Archive for February, 2010

Western States 100

Posted in Endurance, Life on February 27, 2010 by gregbashore

Wild At Heart

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on February 24, 2010 by gregbashore

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive” (Gil Bailie)

“Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an adventure to be lived” (John Eldredge)

“Two roads diverge in a wood and I,
I took the one less travled by,
And that has made all the diffrence” (Walt Wittman)

“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36 NKJV)

“Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit” (John Eldredge)

“The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. It is always frontier and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed” (Howard Macey)

Genesis 23-28

Posted in God's Word, Life on February 22, 2010 by gregbashore

Do we underestimate God? Is it that God doesn’t speak to us or, are we simply not listening? Giving him the chance to speak?

I’ve read through the life of Abraham, Isaac and now I’m reading about Jacob. And the one thing that I notice time and time again is the interaction between God and man. It’s truly amazing to see how God simply talks to man. Tells them constantly how he is going to bless them. Given them details of how they should live their lives. And constantly making promise after promise to them. Always reminding them how he will bless them.

But where is God talking to me like that? Why don’t I hear him as clearly? I’m sure many of you have heard “well maybe your not listening”. But maybe there’s more to it then that. Maybe I’ve become use to the fact I don’t hear God. Maybe I’ve lowered my expectations of God. I expect him to be silent. I expect my prayers to go unanswered. Maybe it’s not just the fact I don’t take time to lisent. Maybe I stoped believing it Gods ability all together.

The Most Dangerous Man in Endurance Training!

Posted in Endurance on February 20, 2010 by gregbashore

BmacSo, you want to do your first endurance event (anything over 2 hrs)?  I know, you’re thinking where to begin?  I mean, if you want to run 26.2 miles or swim, bike and run 140.6 miles or run an ultra marathon (anything over 50 miles), you’ve got to put in the hours, right?  I mean at least 14-30 hrs per week to be really ready and to do your best, right?  Wrong.

How about getting your deadlift up to 460.  Instead of your “Sunday run” of 2 hours, you work on getting your back squat up to 350?  Sounds insane doesn’t it?  Not when you find out that the guys doing just this kind of work are averaging less than 9 hours per week of training and are finishing 100 mile runs only a handful of hours behind such endurance legends like Dean Karnazes.  Brian MacKenzie and his team at CrossFit Endurance are shaking up the world of endurance training by teaching technique, adding intensity and then doing it faster in all their regimens. 

In short, they are executing no more than 6 total body weightlifting/gymnastics and metabolic conditioning efforts per week (rarely more than 20 minutes in duration) along with 2-3 incremental high intensity tempo and/or interval protocols that are yielding groundbreaking results.  His site, is meant as an enhancement to the regimens prescribed at  Brian himself has done multiple races at the 50-100 mile running distances and has completed Ironman Canada among his other feats.  What’s even more shocking is that Brian has only been in this endurance game for about 6 years!  Also, Brian weighs almost 200 lbs and deadlifts 460 while back squatting almost 350!  How does this regimen possibly prepare him for ultra events?  Read on…

How do you overcome the status quo and endless volumes of data that virtually mandate a long, slow distance regimen vs. short term, high intensity program?
Uh, which studies are you referring to? If you could show me any study that proves LSD is in any way, shape or form, better than anaerobic training I’d love to see it! This is the problem with most endurance athletes… They believe for some reason that there is evidence that “neurotic and obsessed” is a study or form of training. It isn’t, nor has it ever been proven. It is still theory, and “folk lore”! Meaning a bunch of neurotic out of shape fat people believed because professional athletes can train long hours they can. Unfortunately it doesn’t work, which is why they are fat, and slow!

What was the key race for you that proved your theory and how scared were you on the start line considering only doing 6-8 hrs of training per week?
Western States 100 was the first race I did that had a lot more strength and conditioning in it. I averaged like 10.5hrs of training per week. The Angeles Crest 100 was the big race that proved what we did hit the mark. I was pretty confident at the start. Sure I had moments along the way where I was questioning it. You don’t show up to a 100 mile run under confident, and when I was there, I knew I was finishing that day. For the most part this training makes you more confident than anything else. We’ve coined a new word along with some friends in CrossFit that describes what we are… It’s called “UnScared”. The art of dealing with fear. I knew what I was getting into, I know what pain comes from running 100 miles, and I also know what pain comes from doing a sub 3 minute “Fran” (a 21-15-9 repetition weight training workout alternating ‘thrusters’ and pull ups for time) or a 5 x 5 heavy squat day. I am more scared of “Fran” and the heavy squats!

If Chris McCormack came to you and said “I want to win Kona this year (again)” how would you train him?
I’d tell him I can’t train him. An athlete like that is such a specialist that it would take me 2-3 years just to get him moving correctly enough to handle what I wanted to do to him. If I had 2-3 years and we could change his nutrition, and put some size and strength on him, all the while he still could move efficiently, then I would never let him do an unnecessary mile or minute of training again. Unfortunately, he probably wouldn’t be able to wrap his head around that, and have a break down, and secretly go out and swim/bike/run real long. I can’t give you his code for training because they are all different, but I can tell you he would not only not survive with me but would not win Kona if I only had a year.

You advocate overall body strength work and high intensity metabolic conditioning–which is more important to establish first?
Met-Con. Although Mark Rippatoe and several others that I consider peers and mentors would say strength.

BmacWhat are your top 2-3 keys to overcoming the hype of long, slow distance work for those you coach?
I have 1 key point for this… If I coach you, and you decide to go longer than I tell you, you just decided to get coached by someone else. Ask around and you will hear from former athletes I coached. They can’t hide it from me either. It;s real obvious when they do it, because they can’t recover and go hard the next time I need them to. It’s the same thing with a crappy diet too.

How do you train your newbie long, slow distance addicts to draw more strength from the CrossFit Endurance way?
Pull them away from LSD and get them CrossFitting and Strength training 4-6 times a week. 

What are the most valuable weight training movements to improve running and cycling performance?
HEAVY Squats and HEAVY Deadlifts… When I say squat, I don’t mean the kind your doctor says don’t do either. Your ass needs to be below parallel so that “it” (your ass) can experience what it does for a living.  

When you look back at all the endless hours you spent in long, slow distance work you did prior to CrossFit Endurance, what are your biggest regrets?
Not one! We basically wrote a PHD in our experience from LSD to CFE. Will we ever be recognized like that? Not by anyone I care to be around or look up too. I’ve studied HR, VO2 Max, blood lactate, and everything that goes with it. I’ve got 5+ years of heart rate data on clients and my own training. I’ve got a VO2 Machine that I used to use for everyone I trained. I’ve personally tested blood lactate levels on hundreds of athletes. It all came down to this… When we got rid of the slow stuff, added intensity, and heavy weights, everyone got faster, and everyone got healthier.

BmacWhen you think about how you’d like to go faster in your next Ultra Marathon event, what areas do you focus most on?

What are the 3 biggest mistakes you see endurance athletes make and how would you suggest they change?

Nutrition, Training, Recovery. I know this is vague, but there is so much wrong we could write a book on it. All of the nutrition sucks in endurance sports… Get rid of the supplements and start adding real food. Training: stop running, riding, and swimming all day, it doesn’t make you faster! You are quad dominant, and your hips don’t work for Christ’s sake. Learn to move correctly, and lift heavy… Then go really fast! I’d also like to throw in that none of them look at their particular sport as a skill, and because of this they will never do what they love for a long time. PERIOD!

Brian MacKenzie
Born: October 20, 1974 
Age: 34
First Triathlon: Newport Beach Sprint Triathlon May 2002
Turned Pro: N/A
Lives: Costa Mesa, CA

Career at a glance

  • Angeles Crest 100 mile run, 2007 34th 27:39
  • estern States 100 mile run, 2006, 89th, 26:47
  • Mt Disappointment 50k run, 2006, 26th, 5:47:11
  • Ironman Canada 2004 478th, 11:33:47

Brian, thanks for your time and shockingly fresh and innovative perspective.  I look forward to watching you and your athletes continue to change the paradigm of endurance training—and incorporating this same philosophy in my athletes!
Brian Mackenzie is an expert in strength and conditioning for endurance athletes as well as the creator of CrossFit’s Run Endurance Certification. He is a Level 3 CrossFit Certified Trainer and is a Level 3 POSE Certified Running Coach.

Brian is the co-owner of CrossFit Newport Beach, and operates an internship for professional trainers. He has been a competitive Ultra Runner. He has competed in Ironman Canada along with several ultra marathons ranging from 50k to 100 miles including the Western States 100 and the Angeles Crest 100 on limited training and utilizing CrossFit as the cornerstone of his programming for not only his training, but all of his athletes.

Interview by Max Wunderle

You can’t live life scared

Posted in Life on February 19, 2010 by gregbashore

It’s 1:05 in the morning and I am exhausted!  However, I can not sleep.  I can’t sleep because my mind is racing a million miles a second.  Throughout the 24ish days I have been keeping this blog, I have laid out hints of what it is . What I’m going through.  The truth is most of the time I don’t even know.  I know that on January 26th I decided to open my bible and read Genesis chapter 1, and then proceed to read one chapter a day until I finished the entire bible.  I know that I have a love for the sport of endurance that has seen a rebirth with my brother from a different mother Mike getting into the game.  I noticed somewhere in the middle of reading “Born to Run” that I had been waiting for 26 years to actually start living my life.  I realized somewhere along the lines that it was going to take me 3 years 3 months and 4 days to actual finish the journey I am on with God’s word. I notice how much easier and tougher my life became when I started to seek after God.  I discovered a love for family, friends and life that I didn’t know was possible.  And finally I realized that the long 3 year journey I have set out to finish will only be the start of the real journey at hand. 

I’m tired of living scared, of wondering if I’m going to make it.  I’m tired of fighting the wrong fight, and even more tired of the low expectations I have set for my life .  Now to tottaly go off subject because it is now 1:18am, the picture above says it all…UNSCARED.  That’s how I’m going to live my life.  For those of you who don’t know the man in the picture, thats Brian Mackenzie, or BMAC as he is called.  He is the owner of Crossfit Newport Beach and Crossfit Endurance, and one serious ultrarunner. I love reading his stuff; interview, articles, you name it. He has a passion  for life and for what he does. That’s his motto “UNSCARED” and I’ve decided it’s going to be mine too (hope you don’t mind bMac).  I’m tired of sitting around talking about all the things I WANT to do, but never about the things I HAVE done.  So I’ve made a very big decision….I’M GOING TO STARTING LIVING MY LIFE….UNSCARED…To start I’m going to do the little things I enjoy. Walks with Lauren, dinner with friends, laying outside in the grass, running at midnight. All of it. I’m tired of putting boundaries on my life, and for what? To be unhappy? What’s the point in that? God did not design us to sit around and be passive. He didn’t give us the world so we could sit at home on the couch blogging (ok I had to rip on myself a little). No he gave us the world for adventure. He gave us mountains to climb, trails to run, oceans to swim.  He gave us friends to enjoy, people to love and a life to live.  He told us to be wild, dangerous and free.  He told us to take risk, have fun and get dirty.  If our main purpose in life is to bring him glory then why aren’t we living with the spirit he created us to live with.  We are not house pets, caged animals. We are free, the earth is our play ground and he set no limits in where we can go and what we can do.  So what if people think you are crazy, let them be the ones who lay in the beds when their 90 years old thinking back over all the things they didn’t do.  Sure it may kill us along the way (we got to die someday) but at least we lived.  What makes you come alive?  What makes you feel free? Maybe if you figure that out God just might show up along the way.  It’s kind of hard to find him when you’re not our looking.  It’s time that people leave their houses, it’s time christians leave the buildings on they go to on Sunday.  There’s a world out there, it’s time to be UNSCARED.

1:39 I think I’ll go to bed now, I have a life I need energy for.

Genesis 19-22

Posted in God's Word, Life on February 18, 2010 by gregbashore

“I dare say that David could take on John Wayne or James Bond anyday; yet this true man is unashamed to admit his desperate dependence on god”

Ok now I’m well aware of the fact that David was not even close to being on the scene yet come chapter 22 of Genesis. However, this is my blog and I can put whatever quotes I like in it. Now with that being said I will get back on point.

I’ve reached a very important moment in history during these last few chapters. And yes with the recent joyful news that I will soon be a father these chapters were read in a totally different way then before.

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Wow. Hold on a second. Just a couple chapters before God told Abraham that he was going to bless him with a son and that through him his descendants would be as countless as the stars. Now he is suppose to kill him, kill his son? As we know the story goes on and God blesses Abraham’s faithfulness by sparing Isaacs life. But that’s not what I’m focusing on.

Nothing! That’s what I own. That’s what belongs to me and that’s what I’ve earned. Yet daily I live my life for this things of no value. I live my life as if its mine to live and do with what I please. How do you get to that kind of faith. Where you need NOTHING but God. I’m trying, but this is a journey. And I don’t think I was excepting it to be quit this hard this soon. Just goes to show God picks your path not you. I would have picked a nice easy steady climb to the top. Instead he through me at the face of the cliff and said “Go up”. I guess I go up, or fall down.

Wild At Heart

Posted in Life on February 15, 2010 by gregbashore

So one of the things I’ve set out to do this year is watch a little less mindless television and spend more time reading. If you know me in any way what so ever you would know that any time I spend reading is more than I normal do. However, this year I’ve really started to enjoy it and I’m to the point that I do enjoy it more than watching television. I started my first book just a few days before the New Year and as of now I am half way through my fourth book. So far I’ve read “Born To Run” which changed my life in more than just how I view running. Next I read a book about Lance Armstrong, now love him or hate him isn’t important, but we can all agree that he is a man who faces fears and shows what it means to fight to live. Next I read “Ultra Marathon Man: The Confessions Of An All Night runner”. This book was very inspirational for me. Dean is an ultra marathoner who didn’t even pick up the sport until he was thirty. It’s a great book to show you that age is just a number. That your job pays the bills, but how you live your life is what shows if your truly alive or not.

Now the book I’m currently reading is the book that is hitting me the hardest but also the one I’m seeing the most healing in. It’s called “Wild At Heart”. I’m not going to go into detail about it right now, but all I can say is if you’re a guy. Or married to one or have a son. READ THIS book. It’s change my views on so many things.