The race season has ended
for most and preparation for the holidays has taken a front seat. We just spent last week being thankful for
family, friends, good health and hopefully managing a long and successful
season while staying injury free. Because, being able to finish a season
meeting your goals and staying healthy is no small feat, as we all well
know. Inevitably there will be setbacks
(illness, travel, nutritional disasters) but not to have a major injury to keep
you away from training is truly something to be thankful for. So, how can we all achieve this monstrous achievement? What can you do differently this coming
season to give you the best chance for success? For starters, have a
run assessment, bike assessment and swim analysis. I’m sure you will
find areas of inefficiencies, lost power and asymmetrical movement
patterns. Second, look at form and technique in all 3 disciplines and
what you could do to improve each of them.
are becoming more prevalent in non-elite and junior sports. Regular assessment of fitness changes can
provide valuable information regarding the athletes’ progression, effectiveness
of their training program and identify athletic talent.
Given the convenience
and affordability of performance testing it’s surprising that many endurance athletes do not know his or her
training numbers. Whether it’s their
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) for cycling or their anaerobic threshold
training zones for running. The
knowledge of this information and how to use it is a key component to being
successful in endurance sports.
“But I don’t need an
assessment, I’ve been running for a long time.”
The fact is, most of
us need an assessment, whether we run sub-four minute miles or are just out
there having fun. Running is hard on your body so it’s really important to get
it right. The winter months are a
perfect time to work on your economy, efficiency and strength as your volume
will be low allowing you to focus on becoming better. A run assessment can be beneficial to runners
of all abilities and will get you on the road to running faster, more
efficiently, and injury free.
“So, what does an assessment look like?”
Let’s look at running.We will analyze each
phase of your gait cycle to help identify poor movement patterns, impaired
neuromuscular activation, or lack of strength. These deficiencies can
reduce running speed and efficiency; and can be the underlying cause for
injuries now or in the future. We’ll show you asymmetries in your gait and what
you can do about it by teaching you exercises and workouts to ensure you are moving
in the right direction. Many people run
as children and teenagers. It’s a muscle memory that we develop early on.
Few of us are lucky enough to have a coach or teacher that gets back to the
fundamentals of running form during our most impressionable ages. But the
stakes of injury are high and can severely reduce your enjoyment of sports and
quality of life, especially as we get older.
Most aches and pains
(like foot pain, knee pain or hip pain) can all be traced back to asymmetries
or poor neuromuscular recruitment patterns throughout the gait cycle. The
off season is a great time of year to slow down, focus on form and develop
strong running form before increasing your training volume and intensity for
the next season.
In cycling, we measure
your FTP as well as look at your cycling mechanics. This test allows us to create workouts base
on certain energy systems that are specific to your test results. This will give you the best chance to
increase your threshold power, improve sustained power output and develop a more
efficient pedal stroke by incorporating drill workouts into your training
program. The test is complimentary for
athletes that work out with us to ensure they are getting the best results and
moving closer to their goal. We offer 5
different workouts focusing on different energy systems every week: VO2 Max and Anaerobic, Power, Tempo and
Sustained Power, Drills and Efficiency, Active Recovery Endurance. The goal is to correct any pedal stroke
inefficiencies and increase power output (both max and sustained).
Make sure you take
full advantage of your winter training this year. Take the time to get an assessment in your
specific sport and focus on your technique.
That way, when the season starts again and the volume starts
to pick up, you’ll be FASTER, STRONGER, and more EFFICIENT!