We are currently coaching an endurance client helping him improve strength as well as running mechanics. He currently is swinging his elbows out away from his body then crossing his body in the front with his hands. This is causing him to slow as a runner and use more energy. Fixing this with this simple arm swing drill will make him a faster runner with more energy to run further. 30s seated arm swings, 30s split stance arm swings each side, 30s standing arm swings, 30yrd run 2-5x as a warmup prior to running. Contact your coaches at Performance Strength Lab today.
Congratulations Tani! Not only did Tani PR at the NYC Marathon yesterday she ran into Winner Shalane Flanagan at breakfast this morning. Love Tani’s shirt!!!! Awesome race ladies.
In my profession I speak to a lot of athletes on a daily basis. Many come to Performance Strength Lab to help them reach goals in their adult sports, others come to us who have had a past injury they don’t want to have repeat itself as they start training again. There are also athletes that come to us injured so we can help them improve their strength so they can be competitive again. I was speaking to a female runner a few days ago who suffered a bout of over training last year, she was not a client at the time, following the more runs I do each week the better, she also did not include any strength training. I discussed with her my coaching philosophy for athletes and that is to train so you can continue to enjoy your sport and be active throughout your whole life. I am an endurance athlete myself and I know for a fact our life is a ultra-marathon it is not a sprint and we must be patient with our training and ourselves.
It is unfortunate but all athletes who train specifically for a sport and do not cross-train are at risks of overuse injuries at some point. Injuries caused by overuse can occur in any repetitive activity (e.g., running, cycling, swimming, throwing, swinging). However, most overuse injuries result from a weakness or imbalance. A well-designed, properly supervised strength and conditioning program can prevent injuries by reducing muscle weaknesses and imbalances, and improving sport-specific movement patterns.
Looking specifically at runners Sports Health reviewed 238 research studies in 2009 revealing, running injuries are less a matter of foot mechanics and more a result of weak hips and the lack of stabilizing forces resulting from that weakness. According to Brian Hickey Ph.D., and exercise scientist at Florida A&M and top masters runner and duathlete, one of the problems that can ensnare a longtime runner is that distance running alone does not recruit all the muscles in your core and hips.
“Ultimately you want the hip to act like a second foot, “Hickey says. “you want to engage and recruit those larger muscles. If I run with my hips I will be engaging and using the hips, the hamstrings, the quads. When I engage those larger muscles, the lower legs are then just along for the ride”
To do this most effectively, Hickey recommends lifting heavy weights to wake up dormant muscle fibers.
"We typically only use about 50 percent of human muscle in our day-to-day lives. But let's say a car flips over and traps a loved one. The way you're going to lift the car off him is with a surge of adrenaline, recruiting all of your muscles and lifting core-to-extremity. You're going to light up a ton of motor units. The light switches are going to go on."
By lifting heavy weights as a part of your training program, Hickey says, you turn on those light switches in the deeper muscles and the core, enabling a flow of power from your core to your extremities, which improves stabilizing forces down the kinetic chain.
We use the example of running here but this is true with all sports! A proper Strength and Conditioning program for athletes you perform workouts designed for sports performance rather than just fitness. You train movements and your entire muscular system.
Better Sports Performance
Outside of simply building muscle and improving coordination, strength training has a large carryover in an athletes sport of choice. Developing more power and enhancing related motor skills help athletes perform with a competitive edge. An example, numerous studies have looked at the effects of soccer training versus a combination of strength and conditioning along with soccer training. In all studies, only the players in the latter group improved their vertical jump. There were no improvements in the soccer-only training group.
Improvements in Self-Esteem and ConfidenceImprovements in self-esteem and confidence are important and often overlooked. Gaining a mental edge is often the difference between performing your best and turning in a subpar performance. By mastering exercise techniques, setting personal bests and achieving goals, athletes can build confidence through strength training.
Better HealthKeeping active enhances the athlete’s immediate health and can establish good behavior that lasts a lifetime. Finally, strength training can help lower cholesterol and has a favorable effect on blood lipid profiles, making it ideal for fat loss and weight maintenance in overweight individuals
At the Lab we were talking about the importance of a good running stride and the topic of extending your stride length to improve running speed came up. We can write pages on running stride. There are two common technical problems we see one is over-striding and the other is under-striding. We want to find a personalized comfortable balance between the two.
Over-striding occurs when an athlete attempts to outreach their leg length in order to cover more ground. Over-striding causes a significant change in the mechanics of the running action that can range from overextension of the hips, poor foot contact position (heel striking) and a vertical torso.
Under-striding occurs when an athlete takes smaller strides during a run action which can be found in an athlete that may think they are covering more ground by moving their feet more quickly, or by having weakness or tight muscles in the movement chain that will not allow them to reach for ground efficiently or comfortably.
To address both over-striding and under-striding we spend time observing the runner then making corrections through direct communication and running drills. With regards to under-striding, an athlete may lack strength and flexibility in key muscles involved in running, which can be addressed via resistance training, flexibility and mobility activities to improve on this technical error as well as improving both runners power and speed.
At Performance Strength Lab we offer both Gait Analysis (running form) as well as well as Treadmill test to determine Running Zones based on Heart Rate, Rate Of Perceived Exertion and Pace. Contact us today for help reaching your running goals!
"This place is amazing! The name is a perfection depiction on what you'll be doing here. The staff here actually care about YOU and helping you reach the goals that you have set out for yourself. The facility is clean and colorful with everything you can think of to get you to a faster, stronger and healthier athlete" - Jamiee Rossi (Ultra Runner)
Coaches Tip: Coach Beckerley
Endurance Athletes: Strength Training is Important
This past weekend I ran the Lake Hodges 50k, a rolling terrain, on trails, in the heat. As I endured the miles this race was a reminder to me how important strength training is. I felt strong even after I passed 26 miles, my form was good and I was running efficiently and fast. Even when the doubts came into my head, I was able to remind myself that I am strong, correct my running form and continue forward to the finish.
All great athletes strength train, also adult athletes who want to finish challenging races, PR their best times, feel great after races strength train. Our athletes at Performance Strength Lab consistently prove it. Tiger Woods one of the greatest golfers of all times who also ran track and cross country before he became a professional golfer said it well. “treat it as a sport.” “I let other people treat it like a hobby,” he says. “It would be asinine for someone not to workout and go play football. It doesn’t make sense for golf either.” This is true for golf, team sports, running, cycling and triathlon too!
The great marathon runner Meb Keflezighi winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon writes in his book Meb For Mortals “I can always tell by looking at race photos when I haven’t been as dedicated to strength training as I should be. To take just one example I’ll notice that I’m bent forward at the waist. Among other things, this means I’m using more energy just to keep my back upright. As a result, I’m slower but feel like I’m working harder. Having better form and therefor running more efficiently and faster is one reason strength training is so important.”
I noticed this myself in 2011 when I decided to shelve strength training and concentrate on getting more running miles in as well as cycling and swimming for triathlon. The races that year I saw a dramatic drop in my performance and my running times. It was not until I implemented back into my weekly training plan Strength Training that my race times improved again.
Whether you are a competitive athlete or an athlete who wants to finish events feeling strong and enjoying each mile you should include Strength Training into your plan. We at Performance Strength Lab specialize in helping Adult and Youth athletes reach their goals, contact us today for a free Success Session so we can get you started on your path to feeling strong.
Congratulations Josie Candelaria and Angela Forney! Both completed the Esprit de She this past weekend
A reminder, our coaches provide all Performance Strength Lab clients with endurance event training plans and race specific guidance. Contact us today if there is an event you are ready to train for!
Thank you to everyone who attended our SD Runner's Clinic a fundraiser event. You helped us raise $555.00 for The Fisher House! Hopefully you also took home a few gems you can use during your training. We had a great group, and it was a pleasure for us coaches to donate our time and money to help not only The Fisher House but also local runner's here in San Diego!
Coach Tip: Visualization
By: Doctor Shiloh Beckerley PhD
You’re finally starting the taper before your big race – and you are starting to go stir crazy. Suddenly your daily workout is cut short – or is not there at all – leaving you with far too much time on your hand to nervously anticipate your upcoming race. Instead of turning to Netflix – use this time to visualize your success in your upcoming race.
Visualization has long been a part of elite athletes’ success, and researchers have shown that it improves performance in a wide range of sports, including endurance sports. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just set aside 10 minutes to quietly picture a successful race day in as much detail as possible. Be specific in your thoughts and use all of your senses.
Often, when trying this out, new runners will tend to imagine their race from a birds-eye view. Others tend to visualize the race through their own eyes, looking ahead at the racecourse in front of them. To get the biggest performance boost, researcher suggests alternating between these perspectives. So, some days, visualize yourself from a birds-eye view, crushing the hills and speeding past your competition – but other days, visualize the race through a first-person perspective – feeling strong and seeing the finish line only steps ahead of you.
For daily news and pictures visit our Facebook and Instagram pages
Performance Strength Lab