Athletics / Sports

Bicycling / Cycling / Spinning


Should people wear helmets while bicycling?

Spin Classes

Proper form: ... _Setup.pdf

Foot Position
If toe cages and straps are used, be sure to align the ball of your foot over the center of the pedal. This is the firmest, widest part of your foot and therefore the most efficient and comfortable foot position. If clipless pedals are used, make sure that your cleats are aligned properly on your shoes so that the ball of your foot is positioned on the center of the pedal.

Seat Height
Adjusting your bike’s seat height is a simple way to improve the comfort and safety of your ride. It’s easy to determine the right height—simply place your feet in the toe cages or clip into the pedals and rotate the pedals until one leg reaches the bottom of the pedal stroke. That leg should have a 25–35 degree bend in the knee.

Fore/Aft seat Position
The seat also adjusts forward and backward, so that your knees will be properly aligned relative to your feet. Sit on the saddle in riding position, with your hands on the handlebars and the balls of your feet over the center of the pedals. Then position the pedals so they’re level with each other. Use your forward leg for the alignment check. Picture an imaginary line (or have someone hold a plumb line) from the front of your kneecap straight down. Your seat is in the right position when your knee cap is directly above the center of the pedal.

Handlebar Height
Adjust the handlebars to a position that is comfortable and limits unnecessary strain on your neck and back. - 4 Mistakes You’re Making Setting Up Your Bike for Spin Class ... -mistakes/

Davis recommends adjusting your handlebars to align with the height of your seat (make sure you adjust your seat first). This goes a long way in preventing neck and back overuse and injury, she says. If you have back issues or are pregnant, you may want to position the handlebars even higher, Baum adds. Over time, as your core becomes stronger and you’re better able to keep your torso upright, you can begin to drop the bars, King says. But remember: The handlebars are only to assist your ride. Your weight should always be in your legs, not your arms, she says.



  • I had an interest in the military during high school and at one point I was considering taking a shot at BUD/S. I read a bunch of books and did a bunch of research online and decided that that life path was not the best deal available to me, so I never started training very seriously.
  • Nevertheless I still find BUD/S an interesting topic. I think it's interesting as a selection process (which isn't an endorsement of it), and it's interesting as an athletic / mental contest (again, not an endorsement of it).
    • He and another Instructor gave me the test alone and I failed the pull-ups section and was told to take my Sorry F**KIN Ass back from where I came from and never return.

      It took a lot of guts on my part but I asked if I could finish the test.

      In my face he yelled YOU F**KIN FAILED! GET OUT!!!

      I replied I know I failed, I’ll work hard on the pull-ups for the next screening can I please finish the test?

      He allowed it and I passed my run easily.

      I learned a couple things that day. One, if you want to become a SEAL you’d better act the part. Lounging around slumped in a chair sends the wrong message, a message that you don’t take many things seriously.

      Two, and I don’t recommend arguing with the Instructors, but sometimes you need to show desire and a will to win. You discover in BUD/S quickly that Instructors want to see how you handle failure. Will you walk away or will you stand tall?

      I came back a few weeks later and failed again on the pull-ups but completed the test again.

      The third try was a charm and I passed and soon received orders to BUD/S Training.

  • BUD/S DOR/Fail Interview. POWERFULL interview with a aspiring NS
    • Takeaways:
      • Break up with your girlfriend. His girlfriend screwed with his head right before Hell Week.
      • When you're in a group, make sure you aren't doing more than your fair share. Insist on rotating out of hard positions.
      • Be well-rounded. You want to be just good enough at each exercise that you aren't one of the laggards that will get singled out for extra attention. Beyond that, any extra effort may just tire you out over the long run.
      • Pace yourself. Don't try to win every race. Think about the big picture.

Dealing with sleep deprivation

  • Background
  • Step-by-step process
    • Try eating a lot of tomatoes.
      • 2016.09.13 - I just had an interesting experience: I only got about three and a half hours of sleep last night and when I woke up my head had that typical awful feeling. By chance(?) I decided to eat just a tomato for breakfast and I noticed I quickly felt a lot better. So a tomato's antioxidant properties might be especially helpful when you're in a situation where you can't get as much sleep as you'd like.
      • I'm not sure
    • Try keeping your eyes closed rolled up/back towards your head whenever possible.
      • I feel like resting my eyes is a big help when I can't otherwise get sleep.


  • Figure out what the strategy of a paintball war like the Stalingrad event would be. If you were the company commander, how would you go about "winning"?
    • Maybe survey the battlefield to see where an advance would be easiest.
    • Allocate troops such that you concentrate forces in one spot to take ground, and hold ground in the other positions with as few troops as possible, so that the enemy is basically being inefficient with their forces (example: Imagine there are 10 areas and both sides have enough men to station 15 men at each area. You determine you can hold your ground with 10 men against 15, so you do that in 9 out of 10 areas, and then on the 10th area you take the extra (5 * 9 = 45) guys and add them to your 15 there to get 60 guys, and you crush the defense there. And then you just repeat that across the battlefield.
    • You would want to be able to set up communications with leaders at each area / battlefield so that you could quickly shift guys from one battle to an adjacent one if the enemy is starting to break through / take out friendlies on that battlefield.

Pool / Billiards / Snooker



Summary of what I've learned about proper form

  • Leaning over too far at the catch can cause lower back pain.
  • Bending your knees outside of your arms can cause knee pain.
  • at the catch your knees should not go further forward than vertical.
  • You should not go up on your toes at the catch.
  • try to use my arm / wrist / hand muscles as little as possible, because they get tired much more quickly than my legs / back muscles
  • try to externally rotate your shoulders and flex your lower back to allow your legs to drive more.
  • Try to keep your back straight.
  • Don't row barefoot because the straps will scrub off the skin of your pinky toes.

Personal Records


  • 7:28 (average of 1:52/500m) at a water-resistance of "8" on a Concept-2


  • 2015.08.30 - PR: 15:17.8 at a water resistance of "6"

Other times

  • 2015.05.07 - (beaten) PR: 15:24.5  (average of 1:55.56 / 500m)
  • 2015.06.03 - 15:35.1 (average of 1:56.88 / 500m) - Water resistance of 8


  • (Undated, probably early 2015) - Sat / Mon / Thurs I do a 4,000 meter row on a Concept2. For the one I did today, I finished with a time of 16:04 (or 2:00.5 per 500m). I've been using a water-resistance level of 8 but it looks like your time is based on your total power output, so I don't think it should be necessary to keep the water-resistance-level constant in order to gauge your progress over time(?).
  • 2015.04.26 - I woke up with lower-back pain after rowing a 4k yesterday morning. I should have watched Concept2's advice on proper technique. After looking at their videos, my guess is that this lower-back pain was probably caused by me over-reaching at the catch. However, I was also leaning back past the 11 o'clock position, so that may also be part of it. On a probably-unrelated note, I've also probably been extending my shins past the vertical (ie sliding my seat too far forward for the catch). And in past sessions I had my knees bending outside of my arms, which is not right (it can cause knee pain, as I learned the hard way).
  • 2015.05.07 - Took 200mg of caffeine ~15 mins before starting, did a 4k in 15:24.5, shaving off like 30 secs from my previous PR. My form also felt WAY better after having spent last session practicing my form. I wasn't leaning over past 1 o'clock at the catch, I was stopping my slide forward as soon as I felt myself roll up onto my toes, and I was stopping my lean back at 11 o'clock. I had a higher row rate this time, before I was like at 15 strokes / minute, now I was something around 23. [Update @ 12:45pm: I now have a cough that feels like I may have breathed in some dust while I was exercising. I also feel like I've lost a lot of the 'high' I felt at 10-11am.]
  • 2016.02.16 - I've been rowing again and I recently finally felt like I understood how to row properly.
    • For a long time I couldn't understand why you were supposed to only lean back after extending your legs all the way.
    • Recently I've been "externally rotating my shoulders" (as my CrossFit trainers would say), where I keep my arms forward but I try to pull my shoulders back and down as much as possible, so that my back muscles are flexed as much as possible.
    • I've discovered that if I do this while leaning forward at the catch, and also flexing my lower back, I can turn my legs, lower back, and shoulders into an unmoving single thing(?). It's hard to explain but basically it allows me to use my leg muscles to drive a lot harder without having it just have me lean over further, which was happening before. Before my back and legs and arms felt disconnected or loosely connected.
    • However, I also found yesterday that it's very important to totally relax my shoulder and lower back muscles during the "recovery" (sliding back to the catch). Otherwise my back muscles get tired very quickly from being flexed nonstop.
    • I've also found that it's important for me to try to use my arm / wrist / hand muscles as little as possible, because they get tired much more quickly than my legs / back muscles. So I just try to relax my arms / wrist totally during the catch and let them lock out.


  • 2020.03.05 - 10:00.6 (1:55/500m). I was going for a 1:50 split but got tired around 800m out and had to stop and go to catch my breath and spit.  I got back on the erg and finished the 2K and still managed to average a pretty good split.

Running / Jogging

2015.09.28 - New Scientist - Physics of falling says professional athletes are running wrong

As a runner’s hips rotate to bring each leg forward, he or she gains angular momentum. But most runners don’t make the best use of this. At the moment their leading leg hits the ground, the second leg is usually stretched out behind. In Kanstad’s revised gait, the second leg will already have rotated forward again before the leading leg hits the ground. By doing this, the runner’s centre of mass is tilted far forward allowing for more forward momentum, but the recovery leg is there to stop a fall.

This was my training schedule when I was preparing for the NYC marathon and it worked amazingly well:

TFK Schedule.jpg


Safety issues


Rolling your ankle

Tearing your ACL

Playing surfaces


  • Personally I'm not a fan of grass, because:
    • most of the grass fields I've played on have had irregular / bumpy surfaces, which:
      • makes the ball bounces unpredictable,
      • may make it more likely you'll accidentally roll your ankle
    • the games I've played on grass seem to have had longer stoppages, because grass fields tend not to have walls around the edge of the field that prevent the ball from going flying off, which means more time spent running after those balls.


  • Wikipedia - Artificial turf–cancer hypothesis
    • In 2014, Amy Griffin, soccer coach at the University of Washington, surveyed American players of the sport who had developed cancer. Of 38 players, 34 were goalkeepers, a position in which diving to the surface makes accidental ingestion or blood contact with crumb rubber more likely, Griffin has asserted. Lymphoma and leukemia, cancers of the blood, predominated.
    • In a statistical study of the list of soccer players with cancer provided by UW coach Amy Griffin, public health researchers for the State of Washington found that the rates of cancer were actually lower than was estimated for the general population. While they did not state any conclusions on the safety of this form of artificial turf, they did recommend that players not restrict their play due to the presumed health benefits of being active.

Soccer shoes

For turf


  • Practice your balance: (one of my favorites) Stand on one leg, and use the other leg (by itself) to guide the ball around the leg you're standing on, as fast as you can without losing the ball or your balance. Do it 20 times for each foot. It'll usually be broken into four movements, corresponding to the sides of an invisible square around the leg you're standing on. This is a great drill for indoor soccer.
  • Improve your sprinting ability: Hold onto a wall and stand on the foot further from the wall. Then, with your other leg, pull your knee up to stomach-level (so your thigh is oriented perpendicular to your torso) and then force it back down to a straight position, as fast as you possibly can, fifty times. Then do it for the other leg. I noticed a huge difference in my indoor-soccer sprinting ability after doing this drill for a few weeks.
  • Practice side-hits (for passing / shooting): Set up two posts for goals, maybe ~2-5 feet apart (pick whatever distance apart provides a challenge). Have them right up against the wall. Stand a few feet away (~5?) and, using one foot, pass the ball against the wall 20 times. Then switch to the other foot. Then step back a few feet and repeat. Practice keeping the ball low on the ground; to have the ball come straight back (instead of popping into the air) you'll need to hit it very precisely, which is good practice.
  • (less important) Roll the ball up on your foot, let it sit there for a second, then let it roll off (practice getting the ball on your foot)
  • Practice your knee-juggling (less important) - Drop the ball from your hands at neck-level, then bring up your knee to bop the ball straight up
  • drop the ball from your hands at stomach-level and kick it straight up (practice for juggling)
  • Practice around-the-world (less important): Use your standing leg to get some up-motion to take the weight of the ball off your foot when you begin to swing it around



  • Shallow Water Blackout
    • How it happens:
      1. Hyperventilation: Overbreathing either consciously or as a result of overexertion, artificially lowers carbon dioxide levels.
      2. Oxygen-level drop: As the breath hold begins oxygen is metabolized and carbon dioxide levels increase. As the breath hold continues the body becomes starved of oxygen.
      3. Unconsciousness: Under normal circumstances increased carbon dioxide would trigger a breath, but because CO2 levels were so low on submersion (due to hyperventilation), there is not enough to initiate a breath. The swimmer loses consciousness.
      4. Drowning: Once the swimmer loses consciousness, the body reacts and forces a breath. That causes the lungs to fill with water and without an immediate rescue a drowning death is all but certain.
    • Takeaway lessons:
      • Never hyperventilate before swimming
      • Never ignore the urge to breathe
      • Never swim alone
      • Never play breath-holding games
      • No repetitive underwater laps. One lap, breathe.
    • Other info
      • Unlike regular drowning where there can be 6-8 minutes before brain damage and death, there are ONLY about 2 ½ minutes before BRAIN DAMAGE then DEATH with SWB because the brain has already been oxygen deprived coupled with warm water as in swimming pools, hastening brain death.