Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Training The Glutes

As triathlon, cycling, and running coaches - we rarely work with athletes who are too strong, too powerful or too flexible; therefore, we recognize the benefits of functional strength training. The glutes (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) are an extremely powerful muscle group - arguably the "powerhouse" of the entire body for sport movements. When functioning properly, the glutes improve performance in any sport that involves using the legs and can also prevent injury, such as low-back, knee pain, and calf/foot pain.

Our August training tips centered around the glutes and included exercises to strengthen the glutes (any many other lower-extremity muscle groups) in all three planes of motion (front-to-back, side-to-side, and rotational).

Click Below for handouts a video of functional training exercises for the glutes:

  • Training the Glutes - Video
  • Training the Glutes - Lunge With Rotation (see below)
  • Training the Glutes - Lunge Hop (see below)

Catalyst Endurance Coaching

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Variety = Injury Prevention

Weekly Training Tip:

Variety is the spice of life and the key to preventing injuries. Jen Rhines, 3-Time US Olympian Runner, agrees with this philosophy - in the June 2012 issue of Competitor Magazine, she answered the following question:

What advice would you give to age-group runners? "I always encourage recreational runners to do some extra things instead of doing the exact same thing every day. Doing more stretching, drills or work in the weight room can make you a better runner and prevent overuse injuries and burnout."

For the recreational runner, your week should involve 3-4 "key" workouts, at least 1 day of active rest and at least 1 day of total rest.  Below is an example:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday (Key): Speed/Interval Run (emphasis on form and threshold running)
Wednesday: Strength Training
Thursday (Key): Tempo Run (emphasis on quality, sub-threshold running)
Friday: Active Rest
Saturday (Key): Long Run (emphasis on distance, not speed)
Sunday: Active Rest or Cross-Training

Yes - you can train for a race of any distance (even a marathon) with only 3-4 days of running per week.  Proper rest and quality workouts are each far more important than the volume (quantity) of your workouts.  If you would like to put this philosophy into practice, CEC offers year-round Group Classes and group or individual Training Programs.

Train hard, but have fun!

Catalyst Endurance Coaching

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Raceday Preparation for Runners

Recover: Training for any event can drain the mind, body and spirit.  The weeks and days prior to raceday are meant for tapering, not cramming; you can not get in shape in one or two weeks, but you can get hurt.  You have likely spent the last 12-18 weeks in “perma-soreness,” so you deserve to run with fresh legs on raceday!  Proper recovery includes decreased duration and intensity of exercise, one or two extra days of rest, increased mobility exercises and increased hydration.  All of this (as apposes to a week of complete rest) will allow the healing and refreshing needed to make raceday enjoyable.

PrepareMake a checklist before packing your raceday bag – include even the obvious items such as shoes, socks, race bib and timing chip/strap.  Raceday is already hectic enough: finding parking (or riding a shuttle that takes forever), checking in your bag (which can be a half mile from the start), waiting in line for the port-o-potty (maybe even twice), wading your way through the crowd to your starting corral . . . after all of this, you have very little energy to focus on anything else.  Do all you can in advance to limit raceday anxiety.

FuelWith a wake-up call sometime around 4:30, travel to the race, and the aforementioned “hectic” events on raceday, it is easy to neglect proper fueling.  The only “perfect” raceday breakfast is the one your body is used to consuming.  Eat a larger meal (300-500 Calories) about two hours before the start of the race and then a “jumpstart” snack 15-30 minutes before the start (50-100 Calories, mostly carbohydrate).  It is okay to have some caffeine on raceday – but once again, make sure you know how your body responds.

HydrateSimilarly to fueling, it is easy to start your race under-hydrated.  Between breakfast and your warm-up, drink at least 20 ounces of fluid (a standard water bottle).  Between your warm-up and the start of your race, drink at least another 12 ounces (half of another water bottle).  Since your body needs a combination of water, carbohydrate and electrolytes – have a sports drink OR water along with carbs and sodium.  The body can load (store) muscles with both energy and water – so your fueling and hydration program begins days before your race, not in the morning.

Warm-up: The #1 way to prevent injury is a proper warm-up – the #1 task people skip on raceday is the warm-up (a few stretches while waiting for the port-o-potty do not count).  As with your nutrition and hydration, you should complete a warm-up routine you have done before.  The ideal warm-up includes exercises that: increase heart rate, increase muscle temperature, take your joints through a greater-than-normal range of motion and involve dynamic movements (as running is dynamic, not static).  Equally important, the warm-up preps the mind for the upcoming 3.1 to 26.2 miles.  Always finish your warm-up with a smile, applause, and/or high-5’s – your friends can use the encouragement as much as you!

Mantra: Never try anything new on raceday!