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Posts Tagged ‘82nd Airborne’

Brian Ansley – Adventure Racer Joins SeriousRunning

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Barb Wire Crawl

My name is Brian Ansley, and I’m a former United States Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.  I did two tours of duty conducting combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a total of 27 months.  Once I became a veteran, I realized that I needed to fill the lack of excitement that the civilian world recurrently brings to the table. I started doing road races, triathlons, and duathlons in 2010. In 2011, I became very serious about racing and eventually began running at the Ultra Marathon level.   In addition to traditional-style endurance races, I also began to run obstacle races. I qualified for the Spartan Race World Championship! Get $10 off, Use Code: SPEAR10 – Sign Up Now!, and placed in 14 additional races in the state of Texas throughout the year. 

In my free time I enjoy lifting weights, running, kayaking, hiking, and pretty much anything outdoors.  I also still remain true to my military roots, and continue to do military-style workouts on a weekly basis.  Much of my military-style workouts include a very intense pushup and pull-up workout, as well as ruck marches to strengthen both my lower and upper body.  In the past few years, I have really focused on my diet and what I put into my body.  I eat all organic foods, and stay away from genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and preservatives.  I don’t follow any one specific diet plan, but I do try to minimize the amount of processed foods and grains that eat.

SeriousRunning has provided me with an exceptional opportunity to share the things that I love to do. My interaction with like-minded endurance athletes, veterans, and highly motivated individuals is an invaluable instrument to help others, as well as myself, to reach new levels of physical and mental toughness.

Jumper’s Knee: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention (2 of 2)

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I’m back baby!  Back on the trail, the streets (check out this mapping tool to help you plan your street run), and any other surface you put me on, I’m going to run on it.  I ran yesterday for the first time in 2 weeks and felt like a kid on Christmas morning, excited with anticipation of presents but restraining myself from ripping through them (well, ripping through my knee).  I had to pace myself.  I only ran 4 miles.  However, I’m also like a kid in that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, or in this case, my mind is faster than my current conditioning.  I went ahead and ran at my previous 4 mile pace.  I did have some pain in my knees but nothing major.  Here’s how to get back to running like me after experiencing jumper’s knee.


Once you’ve been diagnosed with jumper’s knee you need to treat it.

Ice: Apply ice to your knee for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 or 4 hours for 2 to 3 days until the pain and swelling go down.  Don’t have 2 or 3 days to sit around and ice yourself every 3 hours?  Then make sure you ice them after you run at the least.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Take some Tylenol or Advil to help the swelling go down as well as give you the ability to do knee exercises without pain.  Knee strengthening is important.

Wear a Band: Wear a band across the patellar tendon, called an infrapatellar strap, which will support your patellar tendon and prevent it from becoming overused.  You overdo everything.  I bought a couple of “Adjustable Knee Straps” at my local drugstore for about 15 bucks.  They really help.  Plus I think they look kind of cool.  Like a sweat bands for your knees!

Arch Support: Stop trying to do everything on your own and get some support, well, for your arches at least.  This is especially true for overpronators like myself.  Some running shoes already have arch support but you may need to add more support or even add archs to your normal chillin’ shoes.  Wait.  You have shoes that are made for other things than running?  Always chillin’.

Once you get back on your feet (I know, I’m funny) you don’t want to get patellar tendonitis again.  So how do you avoid it?  Well, patellar tendonitis is caused by overuse of the knee from jumping, running uphill, or biking uphill.  You aren’t going to avoid running uphills but there are some other things you can avoid doing such as squatting (we have toilets in America to help you avoid this), excessive bending, sitting “Indian” style (what an offensive term, have you ever seen a Native American sit like this?  I didn’t think so.), kneeling directly on your knee caps (unless you are “taking cover”, in this case go ahead and kneel or better yet, lay flat on the ground), excessive stairs, riding a bike with a low seat, or using the breaststroke when swimming.  See, its easy to avoid these painful activites.  Make sure you gently stretch before and after exercising too.  Lastly, probably the most important action you can take is to strengthen you thigh muscles.  This takes pressure off your patellar tendon.  Thunder thighs are so hot right now.  Jumper’s knee is lame.

Gaiam Zeuba Vital Knee Support: Soften Your Feets’ “Landing” While Running

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

gaiam-knee-braceI’ve been looking for a knee brace to periodically wear as a preventative measure because my knees are worn down from “jumping” (more like “falling out of a plane and hitting the ground”) from an aircraft in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.  I thought about getting the standard, black knee brace from Target or somewhere but I decided if this was going to be used as a preventative measure for years to come, I should try to get something a little more sophisticated.  I got Zeuba Vital knee support from Gaiam. I had never used any products from Gaiam before but read in the marketing pamphlets about their commitment to the environment and a free trade program that helps local artisans in lesser developed countries sell their goods.  That’s pretty cool.  I say “lesser developed” countries because I don’t consider Vietnam, Cambodia, or Indonesia 3rd World Countries.  So what are they then?  2nd World? What’s an example of a 2nd World Country?   Is the United States a 1st World Country?  Why do we only point out countries that are 3rd World?  So condescending.  Come on, One World, One Love.

Army Airborne jumpers are taught to put their feet and knees together, try to gauge which way the wind is taking them, and to “roll” with their impact.  Depending on weather conditions, about 4% of soldiers get hurt on every jump (this statistic is based merely on my experiences); breaking ankles, getting concussions, and snapping knees.  Even if you don’t get a serious injury, these landings take a toll on your body.  Add that with all of the times I had to “get down” or “take a knee.”  Try doing that for an hour or two on a concrete sidewalk.  Go ahead and stand up a minute and stretch if you need to.  It only gives the enemy a bigger target.  No big deal.  Why can’t bad guys in Iraq fight in the soft desert sand?  So selfish.  Only thinking about themselves.

I’m not complaining though, I just don’t want my knees to get in the way of me running for many years to come.  There are plenty of knee braces out there where, “You’re wondering who i am-machine or mannequin, With parts made in japan…Domo arigato, mr. roboto, domo…domo.”  Alright Kilroy, you don’t have to worry about being a robot with the Gaiam Zeuba Vital knee support.   The reason I like this knee brace is that it is comfortable while also providing the support I need.  It is lightweight, breathable, and allows for circulation in my legs.  It really didn’t take anything away from my normal running style, improved it if anything.  I barely knew the brace was on!

As soon as I started running I could feel the difference between my knee with the brace on and the non-braced knee.  I honestly didn’t know how much my knees actually hurt until comparing while running.  This is a great knee brace because of the innovative athletic, visco-elastic massage ring that stabilizes and activates muscles.  The ring is a gel-like substance which really kepts my knee from shifting while allowing a little room for flexiblility.  There is also an adjustable Turbo-Strap that “exerts pressure on thigh to improve coordination for running.”  If you need help with your coordination while running I don’t think this knee brace is your answer.  Consult a doctor or drink a V8.  I did like using the Turbo-Strap to keep the brace tight around my thigh.  I didn’t have any problems with it sliding down!  Amazing.  I sweat a lot and often become slippery…when wet.

So if you want to prevent injuries before they get too serious.  Then be Serious about your Running and check out this knee brace.