Monday, September 8, 2014

Challenges in Overcoming Improper Biomechanics & Bioenergetics

I first started competitive running in high school and then in college with main focus on 880 yards / 800 meters during track season and cross-country during off-season (References 1, 2). I did not compete at any shorter distances. I was a "very average" and marginal athlete not at-par with any of the many championship-level and elite athletes on the various track & field teams in both high school and college. I stopped competing in track after college and occasionally ran in 5K and 10K road-races from time-to-time and completely stopped all physical fitness in early 1990s. After a major lapse of nearly two (2) decades, starting in late 2009, as part of road to proper health, fitness and training, I had to overcome various plaguing health issues and turned to allopathic medicine coupled with holistic methods as an effective means in tackling various challenges with diabetes, nephrotic syndrome, chronic fatigue and other related mental and physical health matters (References 3, 4, 5).

From late 2012, I restarted the slow journey back to competitive running by participating in several 5K road-race events. My times were very slow (>40 minutes) and I continually suffered from chronic fatigue, total exhaustion, and other painful lower body injuries (hamstring pulls, knee pain, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, etc.). Thus, I totally forego running road-races, and, in late March 2013, I competed in an outdoor track meet in the 200 meters (a much shorter distance). I completed the race in a very slow time and collapsed after crossing the finish line. Thereafter, I started doing combination(s) of distance running, intervals, wind sprints and upper-body resistance training. However, I still continued to suffer from chronic fatigue, total exhaustion, and other painful lower body issues (hamstring pulls, knee / ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, etc.) as well as issues with ups / downs with diabetes and nephrotic syndrome. I also had to seek help from physical therapists for my lower-body / leg injuries.

Fortunately, I attended two (2) important running clinics, first in August 2013, and, later in January 2014 (References 6, 7). I had the great opportunity to listen, meet, and have direct Q&A with world-renowned track & field coaches, researchers and experts having tremendous wealth of knowledge, maturity, experience and wisdom. I realized there were so many major advances in biomechanics & bioenergetics science, innovation and state-of-the-art methods and techniques. Specifically, strength training; fitness; stride frequency / length; force application; ground reaction forces; biomechanics; bio-kinesiology; important muscle / tendon / ligament groups; energy mechanisms; training tips and related areas. In addition, Newton’s laws of motion, gravity as well as Hooke’s law with emphasis on force application, stiffness, ground reaction forces (impulse and impact forces), forward momentum, and linear velocity. Also, proper running technique and running form during acceleration, sprinting, maximum velocity and speed endurance phases. I learned, for the first time, basics of GAIT analysis as well as different key aspects of stance, recovery, toe-off, flight phases of the GAIT cycle. I had to literally re-learn the basic laws motion and linear kinematics as well as being totally introduced to the latest art and science of running.

In late 2013, a real-time GAIT analysis was carried on my improper biomechanics in New York City which showed; 1) decreased step length on right foot; 2) decreased contact time on right foot and; 3) increased variance on right leg with pushoff / propulsive phase. In addition, movement assessment was also carried out which showed; 1) Ankle; limited dorsiflexion motion with early heel rise; 2) Hip; decreased hip extension right-to-left limiting glute(s) loading and activation and; 3) Thoracic Spine; limited rotation and extension thereby limiting core activation. 

During Competition
With Analysis

During Competition
With Analysis

Based on the above, I have had to apply and, in most cases, continually reapply the principles of the latest art and science of running and resulting “mindful” and “common-sense” methods, techniques, skills and drills to my own health, fitness, training and competition. I still have a very long way to go in overcoming challenges of improper biomechanics and bioenergetics as I have shifted focus on competing, at Masters level track events, in much shorter distances; 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters; with still relatively slower time(s) due to ongoing injuries coupled with recovery / rehabilitation / therapy.

Accordingly, based on analysis (as in above pictures), a lot of work still needs to be done via proper health, fitness and training. This includes, but not limited to, major essential improvements which must be made in reducing resulting ground reaction force and optimizing vertical impact and impulse forces in order to translate into increased overall forward momentum (Linear Speed = Stride Frequency x Stride Length). There must be special attention paid to improving proper and adequate levels of stiffness (Hooke's Law; Force = kx). Enhanced and very close attention to interrelationship between key "15 joint groups", practical and realistic impact of anthropometric factors and issues. Particular emphasis on proper foot landing during "pen-ultimate step" and various GAIT phases, minimizing ankle rotation, enhancing hips / glutes power, strengthening core / chest area, relaxing both shoulders, smoother hand-leg coordination / propulsion and strengthening neck. Finally, as part of dealing with chronic fatigue (central nervous system (CNS), neuro-muscular, and metabolic), adequate and proper balance of both endurance and interval training as well as continual practice and maintenance thereof during off-season / early-season / mid-season / late-season.

I am so thankful to the most amazing enlightenment I received from the world-renowned track & field coaches, researchers and experts (References 67). Moreover, I am truly grateful for the continual words of faith, hope and courage from Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert and encouragement, motivation, support, and training tips from Coach F. Eugene Driver III.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Focus on Sound Integrated Economics

Much has been written and continues to be written on sound economic integration and policy on global, regional, national, state and local levels. This includes, but not limited to, both public and private sector stakeholders (governments, companies, wholesale & retail consumers, and individuals, etc.).

As a “top-down” methodology & approach, sound monetary policy (interest rates, money supply, currency stability, and treasury bonds) drives basic fiscal & regulatory policy (taxes, duties, and levies) which in turn, directly impacts macro-economic policy/climate (commercial markets, supply-demand, price/income elasticity, infrastructure, etc.), structured finance (full recourse/balance sheet, limited recourse/hypothecation of assets, non-recourse/strength of contracts, and capital markets), micro-economic strategy and plans (business & functional operations strategy/plans, balance sheet, P&L, cashflow statements, and equity stocks).

As a “bottom-up” methodology & approach, for all asset classes; immovable assets (precious metals, natural resources, land, real estate, and intellectual property rights-IPR) are the basic foundation followed by movable assets (plant, facilities, machinery, equipment, vehicles, furniture, fixtures etc.), cash assets (currencies and bank accounts; checking/savings/deposits), paper assets (securities, stocks, bonds etc.) and e-assets (combinations/permutations of above).

It should be noted that sound economic integration and policy both directly and indirectly impact various stakeholders in making critical capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX) plans and decisions. Also, impacted are positive Enterprise Value (EV) and Earnings per Share (EPS) as well as viable Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Debt-Equity Ratio (DER), Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR), Rate of Return on Equity (RROE), Payback Period and Break-Even Capacities.

In addition to sound economic integration, there is parallel correlation in maintaining sustainable balance between “Debt-Deficits-Demand” which in turn translates into structuring senior/subordinate/mezzanine debt securitization and collateralization and working capital credit financing.

As a going forward scenario, there is nearly $300-400 Trillion in debt and over $1.5 Quadrillion in derivatives prevailing in current markets. This massive debt burden requires combinations and permutations of definitive unwinding, deleveraging and/or liquidation of Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and Credit Default Swaps (CDSs). It will be important to maintain sound integrated economics in order to preclude any potential forthcoming effects of “Deflation-Inflation” scenarios.



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silicon Beach: Potential Value Addition

Over the last few years, the region in western Los Angeles, California, between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica, known as “Silicon Beach” has gain much popular attention.

Yes, there is an existing precedent set over the last 2-3 decades with development and success of “Silicon Valley” near Palo Alto, California. As part of the “Digital Age”, many success stories have emerged and today home to multibillion dollar companies and enterprises such as, but not limited to, Google, Yahoo, HP, Facebook, Sun Microsystems, to name a few.

Silicon Beach has some unique and value-added features which are unique to Southern California. Besides the vast amount of sunshine, sand and surf, over the last decade, the region has attracted multitudes of entrepreneurs, investors, and alike. Currently, besides long-established industry, there are many startups and early stage companies as well as established companies undertaking new ventures including, but not limited to, information technology (IT), social media, advanced computer graphics, imaging and software development.

In addition, there is continual development of the arts, sciences, entertainment industry, aerospace industry as well as internationally recognized higher education institutions such as, University of Southern California (USC)California Institute of Technology (CalTech), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), to name a few.

As the past 80-100 year economic-business cycle draws to close, based on current global macroeconomic scenario, there is a burgeoning need for undertaking advanced Research Design & Development (RD&D) of “New Age” products and services in critical technology areas. With the vast manpower, resources, infrastructure, and other added benefits, Silicon Beach can actually leverage potential value addition by an increased and concerted effort for incubating startups and early stage companies. Key cutting-edge technologies in "New Age" sectors may include Clean-Tech (including Clean Energy), Bio-Tech, and Digital Media.

In addition, there may be a need for increased convergence, cooperation and participation between “Government-Corporate-Academia-Individuals” in further enhancing the “New Age” products and services value chain. This may be achieved via new technology parks, industrial hubs, export-zone, free-trade zones and related incentives which specifically target Silicon Beach. Through potential “Private-Public-Partnerships” (PPP), there can be a potential upside for both private and public capital (equity, debt, working capital) in creating new wealth and increasing jobs, employment base as well as tax revenues to Federal/State/Local government(s). Through value-added “New Age” products and services, main emphasis is on providing investors with safer destination for their investment capital while assuring secure return of capital then followed by return on investment. In addition, startups and early stage companies gain from critical seed capital, development funding, expansion capital as well as potential pre-IPO funding.

The need-of-the-hour may entail in creating dynamic mentoring networks to help, assist, guide and advise young and bright talented entrepreneurs and alike through the process of RD&D as well as commercialization of Clean-Tech, Bio-Tech and Digital Media.