Martina is a powerlifting record holder, part of the Powerlifting Austrian national team 🇦🇹, blogger, health enthusiast and dog lover. We are very proud that she is a part of the GoPrimal family! As promised in our last newsletter here is her blog article on “Long Slow Distances” and how it can improve your overall health and longevity.
Long Slow Distances and what it can do for you
Believe me, I am not a walker, or a runner or a cardio enthusiast. Let me tell you how Long Slow Distances (LSD) enriched my life and how it started that I did this completely crazy stuff and why you should consider Long Slow Distances as a totally drug-free mind-blowing experience.
Take walks regularly aka. daily.
Turns out this is my number 1 top secret to being and staying a healthy athlete and individual. It’s priceless in many ways. Nobody makes ads for it – this usually sells it to me. You can sell foam rollers and all types of mobility equipment and recovery supplements, but ever seen an advertisement for taking a walk?
I look at it in a simple way, nobody profits from it but me. I don’t need any extra equipment. It can also serve a purpose for e.g.: getting from A to B.
My story of how I found Long Slow Distances
Hiking was fun as a kid but as a teenager, I hated it, mostly because it was family time and well, a family just isn’t the cool gang you hang out with as a teenager. My mum goes for uphill walks almost daily, SHE IS A FAST walker I tell you (she makes me feel like the most unfit person when we go for walks)
I realized I move so much weight during the whole week in my Powerlifting training that I needed to balance it out. Yes I know balance might be not the word you want to hear. After hitting the big weights hard and heavy I do not feel like crushing a Crossfit WOD or going all out on the Assault Bike. But what could I do? I was never the ‚recovery-row‘ person or the ‚taking it easy and doing mobility‘ athlete or the ‚I sit on the couch all day and eat‘ person either.
If you are like me you might need a life-changing event – like getting an energetic puppy – to be forced to go outside no matter what. If you are also like me you might not quite need a dog but a couple of good friends who instead of going for a coffee would go for a walk no matter if you have a dog or not. And if you are also like me I like making marginal changes with great effect. For example 2-3 per week, I walk to and from work.
It is about being capable.
Here is what I think is important for all athletes who are specialized no matter what sports. If it is Powerlifting, like me, or Crossfit, or Marathon running. You should to some degree be able to do the complete opposite of your specific sports.
I think marathon runners should do weight training and I think a powerlifter should have basic cardiovascular abilities. If you are a Crossfitter and are very good at combining movements and intensities, I think you should also be able to do single modality movements for a long time. ( Side note: I loved it that there was a marathon row at this years Crossfit Games 2018). No, you do not need to be great at it, but capable. I think if you can do a 300kg squat but are not able to do a single Pull up you failed at this thing called human survival.
I actually believe all humans should have a variety of physical skills according to their abilities.
It might not directly improve the weight on the bar or a race time. But it will affect overall recovery and health and therefore make you train better and injury free for your specific sports.
This is how I incorporate LSD – Long Slow Distances into my training week and on rest days.
During the week I do 2-3x 15-30 min of any type of mild cardiovascular endurance training. Like walking stairs or loaded walking after my heavy session to cool down.
On 2 of my rest days I do 45-60 min of low-intensity cardio definitely sweaty but on a low Heart rate. (I love this Stairmaster thing)
During the whole week, I schedule outdoor walks with my dog 3-4x outside in nature for a longer time.
And I choose 2-3 days where I walk to or/and from work.
Walking is one of the most basic and yet most effective ways to move.
If you have ever had an injury or any reason where you were not able to walk properly….You know how difficult it is and how normal walking is just GREAT.
Ask your grandparents, they know how to stay healthy. I guess experience is necessary to appreciate the simple things in life.
And we all love training, don’t we? I certainly do. And if something will make me train better I am so ready to do that. Are you?