Today I was working with a client of mine who is 90-years-old.
He is a fantastic man who is able to do many exercises that people half of his age cannot do.
Each time we work together he amazes me.
He said something today that struck me.
While he was walking on the treadmill he shared a story from his past. He expressed how happy he was to be married to his wife and how lucky he was to have her by his side. This was not something new that he had shared. We have worked together for about a year now. He happens to have dementia and does not always remember the things that he has told me.
Nevertheless, as he expressed his appreciation for his beloved wife he began to reflect on one of his memories. “Right after we were married and she and I went on a trip. We went a trip around the world,” he said with a smile.
He had told me this story several times before. Today, however, I realized something. This story must have been a significant experience in life. Each time we talk about his past he tends to bring it up. This one seemingly unimportant event to some must be one of his favorite memories from his life.
Amidst everything else over the course of his entire 90 years of life he recalls this trip.
I thought to myself as he continued on with his story, “What will I talk about when I am 90? What memories from my life will be carried with me throughout the course of my life? What will be so significant to me that if I happen to lose my memory I will be able to look back and smile?”
For me personally, I am not sure. Maybe I will remember my study abroad trip to Europe during college. Or maybe a favorite race that I ran. Or maybe, and most likely, my memory will be one that I have yet experienced, which I hope!
One thing that I do know for sure was that my memory most likely will not be from the jobs that I have worked, the degrees that I achieved, or the awards that I received.
These accomplishments are all wonderful. However, they do not stand a chance to a trip around the world with your newly married spouse, or the birth of your first child, what it feels like to fall is love, the love that you receive from your parents, or the relationship that you have with a grandparents.
It can be so easy to get caught up in life – our goals, our jobs, our studies –we tend to lose focus on the things that are truly important in our lives. We forget the value of the moments that we hold in our memory and never forget. The refreshing smiles, the warm hugs, the contagious laughter – these are the moments we want to remember. These are the moment we want to value, appreciate and take notice of. These are the moments in our lives that we will want to reflect on when we reach 70, 80 and 90-years-old.
Therefore, I urge you to stop, take a moment, and appreciate these moments. Don’t wait until you grow old to appreciate and value all that you have today. The degrees, grades, awards, and belongings, they likely will hold little value to love that you shared, the friendships that you made, and experiences that you created.
Take a few moment and ask yourself; What will you remember from your life when you are 90-years-old??
As the year comes to as close and we prepare for 2018 to begin, why not take a moment and reflect on all that you have learned, achieved, and overcome – before choosing your New Year goals and resolutions.
Each year when the clock strikes twelve and the New Year begins we are quick to shift our focus on the things we are not satisfied with in our lives, the things we don’t like, the things we want to change.
Meanwhile, all of the positive, happy and satisfying achievements, events, and accomplishments that occurred over the course of the year are unfortunately overlooked.
This New Year, why not take a few moments and examine all that has occurred over the past year; the good, the bad, and everything in between. Assess what went well, what areas may need improvement, and what areas may need to be eliminated.
How can you really know where you are going if you do not know where you have been? This New Year, take a few moments to consciously reflect on where you have been; what has gone well, what has not, what have you learned, what you have gained, etc.
To assist you in preparing for the New Year, author and leadership/life coach Eileen Chadnick creates yearly reflection questions for her clients to ask as they review the year that has passed and prepare for the year to come.
Chadnick believes that due to the “busy” lives that people often find themselves immersed in, it can be difficult to find time to “pause, reflect and get our bearings.” Therefore, each year asks her clients these six questions.
What went well?
“Noticing the good – especially in tough times – is a crucial skill for resilience, success and well-being. Since our brains are not wired to hold on to the good (evolution has taught us to be wary),” Chadnick stated in an article published in “The Globe and Mail.” “We need to make the effort to bring the good back into our focus for a more balanced perspective.”
Where in your life did you experience change and disruption, and how did you deal with this?
Chadnick explain that change is a constant factor in our lives, it can be beneficial to understand how we deal with change, if we can handle change more effectively in the future, and evaluate what ways did we handled things well.
What did 2017 teach you?
The tough times in our lives can often times pave the way for “the greatest potential for learning and growth,” Chadnick explains. “Take stock of what 2017 taught you, and especially of how any of your challenges this past year stretched you for the better.”
What needs to go?
As with all things in life there are seasons of coming and seasons of going. Some areas in our lives may no longer serve us. Chadnick advises her clients to evaluate the difficult situations, bad habits, out-dated approached, clutter in the house, and any other areas of your life, that may need to be let go and left in 2017.
What made this year unique in some way?
Each year is different. With a little extra time and consideration we can recognize the events, situations and experiences that stood out and how these may have impacted us, according to Chadnick.
Give your year a theme.
Chadnick recommends giving your year a theme or mantra. Now that the year has come to a close sum it all up into a theme; transformative, altering, rewarding, restorative, motivating, whatever may suit your year.
The above list is just the tip to the iceberg. Reflections are an important and ongoing part of our lives. Experiences should not just pass us by. They are a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It is our decision to choose how we respond to our experiences. One can either learn from experiences, or try to ignore them and act as if they never happened.
Appreciate who you are today, and what it took for you to get here.
As I crossed the finish line of my second triathlon the first thoughts that crossed my mind were, “What was my time?” “Whats place did I finish in?” “Did I beat my time?”
This in unfortunate because I had such a great race and I was not taking the time to appreciate my experience, recognize how fortunate I was to even participate in the race, or express my gratefulness for the training the I had done over the past several months.
Instead I was ready to put myself down, sabotage my results, and only focus on the negative aspects of the race.
Yes, if you are trying to improve it is important to recognize your weaknesses and work to improve them. However, it is not healthy or beneficial to dwell over the negatives without giving recognition and value to the positives.
Though I did not finish at the time that I had anticipated or the rank I was hoping for, I did pretty awesome.
My greatest strength of the race was the run, the second was the bike and the third was my transitions.
My greatest weakness was the swim.
Now that I have recognized my strengths and weaknesses I will examine the how and why?
The Swim: 1/2 mile – time 25:06 – 203rd place
– I finished it!
– The water was clear and beautiful
– I became very anxious
– I was not prepared to swim for that long of a distance (1/2 mile)
– I was not prepared to swim that fast
– I was not prepared to run in the water and then swim
Therefore, I learned that:
– I need to practice a racing start
– I need to learn to swim well with others around
– I need to practice sighting the booeys
– I need to swim longer with periods of speed
– I need to swim more often (3 times per week)
– Most importantly, I need to become comfortable swimming in the water
The Bike: 11.5 miles – time 40:44 – about 16 mph – 48th place
– I made up for the (significant) lost time in the swim
– I passed at least 50 people
– I loved the downhills, they were a lot of fun!
– The views were very scenic and beautiful!
– The women racing were all very kind and encouraging
– Picking people in front of you and then making it a goal to pass them is very helpful
I learned I need to:
– Learn how to effectively change gears (how, why and when)
– Cycle faster and more efficiently
– Learn how to effectively pass in a race (proper bike etiquette)
– How to properly fuel and hydrate on the bike
– Get a good racing bike (for sure)
– Preparing my mind for the run
– Save my legs for the run
The Run: 3.1 miles – time 23:09 – 6th place
– I did fantastic! I ran 3.1 miles in 23 minutes, which is not my best time, but I am happy with it after having swam and biked
– I passed another 50 or so women
– I felt awesome running! I ran strong and effortlessly.
– I had fun and got into a comfortable racing rhythm
– I did not get hurt, which was great because we ran through trails
I learned I need to:
– Practice running after biking (pre-planned brick workouts)
– Improve my speed and running economy
– Prepare for the run mentally
– Give some more time to cycling and swimming while maintaining my running ability 🙂
Overall, I am appreciative that I was able to participate in my second spring triathlon race.
Though I did not finish where I would have liked to, there is a great deal of room for improvement.
I learned that I need to take the strengths that I have, recognized the weaknesses, and most importantly appreciate where I am.
Six months ago I knew nothing about triathlons and was intimidated to get into the water. Today, I have completed two sprint triathlon races, one of which included a half mile open water swim (something I never thought I could do) and I ended up finishing 41st in the race and 5th in my age group.
Yes, I do want to improve. Yes, I want to be faster. Yes, I want to become a better, faster and stronger athlete.
All of these goals take time. They must be recognized as goals.
The only way to achieve a goal is to recognize where you are right now (your starting point), create a plan, and finally begin taking steps to achieve your goal.
Anything worth having is worth waiting for. You will appreciate something much more if you spend time working hard to achieve it. You are worthy of greatness, you just need to allow yourself time to get there.
Nobody become a pro-athlete overnight. Everything in life takes time.
Appreciate where you are RIGHT NOW, then take steps to move towards where you want to be. You will get there – at the right time, the right place, and with the right people.
❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,
Take some time and appreciate yourself for where you are right now.
The triathlon; a swim, followed by cycling, and ending with a run. To some this may sound absurd, to others this may sound like a Friday morning workout.
For me, however, it appeared as a difficult to obtain goal.
Running several days a week was one thing – but cycling and swimming, there was no way.
First of all, I did not know how to swim. I had taken a few swim lessons as a child.
I swam in friend’s pools, the ocean and the river every now and then. But overall I did not know the first thing about freestyle swimming, goggles, one piece swimsuits, swim caps – or anything else related to swimming.
Secondly, I would need the proper bike – a beach cruiser likely will not cut it.
And last but not least – how would I transition between all three? What would I wear? How would I train?
These questions and fears ran through my mind along with many others.
It wasn’t until I overcame the barriers preventing me from beginning my triathlon training that I took the first steps towards accomplishing my goal – which you, too can do.
Step 1: Overcome your barriers preventing you from completing your first triathlon.
The barriers preventing me from participating in my first triathlon included learning to properly and confidently swim in a race and a road bike to train with and use during the race.
In an effort to overcome these barriers and begin my training I first purchased a used road bike.
The bike is not great by any means – however it is a good first road bike that served as a wonderful learning tool for a first race.
Secondly, I signed up for swimming lessons at a local YMCA.
These swimming lessons were not easy by any means, in fact they were incredibly difficult and I still struggle to get myself into the pool to improve my swimming skills.
Not having the opportunity to be around a pool and swim laps as a child or teen made it difficult to learn the sport.
Nevertheless, I did not allow the frustration and sometimes embarrassment prevent me from accomplishing my goal.
Each Sunday morning I showed up, I remained positive, and put forth my best effort.
Learning how to do something new as an adult can be difficult, however there is no reason to give up just because the task is hard.
(This was not my training plan, this is just an example of a triathlon training plan)
Step 2: Follow the proper training plan to achieve your goal.
After researching numerous triathlon training websites, books, and plans I put together a training plan that would fit my goals, schedule and fitness level.
Throughout my training I swam one to two times per week, cycled two to three times per week and ran three to five times per week (running is obviously my favorite of the three).
Transitioning from one sport to all three was definitely a challenge.
One must determine where they are going to swim, where they will cycle (indoor, outdoor and if outdoor the location) and for how long.
(Some training plans recommend training less than I did. However, based on my current fitness level this amount seemed fitting.)
Following a triathlon training plan can be difficult and time consuming.
One should a lot about one hour per day for five to six days per week for triathlon training.
Some days you will feel tired. You will want to quit. And then, when you least expect it you will overcome these feelings and wake up at 5 a.m. for your workout, go to the gym right after work, swim when you want to sleep and skip a fun night out to complete a skipped workout. These things happen, they can be stressful however they are worth it.
Step 3: Choose your race.
The most common first triathlon race is the sprint triathlon.
The sprint triathlon distance is generally a half mile swim (or less), a 10-15 miles bike, and a 5k run.
This race is doable for first triathletes who are swimming, cycling and running throughout the week one to two times.
For women seeking their first triathlon there are many women-only races that serve as very welcoming.
I however, chose the Atlantic City Triathlon in August.
The race was the perfect size, location and distance for me.
Things to consider when choosing a race include;
The distance of each event in the race
The location of the race and each specific event.
The body of water the swim portion is located in
The standard temperature of the body of water the swim is in
The distance the race is from your home
The locations your family and friends can watch you from
The depth of the hills and amount of turns during the cycling course
The type of course and temperature of the running portion
I am sure there are other factors to consider, however these are a few to think about when deciding.
Step 4: Get the proper gear.
Being a triathlete can be expensive.
Gear for swimming, biking and running is required – in addition to the specifically made triathlon gear.
Some gear to consider would be purchasing a road or hybrid bike, a pair of triathlon shorts and a triathlon top which can be worn during all three events instead of putting shorts and a shirt over a bathing suit, spare tire tubes in case your tire goes flat, a helmet which is required to participate, and comfortable running shoes.
After stressing over what to wear I decided to purchase a pair of triathlon shorts in addition to receiving a triathlon top given to me by a friend.
Before, during and after the race I was very pleased with my decision and the lack of stress I experienced trying to change during transitions.
Step 5: Participating in the race and having a great time.
While people can choose to participate in a triathlon for many reasons (weight loss, challenge, competition, to prove a point) the overarching goal should be to have fun.
After stressing over getting to the race, checking in at the expo, properly preparing my bike, checking in to a hotel, training, the course and much more – I ended up having the most fun that I have had all year!
My first triathlon was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I enjoyed every second of it and cannot wait to compete in my next race.
I ended up finishing the race with a great overall time, experiencing no issues, and receiving a medal for the second fastest finishing time in my age group. To put it lightly I was over the moon.
Now it was not a goal of mine to rank in my age group and I don’t recommend setting it as an expectation, but this does not mean that it is not possible. Shoot for the stars, you never know what you are capable of until you TRI.
I encourage you to go out and accomplish your goal, whatever it may be. Whether it is a triathlon, a 5k race, a marathon, losing an amount of weight, gaining more muscle, feeling healthy or feeling happy – start today.
Overcome your fears and achieve your goals: Here is how.
By: Angela Ciroalo
Have you ever dreamed of running in a 5k race but never thought you could actually do it.
Instead millions of doubts, questions and concerns flashed through your mind; How would you prepare for it? Are you actually capable of completing it? Where would you even start? Could you get injured? Is it even worth it?
So many questions run through your mind, causing you to doubt your abilities and pass the idea off as a brief moment of excitement.
Don’t let your dreams stop here. Give your dream a chance. Challenge yourself and let your body show you what it is capable of!
You can do anything if you put your mind to it and you CAN finish a 5k race!
Think back to how you felt when the idea first ran through your mind. You saw yourself running in the race, crossing the finish line, and feeling absolutely fantastic. This does not have to be a fantasy. Make your dream a reality. Follow the tricks, tips, advice and training plan provided in this article.
Step 1: Change your mindset.
A 5k race is achievable for everyone and anyone.
You can, and you will, complete your first 5k race.
Now that you have read that sentence, repeat it, think it, and believe it. Tell your friends. Tell your family. The more you say, the more you will believe it.
At times when your beliefs run low, use visualization and envision yourself crossing the finish line.
When times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising in preparation for the race remind yourself of your goal and how are going to feel once you achieve it!
Step 2: Choose Your Race
Select the race that you plan to complete.
Use local race calendars to find a race that is close by, in a convenient location and is runner/walker friendly.
Choose a race that is within the next three months to prevent any relapse or a change in mindset.
Ensure that you, your family and your friends are not busy that day.
Once the race is selected – sign up! Don’t put it off and forget about it.
Step 3: Begin working toward your goal.
In order to prepare for the race start your training by walking.
Walk three to five days per week for a total of 20-30 minutes. Walking will create your baseline fitness level, which you will improve upon as you are training.
Once you feel comfortable walking several times per week for a few weeks, begin to implement jogging into your walk.
Jog for several seconds, followed by walking for a few minutes.
Increase the amount of time you jog during each workout until you are able to jog for a full 20 minutes or more.
Follow the 8-week long training plan provided below. The plan will guide a new runner to walk/jog their first 5k race!
You Can Run Your First 5k 8-Week Training Plan
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 15 min.
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 20 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 17 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 23 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Walk 17 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 25 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Walk 20 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Jog 5-10 Walk 5-10
Jog 10 Walk 20
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 10, Jog 10, Walk 10
Jog 18 Walk 15
Walk 8, Jog 15, Walk 7
Jog 20 Walk 10
Jog 22 Walk 10
Walk 5, Jog 15, Walk 5
Jog/Walk 20 min.
Step 4: Look and Feel the Part
In an effort to feel fully prepared for the race it is important to feel as though you “fit in” with other runners.
Try stopping in to a running specialty store and check out the different styles of shorts, tops and shoes that were created for runners.
The clothing and specialty outfits are not essential. They were created for comfort, support and injury prevention.
Pick out an outfit that makes you feel comfortable running.
Practice your run in this outfit a few times, then save it to wear during your big day. A comfortable running outfit will ensure confidence, ease and prevention of injury on race day
Step 5: Train Appropriately.
Warm Up: Before each workout complete a 10 to 15 minute warm up. The warm up is crucial for preventing injury and ensuring a great workout.
Run or walk at a speed that allows you to maintain a conversation. You should not feel out of breath or tired at this point.
The Workout: Follow you training plan and run and/or walk for 10 to 30 minutes three to four times per week leading up to the race.
Cool Down: Once your workout is completed the body should be adequately cooled down before fully stopping. Begin slowing your speed down, allowing the heart rate to return to resting levels.
Walk or run at a conversational pace for five to ten minutes.
Follow your cool down with stretching. Hold your stretches for 10 – 15 seconds to create flexibility and prevent injury.
Step 6: Follow these great tips to motivate you in preparation for your first 5k race!
– Find a running partner buddy to train with, run the race with, or hold you accountable.
– Set a goal finishing time.
– Create a vision board to place on your wall reminding you of your goal.
– Lay out your running clothes the night before a workout.
– Share the good news. Tell friends and family that you will be participating. Invite them to cheer you on.
– Keep a training journal to monitor the progress you are making.
– Look up the race map to fully prepare you for the event.
– Don’t beat yourself up if you miss or skip a workout.
All year long we count down the days till the sun is shining, the ocean water is glistening and the warm sand sits beneath our toes – alas summer has arrived!
When you live along the Shore, you can’t help but love summer. When you are a runner this love has a completely new meaning.
Warm weather means more daylight which equates to more running – and who doesn’t love more running?
While the warm weather and increased daylight can be fantastic the summer season does have the potential to create some critical situations such as; heat exhaustion, heat stroke, severe dehydration, sun burn, and severe body fatigue.
In an effort to stay cool and healthy this summer while running, try following the following tips.
Stay Properly Hydrated
Hydration is critical when running during the summer months.
Dehydration can lead to difficulty breathing which can lead to injury, falling faint, or even heat stroke.
When the body is lacking hydration the amount of blood volume decreases causing the heart to pump harder which will impact performance.
As a result it is best to drink water before a run, during a run and after the run.
Be conscious of your hydration level.
Try checking the color of your urine to determine how hydrated your body is.
The darker the color the lower the level of hydration.
The lighter the color the greater the level of hydration.
Warm Up and Warm Down
Before you begin your workout or next race be sure to start with a warm up.
I know this may sound counterproductive especially if temperature is warm and your body already feels warm, however the warm up is a very important part of running.
The warm up allows the body to adapt to the movement that you are preparing for.
Blood is pooled into the legs and arms away from the organs in order to allow you to run.
The warm up also allows the body time to acclimate to the current temperature.
If you spent the morning indoors with the air conditioning on your body will not be prepared to jump outside in the heat and start running.
The warm down, or cool down, is also important.
If it is very hot outside and you have just completed a workout you it is important to slow down your pace for another mile or so, allowing the body to cool down, the heart rate to decrease and
Wear Sun Screen
While running outdoors during the summertime it is important to apply sunscreen to skin surface areas that will be exposed on the run.
Sun burns and skin cancers are not fun, therefore preventative measures such as applying sunscreen early and consistently are essential.
In an article published in Running Times in May 2015 San Diego runner and board certified dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio stated that the best sunscreen to apply is the on “you’ve got.”
Benabio suggests applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 while consistently re-applying.
When applying sunscreen make sure to cover all of your bases; face, lips, head, ears, chest, arms and legs.
Wear the Proper Attire
While I can suggest to you specific clothes to wear in the heat it is equally important to recognize clothes not to wear in the heat.
Clothes that are black, made of cotton, are too big, and stick to the body should not be worn when running in the heat.
Items that should be worn include dri-fit and sunlight reflective clothing, sleeves to block the sun, a hat or visor and sunglasses.
Each item will assist in keeping your skin health, sunburn free and the body cool.
Run at the Right Time of Day
In an effort to avoid the high temperatures or high humidity try running early in morning before sunrise or late at night just before sunset, or even after if possible.
Avoid running in the middle of the day when the temperatures are at their high and the sun is strongest.
Both running early and late in the day may seem inconvenient, however both can be very relaxing and enjoyable.
Very few people are awake or out on the road at these times plus you might get a chance to see a sunset or sunrise.
Run in Shaded Areas
Try running in a new location.
Seek out areas close by a body of water, surrounded by trees or in a cool area.
Running on asphalt, in the middle of the day, without any trees or a breeze can be disastrous.
No matter how well you have prepared for the run you will feel drained and can potentially harm the body.
Seek out shaded areas and enjoy the run without the discomfort.
Listen to your Body!
Most importantly listen to your body.
Running is the heat can have a dramatically negative impact on the body.
If the proper precautions are not taken you may find yourself feeling nauseous, sluggish, tired, ill and/or dizzy.
Listen to your body. If it feels too hot to run – don’t.
If you feel tired and think you should stop, don’t test yourself – not on a hot day.
Recognize and feeling of concern and address it as soon as possible.
When dealing with heat, err on the side of caution.
Enjoy the sun and the surf this summer. Stay cool and keep running!
Do you like to run in the summer? Share with me some of your favorite summer running tips! I would love to hear from you.
Pilates is a low-impact and safe form of mind-body exercise. Pilates improves
overall body strength, posture, breathing, alignment and flexibility.
How is Pilates Beneficial?
Pilates is known to improve strength without the body taking a toll. The exercises
focus on movement quality opposed to the amount of repetitions or resistance.
Pilates can benefit everyone:
Confidence in Movements
Creates Stability and Control
Enjoyable and Relaxing
Reduces Risk of Injury
Pilates Creates Increased Stability and Balance
Increased control and stability is important for older adults as it can help improve
functional movements including balance and posture. Pilates increases stability,
posture, strength and flexibility throughout the body, which can improve balance.
Pilates Creates a Strong Core and Straight Posture
Pilates exercises can develop a strong core (abs and back). Strong, lengthened abdominal and back muscles create fluid movements and a straight spine.
Long, Lean and Flexible Muscles are Formed
Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Pilates exercises train several muscle groups through smooth and continuous movements. Through the development of proper technique your muscles are trained to move in safe, efficient and functional motion.
I am happy to announce I have officially completed my certification at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
I am now a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach!!
Over the course of the past year my life has transformed in more ways than I could have imagined — all of which I am incredibly thankful for.
I learned an abundance of valuable information on how to live a fully authentic, healthy, and well-balanced lifestyle.
Now that I have been able to learn this life-changing information and instill amazing transformation into my own life, I am hoping to bring this gift to you through my health coaching practice.
My education at IIN consisted of coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories; including Ayurveda, gluten-free, Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and everything in between.
I was taught by the top specialist in each field. Just to name a few; Deepak Chopra, David Katz, Walter Willett, Andrew Weil, Gabrielle Bernstein, Mark Hyman, Marion Nestle, Joshua Rosenthal, and many others.
My education has equipped me with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, lifestyle change and prevention.
As a result I will begin working with clients one-on-one and in group programs to help others create a healthier, more balanced, happier life, while creating sustainable positive lifestyle changes.
During this process I will also be seeking speaking engagements and events to offer presentations and lessons on various topics. Therefore, if you or someone you know is seeking a speaker in the field of health and nutrition, let me know! I would happy to offer a presentation to your audience.
As a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach I work with clients, like you, to help make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results.
In the coming weeks:
– I will begin offering FREE health history consultations
– I will be launching my website
– I will be sending out my first newsletter
– I will be introducing my first group program
Be on the look out. If you are interested in ANY of the above listed items, please let me know ASAP.
Thank you all ❤ I am incredibly grateful for all that I achieved, and everything that is to come xo
Most runners participate in only one form of exercise which is, you guessed it – running.
Doing the same form of exercise each day is not effective in properly strengthening the body’s muscles, improving performance and preventing injuries.
As a result, it is suggested that runners participate in a consistent resistance training program to properly strengthen their muscles and evenly distribute their weight.
Strength training will not only assist in preventing injuries, it will also increase speed, endurance, runner efficiency, balance and flexibility.
Why Strength Train?
As a runner it is easy to fall into the pattern of running the same route, for the same distance, for the same amount of time, day in and day out.
When we participate in the same consistent form of exercise our muscles are not being challenged.
Over time the body will acclimate to these activities and will not build strength or endurance.
Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise Cedric Bryant reported that variety in an exercise routine allows the body to be physically challenged.
He concluded in an ACE article titled, “Why is it Important to Vary My Exercise Routine,” many of the body’s physiological systems, such as the muscular system, will adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks.
He further stated that continuing to participate in the same form of exercise activities will cause the body to “reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.”
In an effort to prevent reaching a plateau it is not only beneficial to alternate between different types of workouts, but to also incorporate different styles, durations, equipment and intensities.
The Benefits of Strength Training
The muscles used during running must be properly strengthened, stretched and cared for in order to sustain your running ventures, reach performance goals and increase your running abilities.
Strength training will create strong muscles, prevent injury, improve speed and confidence, improve running efficiency, while also allowing the body to more effectively utilize each breath.
A Runner’s World Magazine article titled, “Strength Training for Runners” stated that if you want to “perform at your full potential” you need to take a comprehensive approach to your training – which includes flexibility, mobility, balance and strength training.
How to Strength Train
Strength training is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as “a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.”
Strength training activities can be accomplished through traditional free weights, body weight exercises, resistance machine exercises, elastic tubing, medicine balls, and even household items such as cans and jugs, the ACSM stated in a 2013 report on resistance training.
The ACSM recommends that a strength training program is performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week.
According to the ACSM, one standard strength training session should be made up of 8 to 10 different exercises that target all of the major muscle groups, and each exercise should be completed for a total of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Strength training workouts general target the chest, back, shoulders, bicep, triceps, abdomen, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
Runners however tend to focus on specific areas of their body when participating in a strength training program.
According to Runner’s World Magazine runners should focus on strengthening three areas; the core, upper body and lower body.
Core muscles strengthen the abdominals and back. These muscles are the foundation of all movement. Therefore, a strong core create and support strong legs and arms.
Lower body muscles include the soleus, gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
These muscles create leg strength to withstand fast, long and difficult running ventures.
Upper body muscles include the shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. These muscles increase speed during running as the runner pumps their arms and proportionately balances their bodies.
Strength Training Exercises
A few examples of resistance training exercises to improve running ability, strength and performance include;
Lower body Russian twists
Alternating shoulder press
Accomplished American marathon runner Amby Burfoot has inspired millions of runner with his quote, “You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.”