In horse racing and equestrian sports there are a few different categories of horses. Horses are broken down into different breed types; hot bloods, cold bloods, and warmbloods. Hot blooded breeds are generally your thoroughbred horses. These are the blazing fast speedsters you see competing for the triple crown each year. They are bred for speed and running ability and are nicknamed hot bloods for their temperament. The next breed type you have are the cold bloods. These horses have a calmer temperament and are generally used as work horses (think clydesdales for our Budweiser drinkers out there). Last, you have the warmbloods. These horses are the best of both worlds. Strong, fit, somewhat fast, and are exceptionally well suited for eventing competition. Now, I am not a horse expert but this is just meant to give an introduction.
For us running enthusiasts the break down is very similar. If you sign up to run a marathon and show up to the starting line you will see different distinct groups of runners. At the front of the starting waves you will find the elite runners. These men and women are naturally gifted runners. They will likely run a 6 minute per mile pace (much faster in many cases) for 26.2 miles. Not only do they train at a high level, but they generally possess many genetic traits that suit them well for running. At the back you have what is affectionately referred to as the clydesdales. These are the bigger folks (like me in my first marathon when I weighed 220 pounds). They may not be the fastest, but they are out there working incredibly hard. In the middle, you have your mid pack, recreational runners. Some of these folks have a chance at competing in their age group, some are seeking that elusive Boston qualifying time, others are just getting out there and trying to best their previous personal records.
All of these groups tend to have two things in common, they love running and they want to be able to continue to do it as long as possible. Sadly, many of them have another thing in common. Despite the fact that its well documented that runners should engage in strength training, very few of them do to a degree that would improve their running. That's not meant to be a knock on them, after all, it's difficult to put 2-3 days of strength training into the schedule when you're trying to increase your training mileage. Moreover, there is very little progressive periodized training guidance available geared specifically towards runners.
I have sat down to try to write this blog a few times but realized there is far too much information to put into a simple article, soI have decided to go a different direction with this post. For the past year or so, I have been putting together a strength training program specifically for runners and have been testing it on myself, Dr. Anna, and a few other willing participants. Now I want to open it up to testing for a larger group.
After labor day (when some of this covid craziness has hopefully died down) we will be hosting a test group of the new program for 8 weeks. A standard gym membership should provide all the equipment you will need to complete the program. We are looking for volunteers who would like to test the second edition of the program for free for 8 weeks. Each week you will be sent a program and we will be in contact to assess your progress as you complete the strength training at your normal gym. Frankly, we couldn't do this at a better time since most races will be cancelled this year (insert sad face here).
We are looking for a maximum of ten people to participate and all communication will happen via email and phone calls (since I am still in Arkansas).
Who is this program for? This is for the running enthusiast who is looking to improve their running by increasing their athleticism and avoiding injury. If you are seeking that elusive 2:30 marathon, this probably isn't your program. We want the folks who enjoy running and want to improve but also want to become better trained in other domains. Upon registration with us we will send a group email in August that will provide a breakdown of how the program works and what to expect, as well as how to communicate your progress with us.
The program will provide 2-3 days per week of training and will address common pitfalls runners experience (lack of posterior chain function, core strength, and movement in all planes of movement).
If you are interested send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
we look forward to hearing from you!