by just a hair.

Against the small dot X, now just a ten, I finished the day with a 576. So many were so close. My goals are to shot on average 590 aiming at the small dot and 600 on the old big ten.  The misses are just so close.