Bernstein analysts say Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast pipeline projects may not get finished

first_imgBernstein analysts say Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast pipeline projects may not get finished FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Even with 10 Bcf/d of new pipeline capacity added in the past 15 months, Appalachia’s pipeline buildout may be finished, putting the completion of late comers such as the EQM Midstream Partners LP-led Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC project and the Dominion Energy Inc.-led Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC project in doubt, analysts at the investment management company Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC told clients Jan. 24.“We had anticipated that building through [North Carolina and Virginia] would be difficult,” Bernstein’s midstream analyst Jean Ann Salisbury said in a research note. “The perfect combo of no major recent new pipelines and no state upstream benefit usually leads to problems —just ask [Williams Cos. Inc.’s Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC].”The costs of the 2-Bcf/d Mountain Valley pipeline and the 1.5-Bcf/d Atlantic Coast pipeline have grown to $4.6 billion and $7 billion, respectively, Bernstein said. These increases may force the operators to charge too high a tariff and make them uncompetitive, according to the firm.“This translates to $1.30-$2.60/MMBtu, almost certainly more than the cost differential to source from another basin,” Bernstein said. “To us this suggests that we are nearing the end of the buildout period, and even that possibly only one of these projects will ultimately get done.”Bernstein said that while producers in the dry gas portion of the Marcellus and Utica shales in northeast Pennsylvania will begin to bump up against a cap on takeaway capacity sometime this year, producers in the southwest portions of Appalachia have lots of running room. With capacity currently available out of both Appalachian regions, producers can look forward to better price realizations, Bernstein said, which is good for companies such as Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Range Resources Corp. and Southwestern Energy Co. However, Bernstein said, there is a danger that the more Marcellus gas is on the national market, the further national prices will fall.More ($): Appalachian pipeline buildout looks to be ending, Bernstein analyst sayslast_img read more

New Maryland state law establishes 2030 deadline for 50% renewable energy generation

first_imgNew Maryland state law establishes 2030 deadline for 50% renewable energy generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Washington Post:Maryland must get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030 under a bill that will become law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.Only the District and nine states, including California, New Jersey and Hawaii, have renewable standards at 50 percent or higher, according to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The Maryland bill allows subsidies for producers of green energy, including some that generate pollutants, like trash incinerators and paper mills.Hogan (R) announced Wednesday that he would allow the legislation to move forward “despite serious concerns” over the cost of the bill and whether it will preserve jobs in the state and have the impact legislators are expecting. While rejecting the General Assembly’s effort, Hogan said he remains committed to addressing climate change. He pledged to push legislation next year for 100 percent clean energy by 2040.In 2016, the governor vetoed a bill that required Maryland to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, citing concern over increased electricity rates for taxpayers. The Democratic-controlled legislature, which has a veto-proof majority in both chambers, overrode the veto.The governor said he will propose a bill next session that aims to “get us to zero carbon emissions, rather than just increasing the quotas for dirty energy and outdated technologies.” Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery), the sponsor of this year’s bill, said he “appreciates that he has ideas about a bill for next year, but it would have been nice to share them with the General Assembly this year during the legislative session.”More: Half of Maryland’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030last_img read more

Southeast Asia welcomes first zero-emissions building

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ESI Africa: Singapore-based SP Group has established the first zero-emissions building in Southeast Asia that is fully powered by green hydrogen.Located at SP’s training centre at Woodleigh Park, the self-sustaining building is 100% powered with renewable energy via an innovative Hydrogen Energy System and is disconnected from the national electricity grid.Brandon Chia, Head, Centre of Excellence, SP Group said: “Buildings contribute 40% of energy-related carbon emissions worldwide. The Hydrogen Energy System provides a safe and compact way of storing green hydrogen, which powers the region’s first zero-emission building. We believe this can be a significant contributor toward Singapore’s climate change pledge to cut national emissions intensity by 36% below 2005 levels by 2030.”In urban places such as Singapore, due to limited land and inconsistent solar energy, achieving zero emission with 100% renewable energy is extremely challenging.The buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.While there have been other energy systems using hydrogen as a fuel, the key challenge of hydrogen lies in having a storage solution that is safe for deployment in highly-urbanised areas such as Singapore.The system uses special metal alloy as a storage medium to bond with hydrogen. This allows for the storage of a large volume of hydrogen at a much lower pressure over a long period of time without any deterioration.SP is working with Marubeni Corporation and Tohoku University on the Hydrogen Energy System with special metal alloy storage tanks from Japan, and to customise and integrate it for use in Singapore.More: Southeast Asia welcomes first zero-emissions building Southeast Asia welcomes first zero-emissions buildinglast_img read more

Switchback Results: More Money, More Problems

first_imgAre Races Too Expensive? YES: 77%Races have gotten increasingly more expensive, often pricing out newcomers or even those who enjoy racing but may not be on the podium. It also deters those that have to travel to races. The cost of traveling (fuel, food, lodging, etc.) is becoming so high that the extra cost of the entry fee might be enough to make me decide to just go out on the local group ride instead.—Paul Muething, Richmond, Va.I wish some runs would forgo chip timing and the short sleeve shirts that accumulate unused in my closet. If charity is the point, get imaginative and solicit donations on the entry form, sell higher-end gear, and advocate your cause.— Robert 2.0, Blacksburg, Va.Cost prevents me from participating in all the races I’d like to try.—Robert, Hermitage, Tenn.NO: 13%Most races donate some of the proceeds to charities, and it takes a lot of money to promote and plan an event like a race.They would be more expensive if they paid everyone who works to make them happen.—Virginia Faircloth, Charlotte, N.C.It is easy to sit on the sidelines and say a race is too expensive without knowing the full realities of what it takes to put on an event. I am not a race director nor do I work in the industry. However, I participate in and volunteer at enough events to know that race directors are not retiring at 40. In a lot of cases, RDs are volunteers themselves. Don’t judge a man/woman/race until you have run a few miles in their shoes.—Jeremy, Brunswick, MaineAn entry fee is a small portion of the expense to race, and the money usually goes to a charity—or to putting on the future races.—Rick Stein, Lynchburg, Va.Should College Athletes Be Paid?NO: 83%The commercialization of collegiate athletics is deplorable. Who would get paid? Most likely, only football or basketball players. Instead of paying players, the NCAA should do something for the schools considering how much money they make off them.— William O., Lynchburg, Va.College athletes are getting an education that cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. That is their payment for playing sports.—Jackie, Gallatin, Tenn.Do Division I schools pay or do all levels? Do you only pay those athletes playing the big sports or all sports? Is there a cap on paying or do colleges with the cash pay the most like pro teams? Too many questions that can never be answered fairly for all.—Bill, Raleigh, N.C.YES: 17%Universities and the NCAA make so much money off of the athletes that there is no good reason why they should not share the profits. Most of these young athletes do not have support from home to provide them wth a quasi-normal collegiate experience.—Ryan, Kernersville, N.C.Yes, colleges make billions and coaches make millions, but if athletes get injured, they lose their scholarships. If nothing else, put royalties from the video games that use their likenesses into a trust fund that they can get after college.—ADK, Los Angeles, Calif.last_img read more

Pickin’ For Phil

first_imgBluegrass pickers rally for Phil Leadbetter in upcoming benefit concert.I have a particular Walter Mitty fantasy. It’s always been my not-so-secret dream to make music for a living. Unfortunately, I’ve run a bit short on musical talent, so I play my trade day each in my fifth grade classroom and do some music writing and promotions on the side. While a side of me wonders what it would be like to be up there on that stage banging a drum, there is much of me that is thankful for all my teaching profession provides me – the chance to work with kids each day, the notion that my work means something, a steady income, and – honestly – medical insurance.It’s a bold reality that many of our favorite musicians, particularly those on the roots music and Americana scenes, wake each day without medical insurance and continually walk the fine line between health and physical – and financial – disaster.This reality was made quite clear to me recently when I caught wind of the plight of dobro maestro Phil Leadbetter.Phil did exactly what I would love to do; he left his chosen profession, nursing, to pursue a career in music. And he has been quite successful. In the bluegrass world, Phil is a dobro player’s dobro player. He has been a member of J.D. Crowe & The New South, Wildfire, and Grasstowne, and was most recently playing with The Whites, a country music group.Phil’s list of accolades and award nominations is lengthy, with recognition coming from far and wide. Most notably, in 2005, Phil garnered two awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association: Dobro Player of the Year and Instrumental Album of the Year for his record Slide Effects. Phil was also part of J.D. Crowe’s band in 1994 when their record Flashback was nominated for a Grammy.Last year, Phil went to the doctor due to some flu like symptoms that wouldn’t go away. What seemed like a minor illness evolved into a devastating diagnosis – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Early chemotherapy was thought to have controlled the disease, but Phil emerged from treatment a member of the minority of patients whose cancer did not respond to the drugs.Phil currently continues his fight against his disease. And, as you can guess, he is a musician without insurance.Phil’s treatment is not inexpensive, and the costs are piling up. In what can only be described as a genuine outpouring of love for their dobro pickin’ comrade, the bluegrass community is rallying behind Phil in Bristol, Tennessee, on Sunday, April 1st, at Pickin’ For Phil, a benefit concert featuring some of the finest musicians in the bluegrass world.Taking place at the beautiful Paramount Theater, a who’s who line up, including all of Blue Highway, Mike Bub, Michael Cleveland, Darrell Webb, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Kim Fox, Missy Raines, and many, many more, will give their time – free of charge – to raise money to help pay for Phil’s treatment.If you happen to be in the area – Bristol is only an hour’s drive from Asheville and Knoxville – I would highly recommend rolling to town to check out the show and support Phil in his fight to beat cancer. There will be two shows on Sunday – one at 3:00 P.M. and a second at 7:30 P.M. – and tickets cost $20.00. The pickin’ will be fierce and the money raised is going to a great cause.For more information on Pickin’ For Phil, call the Paramount Theater at 423.274.8920 or surf over to read more

Throwback Thursday: Worth Dying For

first_imgThe recent death of champion freestyle skier Sarah Burke was nothing short of a tragedy. The world lost a young athlete with limitless potential. Sarah was as comfortable in the X-Games superpipe as she was on the red carpet, and she recently succeeded in getting the sport of free skiing into the Olympics. She was an icon, and her family, her sport, and her nation are still mourning her. That accident brings something to the forefront that we as athletes sometimes try to push out of our consciousness… the sports that we love can sometimes take our lives.The most disturbing part of Burke’s death is the circumstances. She was performing a routine trick in a non-competition setting, and was wearing proper safety equipment. She died as a result of a severed neck artery that led to cardiac arrest, and doctors said that better protective gear would not have changed the outcome. When events like this occur, they force us to explore the relationship with risk in our own lives, and ask the question: Is it worth dying for?This is a never-ending consideration that adventure sports athletes have grappled with. Climbers want to climb larger mountains, skiers want to ski more difficult lines, and kayakers want to push the envelope of runnable whitewater. These adventurous desires exist inside all of us, and those who possess a larger than normal helping are the ones who are out there pushing their sports to new levels. Climbing Everest, surfing the most massive waves that the planet can produce, or flying a wingsuit is inspiring to the rest of the world, and lifts the hearts of the entire human race to imagine the possibilities.But where do you draw the line? The inevitable reality of this flirt with the limits is that a few of us may actually find them. Passing away as a result of chasing what you love is something that is embroiled in controversy. You will probably hear as many opinions on this subject as the number of people you ask about it. But fatalities in the outdoors occur for a number of reasons, and are not always the result of negligence or bad decisions.Sometimes, things just go wrong. One saddening example of this was when professional kayaker Pat Keller lost his best friend on a remote river in British Columbia, Canada. The two were paddling together, and a freak surge sent the young man back upstream into a dangerous rapid after the two had walked around it.  Pat was helpless to assist, eventually falling into the river himself from his rescue efforts. He did everything that he could, and then made the walk out of that river all alone to find help.Nearly ten years later, Pat describes his bittersweet relationship with paddling:“As I get older, I have to constantly balance those risks with the consequences that I know are there. And oftentimes these days I find myself being more conservative.”This was an example of a misfortune that could not necessarily have been avoided. The other side of the coin is that the youth seem to have different proclivities with regards to risk today than in the past. Don’t get me wrong: every generation seems to have those opinions about the previous generation, but there are major societal forces at work today that influence the judgment and aspirations of the impressionable youth. Massive corporations are shifting their marketing budgets to enable willing athletes to push their sports to new heights through death-defying stunts. Extreme sports are edging their way into the mainstream via reality TV shows such as Nitro Circus, and people are now turning their attention from other traditional New Year’s Eve pastimes to watching hugely publicized motorcycle, snowmobile, and car stunts. It definitely seems as though “invincible” public figures are glorified, and although these stunts are extensively planned by professionals, the average teenager watching TV may not understand this. It would certainly be difficult to turn down: fame and riches in exchange for pushing your sport to its limits.Growing up as a whitewater kayaker, things weren’t always like that. As a kid, I was taught a solemn respect for nature and to never push it too far or too fast. Through the course of my life, I have definitely been told that what I do is foolish. I usually let that kind of thing slide, but it cuts a bit deeper when I hear it from family. I do not consider myself to have a death wish at all, and I look forward to a full life in which my contributions to the sport of kayaking are only the beginning of what I have to offer the world.I do not resent those who say these things to me, because I know that their feelings ultimately stem from fear. It seems as though Americans today fear a great number of things, but the recurring theme is the unfamiliar. Whether it is disease, terrorism or heights, we fear that which we do not understand, and subsequently judge those who don’t fear the same things. That is a dangerous state of mind, and flies in the face of the adventurous spirit that founded our country in the first place. What ever happened to the “go out and skin your knee” mentality that used to exist? Is it possible to have those same experiences via the Internet or video games? One interesting paradox lies in the fact that automobile accidents are a huge cause of death in the U.S., and most of us aren’t filled with dread when we put the key in the ignition every day.I will admit that I’ve had a few brushes with death during my 15 years of paddling whitewater. One instance in particular could easily have gone the other way. I was paddling the Chattooga River one Christmas Eve, and I managed to pin myself in a slot on one of the rapids of the dangerous Five Falls section of the river. My boat sank deeper and deeper as the force of the current wedged it into an underwater crack, and to my surprise I realized that I could not get out of the boat. The current was pinning me down, and my legs were trapped.The situation went from a fun, carefree day with friends to a struggle for my life in a matter of seconds, and as I flailed underneath the infinitely powerful waters of the river, I suddenly felt very guilty. How could I put my family through this on Christmas Eve? After my own death became a dire possibility and that thought flashed through my brain, I fought like I’ve never fought before. I very easily came to the realization that I wanted oxygen badly enough that nothing else mattered, and I somehow kicked off my shoes inside the boat, and made every effort to bend my legs sideways to slide out of the boat. In my mind, breaking my legs at the kneecaps was completely acceptable. They bent in a way that they never had before, and I tumbled out of my boat after over a minute of struggling. I couldn’t walk for a week, but I survived.That experience was a reminder of something that I already knew: the decisions that we make out there can have very real consequences. It also reinforced my determination not to die on the river. I have lived my life in a somewhat non-traditional way… doing my last year of high school by correspondence to travel, taking a year off between high school and university, and making the outdoors and discovery of nature a high priority in my life. If I were to pass away doing what I love, the people who criticized me in the past would say, “it was only a matter of time,” and would take my death as a validation of their own ignorant assumptions. I’ve always wanted to prove that the rat race is not for everyone, and that I can live my life the way that I love without compromise. That may take different forms as I grow older, but I hope that I can feel as though I’m doing that forever.So how do we reconcile ourselves with this (sometimes unavoidable) risk that comes with our sports? The first step in my opinion is to acknowledge that it is present, and to think very seriously about how much risk we are comfortable with accepting in our lives. This will help to guide every decision in the future, and will be different for every person.Once this is done, it’s important to become as educated as possible on the many ways to minimize that risk. No matter what your sport, it is important to carry with you the appropriate safety gear and know how to use it. Think avalanche beacons, pin kits, and medical provisions. The aim should always be to turn yourself into the biggest possible asset to your group, and as I write this I can think of a few ways that I will improve my own portfolio of skills this year.It’s also important to learn any lessons possible from past accidents or tragedies in your field. It is never productive to point fingers after an event like this, but knowledge can often be drawn from these events, and carried with us for use in case of a future crisis.Finally, when it comes down to the moment, we should affirm that the decision to go is for the right reasons. Taking a calculated risk should not be for the cameras, to impress anyone, uphold a reputation, or because it will create a legacy. Do it because it feels right, and because you are 100% sure that you can follow through successfully. Make decisions for yourself, and follow your gut.This dialogue brings up a final and pivotal question that seems to be at the heart of this fine balance: On a subconscious level, is this risk and the stark reality of our own mortality part of what draws us to these sports?Perhaps making life and death decisions and proceeding with confidence is in fact an infinitely purifying and rewarding process. Believing in your own abilities with the ultimate price on the line is something that few people have actually experienced, and that self-confidence can transfer to and carry value in any aspect of life, from business to relationships. There is a part of us that still needs to live the primal life. It is our way of facing the tiger and reacting swiftly and confidently.Our sports can be dangerous at times, but with humility and a safety-minded approach, they can provide a lifetime of joy.“The sensations one feels in these activities is comparable to falling in love,” says Keller. “You never know when your heart may break, but until that point, it’s all love.”For some amazing music from the likes of Great American Taxi and Paul Thorn check out this month’s Trail Mix!last_img read more

Weekend Pick: Shenandoah Mountain 100

first_imgWhen Labor Day became an official national holiday to placate unions in 1894, few could have predicted it would become the spectacle it is today. Think about how far the world has come in the past 120 years: internal combustion engine, telephone, indoor plumbing, Twinkies, the return of Twinkies, etc. Plus, we finally have a point in time after which it is no longer acceptable to wear white. But there is one thing that has stayed the same throughout the history of Labor Day: Americans taking the first Monday of September to sit on their lazy butts, drink beer, eat barbeque, and not work. It may be because you work a physically taxing construction job, a mentally taxing IT job, or you are just depressed that Labor Day marks the end of Summer on most calendars.This is the American Way, and it’s a good way. Heck, it’s gotten us through over a century of first-September-Mondays so why stop now? I’ll tell you why: this country needs a change. We should be through with celebrating holidays by doing just the opposite of what the name suggests. No more blacking out on Memorial Day, no more not-being-the-leader-of-the-free-world on President’s Day, and no more sitting around over Labor Day weekend. This year, put some labor into that thing you love, whether it be hiking, fishing, kayaking, or mountain biking. A great way to get started in 2013 is at the Shenandoah Mountain 100.As the name suggests, the Shenandoah Mountain 100 is a 100-mile backcountry mountain bike race staged out of the Stokesville Campground outside Mt. Solon, Va. The race route snakes through the best trails in George Washington National Forest and includes nearly 14,000 feet of elevation gain. If you think you are up for the ride, online registration ends on Friday, August 30th, at 8pm so get online and sign up. For those not interested in pedaling 100 miles in a day, there are numerous volunteer opportunities. This is a great way to get involved in the race weekend without actually racing. Actually, it’s the only way: the campground is closed to non-racers and non-volunteers.The racers go off on Sunday morning, but the party starts on Friday at noon when the campground opens, and doesn’t end until Monday afternoon. If you have never been to a mountain bike festival or stage race, it is a good, good time, especially after the racing is done and the adult beverages start flowing.For more information on the race, and volunteering, visit the Shenandoah Mountain Touring website.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Take it Outside: 2014 Outdoor Training Guide

first_imgThe gym sucks. You know it, we know it. And yet many of us still feel compelled to spend time inside “the box,” throwing up free weights or pushing belts on machines in the ever elusive pursuit of strength. Maybe you’re a climber with a burly project looming. Maybe you’re addicted to your carbon road bike and the next Strava record. Maybe you’re a runner looking to P.R. Whatever your passion, strength is important, whether you realize it or not.“A lot of endurance athletes don’t want to take any time or effort away from their sport for strength training,” says Samantha Stone, a certified personal trainer and founder of Functional Fitness Asheville. “But strength is important. We’re talking about stability of the structure. These sports are repetitive. You strike the same part of the body over and over, if you don’t have the strength or stability in the structure, it’s going to wear out over time. “So you need muscles. But do you need the gym? Not at all. Stone teaches regular strength training classes outside, using parks, forests, and city-scapes as her gym.“If you’re looking to compete in strong man competitions, you need the gym. But if you’re an athlete looking to get stronger so you can move and play more effectively, you don’t need the gym at all,” Stone says.The takeaway: If you want to be a better mountain athlete, you’re better off training in the mountains. We talked with Stone and other athletes and fitness experts to create BRO’s first outdoor training guide. Read on, and maybe, finally kiss the gym goodbye.Stone’s Functional Fitness In Stone’s functional fitness classes, one day, she might incorporate strength exercises into a group run. The next, she might use playground equipment as her strength inspiration. “We’d find benches, stairwells, railings, scaffolding, swing sets—anything we could use to create resistance.”We asked her to design a short workout for athletes who want to leave the gym behind. She came up with this plan that focuses on mobility, core recruitment, and training the fast-twitch muscle fibers. Bonus: It’s fast. The whole workout will take less than 30 minutes.CorePlanks Pushup position, holding back flat. Build up to 3:00 minutes.Hanging Leg Raises Grab a pull up bar, monkey bar, or tree limb and hang. Keep your knees straight as you raise your legs until they’re parallel to the ground.Wall Push Push as hard as you can against a wall for 10 seconds at a time, keeping your core and butt tight.Fast twitchThese exercises focus on explosive movements. If you’re just beginning a strength-training program, start with slower movements and progress to power oriented training.Do: 3-6 sets with 10 reps per set.Squat Jumps: Keep your heels grounded and back straight as you drop into a squat. Then explode up and off the ground. That’s one.Step Ups: Find a bench and step up, bringing your other knee to your chest. Alternate. That’s one.Jumping Lunges Drop into a lunge, where your back knee is almost touching the ground. Explode up, switching your feet in mid air and landing in an alternate lunge. That’s one.Explosive Pushups Your standard push up, but explode up, so your hands leave the ground. Clap if you have rhythm.Pull Ups If you can’t perform a straight pull up, cheat by jumping into the pull up.Work Out Like a FarmerYou really want to build strength and power without stepping into a gym? Work out like a farmer. Jason Harle is a strength and conditioning coach and founder of The Farmer’s Gym, an online destination and coaching service that uses the farmer’s life as the foundation for strength training. Harle just published the The Farmer’s Gym Almanac, a collection of outdoor workouts based on farm life. Hale grew up on a farm and asserts that mimicking the daily farm routine will allow athletes to reap huge strength and fitness benefits without any costly equipment or gym memberships.“It’s about getting back to the basics, and doing work. A farmer taxes every muscle through the countless tasks in a given day—lifting bales of hay, pounding fence posts, shoveling rock,” Harle says. “The book and the workouts I’ve created are designed to test the body in the same fashion.”The Farmer’s Gym Almanac has more than 400 exercises, most of which focus on body-weight movements. A typical FGA workout includes about 20-25 minutes of high-intensity multi-exercise interval training, using a combination of old staples like push-ups and pull-ups to more creative exercises like the “dragon walk” and “floor wipers.” Harle also includes kettlebell exercises, which he says is the perfect substitute for the farmer’s feedbags or bales of hay.Here are five farm-friendly exercises, and their modern-day interpretations, that build muscle and functional fitness.Throwing Bales of Hay Deadlift a sandbag and hoist it chest-high, then throw it as far as you can (think about throwing a chest pass in basketball). Do this several times. No sandbag? Use a big rock.Shoveling Rock or Dirt No substitute here—just grab a shovel and head to your backyard. Dig a hole for five minutes, then fill it up. Repeat.Hammering Fence Posts Grab a sledgehammer and an old tire and start wailing on it. Try to create a steady rhythm to your swings, using your legs and core in addition to your arms and shoulders. No tire? Hit the ground.Chopping Wood Again, no substitute for an axe and a log. Get chopping.Farmer’s Carry Find a rock—something heavy. Deadlift it and and carry it in front of your waist, walking across your yard. Drop it, shake your arms out, then repeat the process.Go OCR: Obstacle Course RacingObstacle Course Racing is fun, exhausting, and the next day you wake up sore in places you didn’t even know you could be sore. What the hell is that muscle on your elbow called, anyway? Obstacle Course Races might just be the perfect workout. Just ask Andi Hardy, a former teacher turned semi-pro obstacle course racer who’s racked up more than 40 races in just over a year, winning a lot of them.“In obstacle racing, you have an element of endurance and stamina, but the races also incorporate high intensity intervals and strength training,” Hardy says. “You’re sprinting from one obstacle to the next. Thirty slam balls. Sprint. Rope climb. Sprint. It’s the perfect mixture of strength, speed, endurance, and mobility.”And more importantly, fun.“I like the variety and the surprises of the races, and I like to add that variety to my workouts,” Hardy says, adding that she trains twice a day, often on the fly and out in the wild. “The world is my gym. If I’m running Kennesaw Mountain, I look for ways to mix it up with pushups beside the trail. I’ll find a rock to jump over 20 times. I’ll walk across a log like a balance beam. I can train in my backyard, on the trail, even in the airport.”In the spirit of variety, here’s a suggestion for a self-imposed training course circuit. You’ll need a park with a playground.Sprint a lap around the park. 10 Burpees (drop into pushup position, do a pushup, hop back to standing position, then jump as high as you can) Sprint a lap. 10 box jumps on a bench. Sprint a lap. 30 seconds of bear crawls (drop onto all fours, walk forward with equal weight on your hands and feet, keeping your hips low) Sprint a lap. 5-10 pull ups (use the monkey bars) Sprint a lap. Repeat until you’re no longer sprinting.This plan is only a suggestion. Use your surroundings to determine the exercises you complete. Climb a tree. Find a rock and throw it. The options are endless.Get the Legs of a Backpacker There’s no doubt that hiking regularly will get you in shape. Look at your average Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. They start out soft and pudgy and finish lean and mean. Luckily, you don’t have to hike the ridgeline of the Appalachians to reap the strength benefits of thru-hikers. If you want the legs and core of a seasoned backpacker, start thinking like a Sherpa.“Cross training is great, yoga helps, but there’s no substitute for having a pack on your back,” says Appalachian Trail speed hike record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis, who coaches would-be thru hikers through training regimens leading up to big hikes. Davis says there’s no way to emulate the torturous routine of a speed hiking record attempt, where you’re pushing yourself day after day. Instead of training nonstop, Davis adds weight.“I’ll add weight to my pack, more than I’m planning on carrying on the trail,” the record holder says. “A couple of fire logs, an extra gallon of water. Then I set out for the most challenging routes I can find.”Leading up to her record hike, Davis liked to train on big Mountains to Sea Trail climbs, particularly up Mount Mitchell and Black Balsam. The scenery will keep you motivated if you can train in high elevation surroundings like Mitchell, but it’s not required.Load your pack with your normal weekend load, then add an extra gallon of water. Find a three-mile climb that gains at least 1,500 feet in elevation and start climbing. Don’t live near a trail? Climb stairs. Or find a steep hill and walk repeats with a loaded pack. The weight is the key, not the location of the workout.An Argument for Heart Rate Training“The biggest mistake athletes make is training too easy on their hard days and too hard on their easy days,” says Ben Friberg, a pioneer in long-distance standup paddle boarding who set the 24 hour SUP distance record. “Heart rate training gives an athlete immediate feedback about training effort, which ensures you are working at the proper intensity. Did you really push yourself? Are you pushing too hard, overtraining, and perhaps needing rest? When a big day comes, your ability to know how much fuel you are throwing in the fire will be beneficial.”What you’ll need Nike, TomTom, Suunto, and Garmin all make GPS and heart rate tracking devices. Learn your resting heart rate, max heart rate, and calculate your personal heart rate zones.Find the Zone  After you know your numbers or zones, you can create workouts that are more effective. Short, fast intervals will push you to work hard, which will help to improve your speed. Base workouts are designed to improve endurance. Checking your resting heart rate first thing in the morning can even tell you whether you are recovering properly.Go Anywhere EquipmentKettlebell: Swings, carries, lifts, weighted squats—it’s as versatile as any piece of equipment out there. And it’s portable.TRX: These suspension straps can elevate the simplest exercises, from pushups to speed skaters into full body core blasters. Hang them from just about anything.Sandbag: Heavy, cumbersome—just carrying a sandbag across the yard is a full body workout. You can make your own with a sturdy duffel, or buy a kit.last_img read more

Shorts: Blue Ridge Briefs

first_imgEastern Cougar Declared Extinct?In June the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided it was ready to call the eastern cougar extinct. The particular subspecies of big cats has been on the Endangered Species List since 1973, and although there have been recent confirmed cougar sightings in the East, officials say those were likely western mountain lions that migrated to the right coast.“We recognize that people have seen cougars in the wild in the eastern U.S.,” said Martin Miller, northeast chief of endangered species, in an AP report. “Those cougars are not of the eastern cougar subspecies.”Eastern cougar populations declined rapidly in the 1800s, killed by European settlers protecting livestock as they harvested native forests. The large cats, known as mountain lions, pumas, and other names in different parts of the country, are still being spotted on the East Coast. A cougar was killed in Kentucky last December. A 60-day comment period on the proposal to remove the specific eastern cougar subspecies from the endangered list ends later this month.Two Virginia Friends Visiting Every National Park in a YearTwo buddies from Charlottesville are currently on an epic road trip, traveling across the country with plans to visit all 59 National Parks in the continental U.S. within the next year. In June, Trevor Kemp and Darius Nabors both quit their jobs at the University of Virginia and set off to visit the 59 parks within 59 weeks, an excursion undertaken to commemorate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016. “I’ve always wanted to go on the great American road trip, and this is like an extreme version of that,” Nabors told the Daily Progress. The pair left Virginia in a Dodge Ram truck borrowed from Nabors’ parents. They started at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and plan to finish next August at Maine’s Arcadia National Park. Along the way adventure plans include canoeing in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and hiking the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in Washington.—Follow the journey at A.T. Plate Sales Raise a Million Dollars in N.C. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy announced in June that it has raised more than $1 million from sales of the A.T. license plate in North Carolina. Trail lovers willing to spend a little extra for the specialty plate, first offered in the state in 2005, are making a big difference along America’s Favorite Footpath. The conservancy funnels the cash raised from the plates—also offered in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Pennsylvania—straight to trail maintenance through grants given to trail clubs and other organizations. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, this year the ATC has already given $30,000 to trail projects, monitoring, and outreach.5point Film Fest Headed to Asheville, N.C.On August 14-16, Asheville will host a celebration of the country’s top boundary-pushing adventure films. The festival weekend will kickoff with a free outdoor party before the films roll at 7pm on Friday. Saturday’s line up will include a community picnic, ice cream social, van life rally, dance party with DJ Marley, a youth adventure film program, and an amazing lineup of powerful films. BRO Editor in Chief Will Harlan will moderate a panel of top regional athletes on Saturday morning at the New Mountain Sol Bar—including elite triathlete and runner Jay Curwen, Girls at Play founder Anna Levesque, ultra running wild man Adam Hill, pro paddler Pat Keller, and champion mountain biker Sam Koerber—who embody the spirit of the film fest. Unlike other film fests, 5Point features films that are about more than heart-pumping adrenaline. They highlight people who go deeper and give voice to the places and issues that matter Bare AllOn June 13 groups of cyclists around the world once again stripped down and pedaled in unity as part of the World Naked Bike Ride. With bare butts on seats, bikers in cities across the globe from Barcelona to Chicago took short rides to raise awareness for alternative transportation and cyclist safety. In Portland, Oregon, an estimated 10,000 riders pedaled in the buff. A spokesperson explained why: “We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil and other forms of non-renewable energy.”500-Pound Man Planning Marathon in DecemberDerek Mitchell is shedding pounds on race courses. Since March the Kansas City-based Mitchell has committed to running at least one 5K a month in an effort to lose weight, and so far it’s working. In March he weighed 570 pounds, and in late June he was down to 538 after finishing five races. Now he’s raising the bar and planning to run the Honolulu Marathon in December. He picked the race because it doesn’t have a time limit, but he’s taking the endeavor seriously, telling Runner’s World that he recently started a six-month endurance-building training plan. “I’m losing about 12 pounds per month, so if I keep that up, I’ll be at about 450 pounds by December, which, to think about that is awesome,” Mitchell told RW.last_img read more

Getting Kids into Running

first_imgMy son, now 12, has been running for a few years. We’ve wanted to summit Mount Mitchell (the tallest peak on the East Coast) for two years by running up the Mount Mitchell trail from Black Mountain Campground (6-miles with 3000+’ of elevation gain). This past summer, we did it! I bought him his own hydration pack and trail running shoes. Equipped him with soft flask water bottles and food, and we did the run! We, of course, took a wrong turn and ended up running 8-9 miles with 4000’ of vertical gain, but the memories and pride we shared in the accomplishment will undoubtedly never be forgotten! It’s like asking where their red hair came from (my wife and I are both redheads). If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ll know that most parts of my life involve running to some capacity. My kids come to work with me at my running store, they help me put on races, and they come and crew for me at my races. They were raised with running as part of their daily routine and seeing their father go out to run sun, rain, snow, or ice. My wife and I are both runners, so it’s literally in their blood. Obviously, most of you don’t have this home environment, but want your kids to share your love for running. So, what can you do? The following are items I’ve done that have helped encourage and even nourish a healthy love for running in my kids. First and foremost, you need to present opportunities for them to run. I would suggest starting with just going for a hike with your kids. Make it short and simple but include a cool destination or location. We love to go through a river (multiple times) or by a waterfall or historic site. Build the distance up and maybe include a route with beautiful scenery or views. Then start working in short runs. Maybe challenge them to beat you up a climb or down a descent. Up to the age of 10, I don’t suggest you allow them to run mileage for the week more than their age (ie 10 years old no more than 10 miles per week). The key is to run with them. Make this something you do together as a family! If you have young ones, that can’t keep up with the older ones, but can ride a bike, allow them to do so. Make courses appropriate for their ability level. Challenge them every once and a while but make the risk of failure minuscule.  Let them come to one of your races and watch. Talk to them afterward about how it went, how it felt, what were your challenges and how did you overcome them. Let them recognize that Mommy or Daddy doesn’t always win, and that’s ok. We race to challenge ourselves and find out what we can do on that given day. Ask them how they would feel about trying a race. If they’re into it, find a children’s event or a one-mile fun run. Here’s the hard part, let them run this on their own. Be on the sideline and cheer as they do for you in your race. Be there at the finish and give them a hug. Let them know how proud you are of them. Enjoy the moment and on the way home talk about how the race made them feel. Ask them how they felt, how hard it was, what they would do differently (if anything), and see if they want to do another. If so, look for a new style of race (adventure, obstacle course, cross country, trail, color run, inflatable, etc.). Other items that have engaged my children and brought them not only closer to our sport, but to me has been crewing for me in ultras. They love being out there for Dad. Getting my gear ready and helping me at Aid Stations. They love camping in the car overnight and waiting for me to drag into the mile 85 aid station and revitalize me at 2 AM. How often do they get to say they were up at 2 AM and their Dad had been running since 6 AM the day before? Then let them experience something epic. As they get into the sport, encourage the participation by buying “real running shoes.” Check with your local run specialty shop and see if they have children’s running shoes. If so, take them to get fitted. Make this their “running” only shoes. As they get older, get them running clothes. My oldest child received the most basic GPS watch for Christmas. That may be a bit too far, but he wants to be like Dad, so what can I say. He’s not on Strava…yet.  It’s simple, love your kids, and in the process, share your love for running while doing it with them! I’ve been asked so many times how I got my kids into running. last_img read more