Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interval Training - Mendo Style

I vowed to get stronger, faster, and more skilled this fall/winter and have been trying to stay on track with regular training. With limited hours of daylight and lots of other projects to do, this presents a problem. Fall/winter is also our favorite time to hunt and gather. Hmmm - the need for high intensity exercise and the need for hunting and gathering?

Ah-Ha!!! Interval training!!! For years athletes and fitness enthusiasts have used interval training to boost fitness levels. The general gist of interval training is interspersing bursts of high intensity effort with periods of low intensity effort. Here is my evolving Mendo Interval Training Plan for Forage, Frolic, Feast, and Fun.

Intervals in the Woods - Mountain biking and Mushroom hunting

How it works - Riding to specific mushroom patches and stopping to pick. Mountain biking on single track trails through the forest constantly engages the core muscles as well as challenges ones balance and timing. Short steep climbs and long sustained efforts provide cardiovascular training.
Cate mountain biking
Results - in 3 hours - cardio and core training, 2-3 pounds of choice edible mushrooms, fresh air, and FUN!!!

Variation - hiking and mushroom hunting. Not quite the core workout but a fun way to get a workout in while trekking to mushroom spots and sharing the adventure with friends who don't mountain bike.

Intervals at Sea
- kayak surfing and crabbing

How it works - setting crab rings in a sandy area near a surf zone and then going surfing. After 20-30 minutes, return to pull the rings which are hopefully heavy with dungeness crabs. Repeat 4 times. We usually end up sprinting between the crab rings and the surf zone and of course surfing always involves rolling.

Results - in 3 hours - an intense paddling workout(sprints, rolling, and salt water sinus cleaning), fresh dungeness crabs, and FUN. Lately I've been working on surfing a sea kayak and demoing a Dagger Alchemy. The day hatch is a handy place to transport and store crabs.

Variation - Dropping crab pots and going rock gardening - see CARS.

SUPing for Crabs
- (I got a SUP for birthday/Christmas this year). This week was our first time on the SUP's so we are still learning and developing this variation. The SUP is definitely a good core workout and a lot of fun.

Frolic, forage, feast, and fun is the theme of these evolving Mendo Intervals. Who knows where the adventures will lead next.


  1. Most of us want a sexier mid-section, a true beach body with flatter or ripped abs, but struggle to obtain the great combination of abdominal exercise to obtain the results we desire. We invest in ab exercise equipment and accessories and try just about everything we are able to believe of to function these stubborn muscles.

  2. Hi Suzie,
    Thanks for reading my blog. The website that you shared has a lot of really good information and I look forward to perusing it further. When one uses proper paddling technique, any of the paddlesports (kayaking, canoeing, and SUPing can be a great ab workout). Drop me a line if you would like a guest author to write about this for your site.