Balanced Training for Active Adults
Growing up as a runner, it easily became my “Go-To” activity. And so, for years I continued to run, maybe from time to time doing a little upper body work or what I considered to to be quality ‘core’ exercises, but otherwise largely neglected strength training as I was a runner, and that’s what runners did. Running became easy because I found I was good at it and had fun with it. As I got into my late teens and early 20s, I had my first encounters with knee pains that were becoming more and more chronic, so for a couple of years I gave up running, not sure what to do about it. I was stubborn and not willing to seek out advice, especially anything outside of running magazine articles.
Over the next few years, I would have on and off bouts of pain and injury as I took my running and got involved in triathlons.In 2007, I was trying to compete more than I had in the past, but as life took me in the direction it took me, I ended up having to spend a lot of time working on our new family ranch in Morgan. I had very little time to train for my sports. But I was spending the day lifting heavy objects, walking up and down the mountain. I got strong because I was working the ranch all day, but as my competitions got closer, I got nervous because I had spent very little time following my training plan. I almost dropped them, but decided to follow the commitment and race any way. I was blown away by what happened. I had actually had some of my best races.
When I started my education to become a personal trainer and endurance coach that year, I started looking at the reasons why I actually improved my times that year and had no injuries. That’s when I learned the connection of the need for strength and power training even for my endurance sports that was not included before.We as humans are great at getting fixated on one particular way of doing things. Our culture is also dangerously too focused on everything happening in front of us. Running and Cycling, while great for the cardiovascular system, add on to this problem of too much repetition of life in front of us. Because of this, we become weak to anything else that life throws at us and we develop overuse injuries.
Strength training is a great way to counter this. It doesn’t need to be drastic changes in many people’s situations, but it can be daunting to start. Here are a few quick things to think about to get you started.
1. Find a small class offered by a gym you trust (a class designed for training, not just a workout), or find a personal trainer to work with. Ask as many questions as you can and shop around, especially when it comes to a personal trainer. There is no such thing as a one size fits all training, but there are many good options that could exist for you. Or if those aren’t valid options, find a balanced training plan to follow.
2. Look at different energy systems if following or designing a training plan. Strength, power, flexibility, endurance should all be part of the equation for the various body’s needs.
3. Take movement into account. We aren’t designed to be working just in front of us, and real life doesn’t happen that way either. Many injuries happen because people don’t consider this. We’re designed to twist and rotate, move from side to side, and move backward just as much as we are designed to move forward.
4. Rest and recovery needs to be put in appropriately as well. Giving the right amount of rest is hard to determine for many. This is where taking time to speak with a trainer or coach is valuable. Flexibility, massage or foam rolling and proper nutrition and hydration need to be looked at here as well.
At Athletic Republic, this is the reason we created our new AR-Fit program, to address many of these concerns. It’s a balanced approach to the whole body to safely and effectively work through them in a small group setting. If you’re near our Park City location, pop in and catch me or one of the other trainers there, or if you’re near another Athletic Republic, keep an eye out for this program rolling out in the near future, or ask them about it.
To your health,
Swan Workman, Endurance Coach and Personal Trainer