Tag: Runner

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #8 Communication and Logging Workouts

Communication and Logging Workouts
Documenting your journey, your workouts, your successes during training, along with the things that didn’t go so well, helps you and your coach see where you are going and what can be improved. If you look back on track workouts from months prior or the year prior and see your improvements then it should give you that extra confidence to know you are showing improvements. Most athletes use the races alone to determine their success, as a coach we see the stuff going on day in and day out that are making you a better athlete. Write down your journey, it is fun to look back to see how far you have come.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Why Am I So Prone to Ankle Injury?

A common injury to both athletes and non-athletes is an ankle sprain. This is usually caused by landed on an uneven surface which causes the ankle to twist, stretching or tearing the ligaments that hold the foot in place. The most common form of an ankle sprain is when the foot turns in, damaging the lateral (or side) ligaments. Medial ligament sprains are rare and usually occur with a fracture to the tibia caused by the foot turning out.

There are 3 grades of severity for ankle sprains:
Grade 1

  • Some stretching or minor tearing of the ankle ligaments most likely lateral
  • Mild pain
  • Mild swelling around the bone on the outside of the ankle
  • Some joint stiffness or difficulty walking or running

Grade 2

  • Moderate tearing of the ligament fibers
  • Moderate to severe pain and difficulty walking
  • Swelling and stiffness in ankle joint
  • Minor bruising

Grade 3

  • Total rupture of ligament
  • Complete instability of joint
  • Severe pain
  • Severe swelling
  • Extensive bruising

The recovery from a sprained ankle can be quick or can last months depending on the grade of sprain and your active involvement in rehabbing the injured area. Your best bet for assisting with a quick recovery time is to initially use R.I.C.E.

Rest the injury to reduce the risk of further injuring the ankle. Some therapists advocate partial weight-bearing as soon as tolerated to help rehabilitation time.

Ice will reduce the swelling and increase circulation to the injured area. Place ice on the ankle first thing following the injury for 15 min. Repeat this every 2 hours.

Compression will also assist with reducing swelling and bleeding.

Elevation uses gravity to help reduce bleeding and inflammation by allowing the blood to flaw away from the injured site.

The next step in recovery is to do rehab on your ankle working on stretching and strengthening those injured muscles, tendons and ligaments. The most important part of rehabilitation of an ankle injury is range of motion. Great exercises include making circles with your feet or spelling your ABC’s in capital letters with your feet. Make sure you have something close to you for balance and keep your core engaged. The calf muscle usually tightens following an ankle injury for protection so gentle stretching will aid in a faster recovery time. Make sure you stretch both the Gastrocnemius (large calf muscle) and the Soleus (smaller calf muscle that attaches below the knee).

Stretch should be felt throughout the whole calf muscle.

Stretch should be felt in the lower part of the leg closer to your heel.

Stability and core exercises are also an important aspect to the rehabilitation and strengthening of an ankle injury. Such devices as the Bosu and wobble boards place the ankle in a “controlled chaos” which trains the body how to react to situations that may damage the ankle. These tools will strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the ankle and should be incorporated into any exercise routine for someone who has suffered this kind of injury.

What ever grade ankle sprain you have; Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are the first tools to a rapid recovery. After that a good rehab program involving range of motion and strengthening, perhaps utilizing a Bosu/wabble board, should be your second step. Ankle sprains can be a continuous problem and should be addressed sooner rather than later. If you would like more information on ankle rehab or strengthening please contact Thomas Eagen.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #6 Listening to Your Body

Listening to Your Body
This is for in training and in racing. Recognizing signals that something is “off” and dealing with it.

Your training program is a guideline, but if something feels “tweaky” knowing that your body needs a break at that time rather than trying to push through the workout to “do more” can lead to injury later. As for racing, listen to your body cues and respond to them appropriately instead of waiting until it is too late (ie: fueling properly, pacing well, and staying on your game plan for the day).

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Training to be the Perfect Athlete

When the word “athletic” comes to mind I envision an individual who is competent in all aspects of fitness (strength, flexibility, endurance, agility and coordination). Though excelling at all of these is a rare and difficult task, being competent in each of them builds an amazing foundation for a healthy and active life.

On the other end of the spectrum, neglecting one or more of these components can be a detriment to your performance and health. Being incredibly strong but inflexible is the cause of many overuse injuries (tendonitis, arthritis, etc). Being flexible and lacking strength can lead to the exact same ailments. Concentrating on endurance alone (i.e.: running or swimming) without a proper base of strength and flexibility will cause hormone imbalances and will wreak havoc on your joints.

Through creating a foundation in all these areas seems difficult, but here at the Seattle Athletic Club we offer a myriad of classes and opportunities to become the “Perfect Athlete”. With a wide variety of group classes, you can easily add several tools to your fitness arsenal with no additional cost. If you want to take things to the next level, any of our highly qualified Personal Fitness Trainers can help you fill in any gaps you may have in your regimen.

Here are a few examples of how to develop each component.
Strength

  • Weight Training
  • Bodyweight Exercises
  • Resistance Bands
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

Flexibility

  • Yoga
  • Band Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Active Range of Motion (Leg swings, etc)

Endurance

  • Running
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Circuit Training
  • Spinning
  • Martial Arts
  • Squash

Agility + Coordination

  • Squash
  • Basketball
  • Jump Rope
  • Olympic Lifting
  • Martial Arts

If you have any questions or want more information please take advantage of our educated staff to help guide you with your fitness needs.

Post Exercise Fueling

Just finished a hard training session with Captain “I said 10 more!” and now you are dog tired and hungry as a wolf. What do you re-fuel your body with, there are so many choices! The best thing to do is pick food higher in protein and fat and lower in carbohydrates and sugars especially. The more protein the better chance your body (muscles in particular) have of re-pairing themselves. The protein combined with the fat will take long to metabolize and sustain your energy for longer. Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as bagels, muffins, scones, syrups, yogurt coated nuts, etc. Need something fast, a protein shake with real fruit and a small amount of milk/soy milk in it will really hit the spot! Want to keep it simple? Try a hand full of almonds, a hard boiled egg, and a small piece of fruit. Don’t forget to follow it all up with plenty of water!

What is TRX Suspension Training?

First of all let’s start off with what the TRX system is. TRX was originally designed by a Navy Seal who needed to be able to stay in shape with limited space and something small enough for sea bags. Since then, TRX has made its way into the fitness industry and is used by many pro sports teams, coaches, and top trainers around the world.

Simply put, TRX is a type of training that uses gravity and your own body weight to build strength, power, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability, all while preventing injuries, and increasing bone density. There are many advantages of using the TRX system.

  • Regardless of your training goals the TRX can help! For starters, you can minimize your training time by working your entire body switching from one exercise to the next in just seconds. The best part is every exercise engages your core. You may think that your core is just your abdominals, however, it is more than that! Your core includes the pelvis, abs, glutes, back, and chest muscles.
  • It is your core that provides your body with stability, balance and flexibility. Everything you do in your life starts with your core, whether it is bending over to pick up the pen you dropped on the floor, washing your car, playing basketball with your kids, or participating in an Ironman. A strong and stable core is important to help prevent injuries, not just in your low back but throughout your entire body. Just think of how developing good core strength and stability will not only enhance your performance, but your way of life too!

  • Another advantage to TRX is that you use your own body weight to adjust your personal fitness level simply by walking closer or further away from the anchor point. This keeps you constantly challenging your body through every exercise, minimizing wasted time switching weights.
  • By using the TRX you can build muscle strength and size, challenging your body in a way it has not been challenged. TRX can strengthen all the stabilizing muscles around the joints needed to support a heavier weight, something that is not achieved by taking your body through a seated machine workout. This gives you more strength and power for your regular routines in the weight room, as well as giving you a strong foundation with less chance of injury. TRX is a great tool for plyometric type training as well, for an added increase in your power output.
  • TRX also helps in the fight against bone loss. The exercises on the TRX can be low impact while having the benefits of weight bearing exercises. You can add in a weight vest to make it even more challenging. The TRX helps you get in some ranges of motion you may not have been able to achieve before offering support while recruiting more muscles.
  • Are you looking for a cardio workout to lose weight and build muscle endurance? The TRX will fire multiple muscles, which increases the heart rate, burning more calories than sitting or standing through a “traditional” exercise. TRX can keep you constantly moving from one exercise to the next in a circuit-like manner. This strengthens your heart as well as increases muscular endurance.

Why should we train on the TRX over traditional styles of training?
Traditional styles of training are performed in what we call Sagital plane of motion meaning moving forward, backward, push or pulling types of exercises, typically while seated. An example would be a seated chest press, a seated cable row, or a leg press, none of which challenge the core the way we need for our daily activities. Do we always move in our daily routine only forward, backward, and supported? The answer is NO! We move left, right, forward, backward, diagonally and twisting and bending. Don’t you think we should train our bodies the same way? This is exactly why the TRX helps prevent injuries, while developing a strong and stable core. By moving in multi-plane exercises, you are training your body for daily activities and reducing chances of injury.

What are some of the exercises I can do to enhance my performance?
Like any new exercise program or introduction to new equipment you will always start with the basics until you have mastered form and technique. This will help you recruit the appropriate muscles and help prevent injuries. Here are some of the basic exercises that you would start off with when you first get going on the TRX: Chest Press, Row, Lunge, Squat, Plank, Tucks, Pike, Side Lunge, Oblique Twist, Back Extension.

Who is TRX training for?
As you see, the TRX system is very versatile for everyone: young, old, pro-athlete, recreational athlete, stay at home mom, body builder – no matter what your goals are or what your fitness level is, TRX is for you! Get started in a one on one program with a trainer or a group class today and take your physique to the next level!

To begin a TRX training program please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Katrina Yniguez, 206-443-1111 x289.

To Go Bare, or Not to Go Bare? That is the Question!

Many magazines and gyms have heard the hype about running barefoot. It’s becoming a craze with running enthusiasts everywhere. There is even a brand of shoes on the market that are supposed to mimic wearing nothing called Vibram FiveFingers. The company states that “it puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way.” So the question is; what is the best way to run for your feet; no shoes, natural shoes, or running shoes?

Many exercise physiologists believe that wearing shoes, like other braces and supporters, weaken the muscles, ligaments, tendons and natural arches that support the structure of the foot. They think that the added cushion and supportive shoe inserts create poor biomechanics which can lead to increased risk of foot, knee and leg injuries.

On the other hand, some experts believe that certain proper fitting shoes can actually correct a lot of biomechanical problems, helping to alleviate the risk of injury. They state that if correcting foot pain was as simple as going bare foot, why isn’t everyone doing it, and why is the pain still present. Jumping into wearing no shoes can shock the feet, and without an adaptation phase can create more severe foot problems.

Until there is definitive research about whether one is better than the other all we can do is make an informed decision on what mode of running would benefit us most. So here are the pros and cons of barefoot running.

Pros:
* May develop a more natural gait, strengthen the muscle, tendons and ligaments of the foot
* Helps the calves & Achilles tendon lengthen and stretch, reducing likelihood of lower leg injuries
* May learn to land on forefoot rather than heel. Heel striking while running came around because of the excessive padding in the heels of shoes. Research is now showing that heel striking is less efficient, because you are basically putting on the brakes every step. Landing on the forefoot allows the arches of the foot to act as a natural shock absorber.
* Can improve balance and proprioception by working smaller stabilizing muscles

Cons:
* If you are not experiencing any problems, should you not run in shoes?
* They offer a layer of protection against foreign objects and the elements like snow and rain.
* Overworking the small muscles, causing Achilles tendonitis and calf strains.
* Without the stiff-soled shoe, our soft tender plantar surface may be more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
* Blisters will be your friends for the first couple of weeks without shoes.

If your feet have had aches that wont go away, try bare foot running. Just be aware that there are some consequences of running with protection; but your feet may thank you for the freedom to move more naturally, or they may say get me back in my protective environment. Only you can decide what is right for your own feet. If running bare foot is just too much, try one of the new shoes on the market like the Vibram FiveFingers and see if it is that perfect combination of support and freedom you feet need. Like any exercise, don’t jump in full bore, try it out a little at a time and listen to your body! Have fun and get running.

Pilates + Running = Speed + Distance

Training for a marathon this summer? Maybe a 5K race? Whether you’re a marathoner, short distance or casual runner there is no doubt running is great cardiovascular work. But your body can take a beating and this can lead to muscle imbalances in the body that can sideline runners. Pilates can help balance things out and get you running faster and further.

WHY PILATES?
As a runner, you have great leg strength. However, you may notice that your hamstrings (back of legs) are weak. Your quadriceps (front thigh), inner thighs and hip flexors may feel tight. These imbalances in the muscles of the legs and hips can potentially cause pain and injury for runners, especially the knee, hip, ankle and foot.

PILATES EXERCISES WILL:
• Strengthen hamstrings, inner thighs, and gluteals, taking pressure off the front and side of the leg
• Elongate and align the spine for better stability
• Improve technique, flexibility and balance so you move efficiently
• Recover faster from injuries
• Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
• Enhance concentration through focused breathing

The best way to know what your body specifically needs is to meet with a Pilates Instructor who will learn your weaknesses and tight areas, and develop a program based on those needs of stretching and strengthening.

But, in the meantime, here are some at-home exercises you could start today:

  1. The Hundred
  2. The Abdominal Series of five
  3. Single leg stretch
    Double leg stretch
    Single straight leg stretch
    Double straight leg stretch
    Criss-cross

  4. The Swimming

A balanced body will keep you out on the road, track or treadmill all season long; not to mention shave seconds off your times!