How do you rate your resiliency on a scale of 1-10? Do you find yourself constantly injured, always nursing some ache or pain or training through pain? Or do you only experience an injury if you have some sort of traumatic event occur?
The more resilient you can make your body, the better athlete you will be. And even more important, the more resilient you make your body, the more longevity you will have as an athlete. Meaning, you will be able to continue training and competing for many years.
How do we create this resiliency? By what I call Training Effectively.
Training Effectively is doing things in your training that not only improve your performance but also protect your body long term.
How do you do this? By incorporating activities into your training that not only gets the big muscle groups, but also things that get the smaller underlying muscles as well. It is those small underlying muscles that provide the stability to your joints. The added stability not only protects the joints but also gives you more strength and power with all your lifts and movements.
If you are limited on time, this doesn’t mean that you need to add anything to your training session. This pairs nicely with the Train Efficiently article from last week. All it takes to train effectively is to make some simple tweaks to your training plan.
Change Your Equipment
The more unstable and dynamic the equipment you are using, the more the smaller, stabilizer muscles are required to activate. Also, the more dynamic the equipment, the more your core is required to work. The stronger both of those areas are, the more overall strength and power you will have and the stronger your body will be as a whole.
When it comes to any sort of pressing movements (overhead or chest), here is the order of difficulty for some of the basic equipment you use:
Barbell < Dumbbell < Kettlebell < Bottoms Up Kettlebell
You can also think about incorporating equipment such as a Suples Speed Ball or a Steel Mace to not only add variety to your training, but also pull in all the stabilizer and core musculature.
Add Single Leg Tasks
When you run, if a leg is on the ground, you are on a single leg. Because of that, it is important to train on a single leg at times. Yes, you still want to do squats, deadlifts, etc. that are on both legs in order to build up strength, but it will be helpful to also add in single leg tasks to build up the strength, stability, control, and proprioception in that leg. The more you do that, the better response you will have to the dynamic surfaces you run on when on the trails, the stronger your legs will be, and you will likely find yourself becoming a better runner as well.
There are so many things that you can do on a single leg. I do a number of things, but my favorite single leg tasks for building up the strength and control for running are Bulgarian Split Squats and Single Leg RDLs.
Restructure Your Program
As much as you might feel you have to go hard each training session in order to get a good workout in, it is not necessary to train with all-out, 100% intensity on every single workout. To be honest, it is not great to do that anyway. It is important to back it down some days, still working, but not going at an all-out effort. These are great days to focus on your isolated accessory work, doing those things that require slower movement, control, and stability. If you do these workouts properly, your muscles are fully fatigued and exhausted at the end. For example, I have had some days that I can barely raise my arms up to wash my hair afterward because the shoulders are so fatigued.
Pair an accessory strength workout with an easy recovery run and you have created a great active recovery day.
Not sure how to create a program that targets these essential areas? Let’s chat! Schedule a free call with me to learn how to create a training program that makes you more resilient and unstoppable!
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