Saying 'Aloha' to Agility: Considering agility drills and sprints over long distance jogging

My longtime 'homeboy' from my former hometown of Chicago Illinois, Vernell Garett, globetrotts between the Midwest and the Far West, that is, between Chicago and Hawaii, and was gracious enough to loan me some great photography as a backdrop to a brief discussion on why one might want to consider agility drills and sprints on grass as an alternative to long distance jogging. When you think about it, you will discover there are a lot of advantages.

Me personally, I am so not a long distance runner. Six minutes on the treadmill to warmup before a workout for me and that's it. With a naturally slim body type, that long distance running takes to much muscle fiber off of me, making me lose my "slim but buffed, Usain Bolt look". Perhaps a "male ego" thing, but it is what it is.

Anyone knows that sometimes you want to jumpstart your old workout routine. Here are a few good reasons you might want to consider agility drills and sprints over long distance running.

1. Agility drills and sprints can be done on grass, lessening the stress on the knees, as opposed to jogging on concrete.
2. Sprints and drills allow uphill running, strengthening the legs
3. Various sprints allow for more abdominal, arm, and back work
4. Infinite number of creative routines, as opposed to the 'same old thing' with jogging
5. If you need constant water like me, drills and sprints allows continuous water intake, at your discretion
6. Assists in strengthening tendons, joints and ligaments, whereas jogging on concrete cause more stress to knee joints
7. Drills and sprints allow you to control the intensity more, by adjusting the time between sprints and complexity of drills as needed
8. If you are feeling a little tired and need to stop or wind down, you have not jogged two miles from home, having to walk or run all the way back in exhaustion
9. Looks cool


I wrote an article on Bruce Lee, talking about the subject matter of not getting locked into food and workout fads, routines, and "styles". Other than writing down the amount of weights I lift so that I can gradually increase my weight, I don't really have a "routine" anymore. Agility training and sprints is an excellent way to define your own approach to your own unique routine, custom tailored to you, to be mastered at your own pace.

As Bruce Lee said in the video in my other article, martial arts to him was nothing more than a way to "honesty express yourself". With agility drills and sprints, you now have a great way to get started with that philosophy in any exercise routine. However, many people need a place to get started, and that's understandable, so here a routine, totally off the top of my head, to give you a starting point.

1. In a grass field mark off about 20 yards or whatever distance you want to sprint, just set you backpack at one end and you bike, water bottle or whatever at the other end to mark off the distance.
2. After some stretching, start with a few light jogs back and forth between your distance
3. Next, try some high knee running, like the football players who have to run through the nets.
4. The "Side Step", running sideways, shuffling your feet however feels most comfortable. I used to do a "killer crossover" sidestep where I crossed one leg over the other and swung my arms across my body.


5. The "Front and Back". Run a semi full sprint to you marked off distance, and when you get there, stop and run backwards to your starting point. You'll be surprised how hard  it is to run backwards.
6. Reward yourself with some water, I drink what I call "
Nature's Gatorade", which is Himalayan salt, with it's naturally replenishing 84 minerals in perfect balance, dissolved in water.


7. The "High Knee" hop. A little different than high knee running, in that you snap the knee up to the chest, and let that movementum propel you forward. Great for the abs.
8. The "Shuttle Run". The thing we did back in grade school, sprint to your end line touch the ground, sprint back, repeat.
9. More Himalayan Salt Sole water.


10. Full Sprints, as we wind down the routine. One or more depending on how you feel.
11. Finish off with what I call "The Kickoff". Just like in a football game, if you have the room, it's like I catch a football and just start flying, as I run out of energy, the full sprint turns to a slow sprint, then to a jog, then to a walk, all happening naturally as my energy burst runs out. Works for me if my water bottle is at my endpoint.
12. Stretch, relax enjoy the morning, this is your time for you. When I ran sprints back in Chicago, upon finishing, I would wind down, clear my mind, often times pull my copy of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass"  out of my backpack, read a few verses, and welcome the morning sun.


I would recommend, instead of regular sneakers, if you really feel this will be a part of your routine, to purchase some cleats, the ones with the rubber spikes.

They help your footing in the grass, especially on those mornings when there is a moist morning dew on the grass.

I hope this helps anyone who is trying to jumpstart their own personal routine, but in the end, you just have to get our there and get started, or put another way,
JUST TO IT!!!!! ~dw~

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