Running

Strengthening your running chassis

Recreational runners

If you’ve been running for a while and have never managed to experience an injury or suffer from some niggles due to the wear and tear the typical runner incurs then I would probably say you are a quite fortunate or just plain lucky. Well done and keep on going as you are doing well. For some to be a runner is to constantly carry some sort of grievance like a badge of honor. How many times do you hear from a fellow runner how in pain they are after their usual long run and brag about it?

Most recreational runners unfortunately choose to run through the pain and hope it will run itself out or it will go away. Unless you are an active competitor I don’t see the point. For me at my age I can’t afford to get injured as the recovery will not only be long but will carry over to my work and life activities. Like most injuries you should do everything possible to prevent  them, in my case I choose to reduce my chances by incorporating an all over resistance training program that provides me with a balanced regime allowing me to particularly target the hip and leg region in building up a strong and durable running chassis.

Weight training for runners

In the past it was thought of that adding some weight training will bulk you up and slow you down. Fortunately for us we are now in a better position with education and experience that this is not entirely true. It is if you are training to simply pack on mass/muscle, say with a powerlifting or bodybuilding program then you will be slowed down due to the inactive additional mass you have to carry. However in taking a more proactive approach and embracing a complete strength and conditioning program in assisting your passion of running, it will strengthen the skeletal and muscular system and turn you into a more resilient runner. This means that you can enjoy your passion for running. Nothing better than knowing you can tackle the last klms felling stronger through the hips and legs as opposed to being in survival mode and crossing the finish line a wreck.

Here’s a few of my chosen movement that I’ve incorporated into my own and running clients full body programming.

  • Trap bar deadlifts – The one movement that I prefer in the programming of runners is this classic floor pull movement. It works the Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings together in the execution and compared to the more technically difficult barbell deadlift is kinder on the spinal loading and more comfortable to execute. It’s also easier to teach and allows for greater reps to be performed compared to the Barbell Deadlift and Olympic lifting variations. Remember this lift was chosen for the runner in complimenting their program, not the pure strength trainer. In addition it can also be performed for higher repetitions.
  • Single leg deadlift (SLDL) – In complimenting the trap bar deadlift the next exercise I add is the SLDL as it target the Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower back. An excellent compound (intermediate level) Strength movement. My weapon of choice here is working the two kettlebells as they are easier to hold and assist with the balancing of the movement required. The feedback I get from this little gem is that the glutes get worked solid and walking around for a few days later seems challenging. (Ladies take note!) The other is that it toughens up the ankle and helps with balance. The additional loading of the lower back within the overall movement allows the posterior chain to develop fully and adding value to the movement as running, without the constant (concrete/bitumen) compounding of the joints during a run.
  • Kettlebell Front squats – These are by far my favourite movement for the active runner. The front rack positioning of the Kettlebells once learned allows for a more upright posture development whilst targeting the quadriceps muscles during the squat. This front positioning allows for a deeper squat technique, is easier on the shoulder loading and ensures your core is activated due to the stabilizing required and guarantees it receives a solid hit out. All up an excellent movement for runners compared to the barbell squat less the wrist flexibility required in performance. Once again the choice was for the runner, not the future Olympic lifter.

As previously mentioned the above 3 have been selected in complimenting the runner who has decided to either integrate a more specific workout of just looking at starting up a resistance program and needing where to start. After all you are a runner first and a weight trainer later.

Just to finish off it would be remiss of me if I didn’t as a Personal trainer mentioned that an all over body program is the ideal way in training your body and I would never recommend a pure upper body or Lower body program and disregard a more balanced approach. As a bare minimum and for the sake of balance both the Military press and Chin ups should be added. These two movements are not directly running related but will go a long way in adding upper body strength and balance to the lower body component, from a structural point of view they are a must.

Please ensure that before participating in any resistance program you are familiar with the techniques and are in an environment where professional guidance is available. The last thing you want is to incur an injury from the very program that you started in order to prevent them in the first place.

Happy Running.

Claudefit is an active runner who also balances own resistance training program for a fuller delivery of working out time.

Running trails in Mill Park

Trail Running in Mill Park

We are currently on a mission where my two running buddies and I are looking at tackling another Spartan race in September while building up to towards a full road marathon in late October.

As a group we have previously tackled sever running event as they pop up and deal with them as part of our regular running program. This time around we are being more practical and have planned out strategies to cover three different runs while ensuring that the workouts all complement each other. We have already completed the Plenty valley 11.2klm trail run as part of our preparation and have set up a solid base of  trail running for the next more challenging and longer event – The Spartan beast that is a half marathon trail run along with many obstacles.

It’s been an interesting few months as we have built up the necessary kilometres of running required to successfully complete this particular trifecta all while maintaining our health and staying injury free. We are all have other responsibilities and getting injured is not an option so we do our best to prepare for the upcoming events with a sound program that balance out running and resistance training.

Our running

The first race for us was the Salomon run in plenty valley (Mill Park) which is an 11.2 klm’s trail run around the blue lake single trails that is one of the more scenic events this series has to offer. It’s made up of several single track sections, a big hill and several more technical sections that add up to an enjoyable and challenging run. We have been running this particular area for several months as we are local to this course and change the route every time we run the park for variety. We generally cover anything from 8 to 20 klms depending on the type of workout.

With trail running just chucking in hill or two makes a huge difference so there’s plenty to offer here. This shorter (Salomon series) of the 3 events offers us the opportunity to work on our hill climbing , speed work and overall endurance in using it as a stepping stone to the longer and harder 20klm Spartan race coming up in September. Let’s not forget the Marathon in October.

The following is a simple, yet effective plan in getting you prepared for trial running. Remember, the bottom line with most programs is to simply turn up, do the work and commit to the long term plan. Especially with running!

  • 2-3 times minimum running 8-15 klm’s both on road and trails. This would include a longer run over the weekend covering a mix of road/trail up to 20klm’s
  • 2 sessions working on resistance training
  • And for my clients 1 personal training session working of full body strength covering specific requirements based on their particular needs.

Our weight training sessions

The resistance program was approached with a view of ensuring that the overall training load would fulfil an all over strength base increase and make us more durable given the trail running effect on the body and in particular preparation for the half marathon distance Spartan race. It’s basically a General Physical Preparation plan that will deliver a bigger return on workout time. It’s important to ensure that both you fitness and conditioning is up to the task.

The following represents the major exercises/movement covered.

Trap bar Deadlift/barbell

Barbell military press

Barbell bench

Barbell squat

Pull ups/chins

For a more conditioning approach the following more that satisfied the criteria

Kettlebell swing

Kettlebell push press

Sandbag shouldering / Sandbag muscle snatch

Battling rope

Skipping

My own weekly program was basic. Here’s the plan for the last month. 

Sunday – Long run

Monday – Mobility / weights

Tuesday – Run

Wednesday – Run

Thursday – Weights

Friday – Run

Saturday – Mobility

A lack of preparation will show on the day.

Similar to most things in life without proper planning you are going nowhere. It’s clearly the way to approach any fitness goal as it will go a long way in getting you where you want to be. whether its weight loss, an increase in fitness levels , becoming stronger or simply cleaning up your act with your food , it will always come down to having an effective plan first and then sticking to it. I’ve seen it many times before during running events where  a few chosen ones turn up and think they will wing it on the day and “see how it goes” unfortunately this usually doesn’t go too well. It’s the same thing with nutrition, if you don’t manage your intake along with the quality of your nutrients then nothing will happen.

By having a plan you at least have a greater chance in achieving your goals. As life tends to sometimes getting the way it’s always good to know that you can always adjust you plan as circumstances dictate. It’s better to have one than not.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park with the premises conveniently located with access directly to the gorge and its many trails.

Happy training and see you at Spartan. AROO!

 

Olinda trail run

Trail run fun

It’s a mountain not a hill!

This was the comment my client and fellow trail running buddy Shai who so enthusiastically told me on the way to the 3rd of the Salomon trail series race. Right from the start to end involved running the trails on the ever popular Dandenong ranges suburb of Olinda. In our case what runs down most certainly has to run up again, and so we did.

The drive up there was typical of two blokes about to do anything to do with exercise; we bragged on how well we were going to do. Let’s just say it was a different type of conversation on the way back. Once we got to the bottom of the mountain and drove past the famous 1000 steps we simply started to climb up and passed a few crazy cyclist who were riding up there for their regular Sunday hit-out (a massive ride I believe) and it was only when we got to the golf course at Olinda where we were received by a thick and unwelcoming fog.

You can’t make this stuff up.

It was cold, early and windy.  Glad for me Shai was good enough to pick me up and we had arranged to meet up with the other participant once we got to the start/end line where all the stalls were all set up and grabbed that all important coffee prior to start.

Welcome to the top of the Dandenong ranges.

As we have figured out the Salomon series is well organised, with around 1500 participants in three distances of 7klm, 15klm and 21klm. We as rookies to these events gladly took on the 7klm as we had previously taken on the 12 klm for the Plenty Valley run and felt we hadn’t performed as well. You see, we participate in many of the popular fun runs and we can generally cover the 10klms on the flat well. Trail running as we found out has other challenges that the more comfortable flatter bitumen running doesn’t offer – go figure. The bottom line is that trail running is much harder and demands more focus on the single track.

While you are chasing the person in front while you can hear your own tail been covered and makes it quite draining from a mental point of view, it is a race after all. The Australian bush offers you a spectacular view and plenty fresh air. A good thing as you age going to need it.  The important point here that I would like to make is they they are a lot of fun to do, just be prepared and have more of a base fitness if you wish to conquer the chosen distance.

 

Short Course elevation profile

olinda

 

 

 

 

(Image taken form Salomon trail series website)

The Race

The elevation for this course looked pretty simple and on paper looked like we were not going to struggle like the previous longer one. Looks can be deceiving as it was quite an honest run. Start running down the hill, go across and back up, simple and effective and certainly go the job done. The first part was quite exciting as we were basically bolting down the hill and making sure we didn’t end up crashing into the scrub. Once we got down to the bottom it was a simple matter of negotiating the single and wider track until eventually had to come back up and as my running buddy had already mentioned we were supposedly meant to be running up this mountain, let me put it this way. I went from hero running down to zero in making it back up. It was a mixture of excitement and exhaustion at the same time. The legs were feeling the gradient and the lungs were on overdrive; the only thing I could do was slow down and let my breathing determine the speed. (A logical choice)  Eventually when we made it up the fog had cleared and all I can remember is the MC trying to coach a sprint out of me. No chance lady. Once complete I managed to regain my composure and not show the clear pain I felt inside.  It didn’t work.

I can only imagine what the other more seasoned trail runners had to cover in the longer races, a nice challenge moving forward. We as rookies to these events look forward to more specific trail running training and will be making sure we are ready to tackle the whole series with at least taking on the medium options as the next step.

The next and last of the trail run options will be held in Anglesea, I’m Looking forward to the drive down and supporting my wife on this one.

No point in keeping it to myself!

Plenty Gorge trail run.

Mill Park trail

It was just recently that our running group and I discovered the enjoyment of trail runs and as a result a few of us have now completed race two of the Salomon trail series that makes up one of the 4 trail running events held during the cooler months. The series offers a great variety of trail running in covering the areas of Yarra bend park, Plenty Gorge (race2), Olinda and Anglesea. I myself took on the 12klm option along with a long-term client and can pretty much sum it up as one the harders running event we have all entered in. After all it was a race and not a fun run. In addition it was also one of the most enjoyable.

We have often as a team entered events like the Tough Mudder and Spartan race along with many other popular Melbourne fun runs as part of our fitness program and clearly found this one tough going. The same reaction was displayed by our female team member who chose the shorter version of the course of about 6klms. Both distances covered were quite demanding, and equally as rewarding once you made it to the finish line.

The beauty of trail running is that the scenery is constantly changing. At one time you are simply running on a fire clearing along the bush and then all of a sudden you are traversing across the cliff at pace on a single track. It doesn’t end there , as we found (during the event) out when running along the bottom of the hill as it was just a matter of time before we had to back run up and as we are aware the Australian bushland is not a forgiving landscape, so be prepared. Oh did I say it was fun didn’t I?

Coming from a bitumen background, having participated in several major road running events and Obstacle course runs, this one clearly rates up there with one of the best.  What a great decision it turned out to be in entering this race. Initially this event was simply to outline a set course that my clients and I could run as part of our regular workouts.  However, as it turned out after being a participant of this great event it was obvious to me that I’ll be putting this run up with my favourite runs and got more out of it than initially thought.

Why trail running?

Trail running is all about getting away from the bitumen and heading in head first into the wilderness. Well if you live In Mill Park the blue lake is close enough, for it with all its challenging running sections offer the opportunity for the runner to see the local kangaroos along with a variety of mammals you would typically encounter in the Aussie bush. And in some cases, while you are negotiating a creek crossing!

  • The best trail running (many would argue) is on ‘single track’ – usually walking/hiking trails that you can only traverse on foot.
  • These are the best trails because they tend to lead you into the most pristine and stunning environments.
  • Trail running does also encompass some running on dirt roads and fire trails and, due to logistics, can sometimes at a push include short stretches of road running to get from one trail to another.
  • But, essentially, trail running is all about running in beautiful and inspiring parts of the world that remain as Mother Nature intended: untouched and wild. Of which there are endless examples in Australia.

Fortunately for me I have access from my back yard as it borders the gorge national park and only takes us approximately 10 minutes to get to the actual blue lake. For years I was always wondering what it would be like to venture down and check it out. I’m glad I finally did as a new trail runner to have such an awesome track right on my backyard that the series deems worthy enough for an event is fortunate for me and my running group.

Gotta go, time to get running in the bush.

Claudefit  personal training is  based in Mill Park and with over 8 years in the fitness industry and 25 years of own practical experience you are sure to be looked after in relation to you fitness needs.

 

Running Strength Program

Running Strength Program

Over the last 3 years I’ve been a fairly consistent runner and at the moment I’m having a good time running during our Melbourne winter months and will keep this up as part of my basis of keeping my bodyweight in check ,still staying strong and as a Personal trainer hold an expected level of fitness while staying injury free. Currently I’m running 40-60klm a week at 79kg.

So how do I keep myself reasonably strong, fit and unbroken with all the running I do? I’ll outline a typical week of training and hope this can help you out. You can adjust according to current fitness levels. The workout template for the winter period is going to be quite simple and will support my running base. Naturally this will be altered over time and most likely change post winter heading towards the warmer months where ill increase the volumes. So basically this is my running strength program.

Here’s a typical week of training. Please note mobility and flexibility Drills are done during workout.

Monday:

2xKettlebell Military press 5×5

2xKettlebell Cleans 5×5

2xKettlebells Squats 5×5

2xKettlebell Swings 5×10

2xKettlebell SLDL (works the Glutes directly)

Hanging knee raises 5x 10

5klm recovery run

Tuesday: 10 klm run

Wednesday: 10 klm run

Thursday:

Barbell Bench press 5×5

Barbell deadlift 5×5

2xKettlebell renegade rows

5klm recovery run

Friday:

10klm run with client (6:15am start)

Saturday – Free day of mobility drills with a light Kettlebell

The Turkish Get Ups are done with a kettlebell that will not put too much pressure on me while I move. So it depends on the day on how my body feels that will determine the weight used. Remember you need to use the right tool for the job and not always the “heavy one” The  Goblet a squats for me are quite strenuous at the beginning and end up feeling the best once I’ve warmed up and finished a few sets. You only need to do 3 reps per set at most, keep the hips open and stay in the bottom position and you are done. In finishing off with the single bell Kettlebell Swings it’s just a matter of complimenting the previous two exercises and during winter goes a long way in keeping you warm. Add in a foam roller and the above exercise and you most likely feel you might need a run. Most of the time it’s enough for me and don’t need to run. Only if I’ve for some reason I had to make up some klms I did get in during the week

Sunday – 20klm run with running buddy (6:15am start)

The long run is basically a great calorie burner and allows me to own a solid running base over the winter months. It also keeps me with a reasonable fitness base for the running events myself and clients do.

Naturally this is a base program and can be altered as time goes by, as I need to increase the running kilometres or add in a couple of well-paced 5klm runs for added strength.

The bottom line is that I’m kept strong, fresh and injury free and my bodyweight is in check.  Like most I Just need to keep an eye out on the food intake over winter!

The best part is I’m getting out there in the cold and having good time.

Happy running

www.claudefit.com.au

 

 

Running for fitness. Claudefit Running Events

Running for fitness

Over the last 18 months the team at Claudefit has been actively participating in several running based events that help us all with keeping ourselves motivated with our own fitness, strength and weigh management goals. If it’s a dose of cardio fitness you are after then provided you are not injured running should be you go to exercise.

These events allow the participant to feel they are part of a team. We all meet up at our “chosen spot” prior to event. It amazing how much support you get in pumping you up to successfully complete the event of the day. It’s good to know you have the support of others when you are about to take on and finish doing your first 5klm, 10klm or even half a marathon.  We all do our separate events and always wait for the last one before we move all on.

It’s the way we do things.

For a brief example of the various types of even I’ve outlined the ones we have actually run and have already registered for the remainder of 2014. This year will be our second one. So I guess it makes us somewhat experienced.

Claudefit running events

Neon run – This fun run was the first one for us. It was a night light run around the banks of Albert park lake. Lots of music and other goings on. However a good first time and a leg stretcher for the more experienced. Great first event in getting us to start the year.

Tough Mudder – This challenging muddy run is basically a 20 klm obstacle course. Its designed surrounding the Phillip island race track where running along the waterfront and undulating trials with the added challenges that the obstacles bring is kind of tough. The more experienced runners see this is a major challenge. We generally get a good group. Start running now for 2015!

Mothers Classic Day – The first of the big Melbourne fun runs where various distances are on offer (no mud here) around the scenic and popular Tan track . You can go at your own pace for the distance you have signed up for. Great for those who wish to participate in pure running with the masses.

Run for the kids – Similar to Mothers days where you pick the distance and enjoy the day out with you teammates. Another wonderful event that raises a great deal of funds for a children’s charity and  a fun day out.

Spartan race – This one in particular is of interest to me. Plain and simple it is a race over 7klm over paddock, obstacles, water,mud and hill runs. It’s hard,it’s fast and a lot of fun. one for the stronger runner.

Stadium stomp – If you are looking for something different with you running try this event. It’s basically running up and down while traversing across the famous MCG stands in covering over 7000 steps (for the long run). A shorter version is also available. For me it’s really cool to be running within an empty looking arena with fellow runners. One of the best view from the top! A true test for the running muscles.

Salomon trail run – For something new were going to tackle both the 12klm and 6klm versions of this trail event. This is going to be held in my own back yard, The Mill Park Blue lake (the gorge) park offers runners the true trail running experience across creeks, the Aussie bush and an abundance of fresh air on offer. What a great opportunity to simply run a trail. No bitumen, no fumes and no obstacles.

Run Melbourne – This time we are back on the roads of Melbourne hitting the bitumen over our selected distances. Most of the crew here like to take on the 10klm as is takes you around the Botanical gardens and over the Anderson street bridge on your way to Birrarung Marr. A nice scenic view for those who take the time to check it out. I doubt it of you are pushing the pace! for me a primer for the last event.

Melbourne Marathon –The last of the major runs with a similar approach in getting around the Yarra precinct , Botanic gardens and flying down St Kilda road in heading towards the best finish line of all . The magnificent MCG. That’s right, we are back at the G for one more viewing. As its the last one I encourage all to go all out and get the personal best. There’s  few of us who have this one marked for this very reason. to get the PB.

Why we run? Well that easy, running is the basis of everything we do, it’s what gets the job done in a pure cardiovascular improvement. And in my business of fitness it a given for those who are able to run. For those who are injured and unable to run due to other conditions other alternatives are available, however the adaptation to running the body receives returns an enormous amount in benefiting you with Weigh Management, Mobility goals and generally hit that feel good factor.

Try a 5klm run at pace once you are conditioned and tell me otherwise?

The other benefit is the workload (for you ladies in particular) is your butt gets in all that running. As my colleague Andrew Read describes “The glutes really only activate when running, jumping, or moving up inclined surfaces, being almost completely inactive when at standing or walking. Not only does the butt provide much of the power for running, but it also has a role in stabilizing the upper body during running”

Compliment the running with a General physical preparation approach and you are doing what’s necessary in becoming fitter, stronger and more mobile.

Feel better, move better and look your best.

 

Claudefit Personal Training has been operation since 2006 and has over 25 years of own practical experienced.

Now based in Mill Park I’m able to offer various training options.

Book A Session Today!