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This week we did the Grind (get your mind out of the gutter! We mean the infamous trail up to the top of Grouse Mountain). As always, Michelle and I started with a dynamic warm up consisting of lateral and Ventral/Dorsal (front to back) leg swings, toe touches, walking lunges, high knees and followed with multiple static stretches. After we were nice and warm, it was time to attack the Grind.
Our tips for those who are looking to set personal bests would go as follows:

  • Pick the straightest route possible 
  • If you can take two stairs in one step, do so at each opportunity Run or speed walk the flat parts 
  • Rely on your quads rather than using your hands to push you up each step. By doing this you will build more leg strength and stamina for next time. 
  • Pace yourself accordingly, everyone has their limitations so sometimes setting personal goals for each quarter mark is more appropriate than attacking your overall PR (Personal Record)
  • Do not stop (because really, do you want to start again? this sucks, get it over with!) 
  • Keep it light, if you signed up for a Grind Timer you can utilize the free bag delivery service (bring water if needed)
  • Remember that the Grind distance is calculated in elevation, not walking distance 
  • Enjoy the view at the top before heading down the Skyride. You did all that work, do not let it become a monotonous chore, you earned that fresh air and beautiful scenery
You have probably noticed that your quadriceps hurt a heck of a lot more than your hamstrings after a trek up the Grind. This is because your hike really only requires your quads to concentrically contract. Also because you are stepping up rather than down, the impact of gravity is softened. One important point about this is that you are going to want take extra care of those quads so make sure you give them a good stretch while enjoying the view and try and do some foam rolling as soon as you can.
Training, as always occurred on a Wednesday, so how is this important? Well every Wednesday during Grind Season, Grouse Mountain has Mingler Wednesdays at Altitudes Bistro brought to you by Granville Island Brewery. Check it out to see what the feature is for each night here. We strongly suggest that after you and your friends have conquered the Grind, you get your butts to Altitudes for some much needed Advanced Cellular Repair Technology... aka Beer.
On a personal note, Michelle finished her first half marathon this past weekend well under her 2hr goal and now shes ready for Seek the Peak. Just as Michelle was lining up at the start line at 8am, Gareth was nearing completion of his 10 hour military challenge that had him carrying a 50lbs rucksack around Stanley Park & Vancouver, carrying teammates, being yelled at by his Cadre and performing numerous other physical and mental challenges which included taking a 1:30am dip in English Bay for some much needed push ups (he's hoping Seek the Peak is a little bit more forgiving).
As always, thanks for reading along! We hope your training is going well and if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them on the Facebook link.

We hope to see you at the race, helping raise money to fight Breast Cancer.
Gareth and Michelle