Sports Science Basics for Runners
By Dr. David Cosman in Hong Kong
Weight Training For Runners
There is a season for everything in the gym, depending on the periodization of your strength and conditioning with regard to your sport. Gyms offer more than weights, so take advantage of the many systems and programs that are conducive to running, and be comfortable that your program is designed and modified based on a progressive strategy.
Bad weather is a good excuse to use the gym, and the treadmill is a great machine to review and focus on your form. Being familiar with the facilities in your gym can allow for smooth transition of new or prescribed exercises when you can’t run due to an injury.
A good personal trainer or a sports scientist has so much insight to guide you with your sport specific gym programs. An understanding of your sport-specific technique will help you to build an sensible and effective strength and conditioning program.
Use machines that don’t put your body parts in strained positions. Some machines like thigh extension machines have adjustable platform heights so that your hip joint is at the same height as the cam on the machine.
Many gym exercises are convenient in injury rehab because they can be used for eccentric strengthening, also termed negative muscle loading.
Free weights, pulleys, TRX, stretch bands, balance discs and others are good for incorporating proprioception and balance into your training. Nerve/muscle (neuro-muscular) re-education is all-important especially when recovering from an injury. Learn how to use these concepts and devices from an experienced trainer.
Standing on one leg and going though motions on vibration plates and balance discs is productive and great for rehabilitating injuries before getting back to running. Following an injury, you might not be ready to hike or run at all if you can’t balance on one leg at a time!
Gym work strategies must be sensible, so consult with an experienced professional to get it right.