Written by : Leslie Peacock
Running. Some do it as their only form of exercise because it’s fuss free and well, it’s free. Some do as a way to lose weight. Others run to meditate. Running is a popular sport and there are a ton of organised runs across the island. There is probably at least one held every month! 5km, 10km, the more challenging 21km or half marathon which to me sounds more daunting and the full-on 42km, also known as the full marathon!
I’ve taken part in quite a few 10k runs, a couple of 21k runs but never a full marathon. Those who have done 21km runs will probably understand. How does one prepare for a half marathon you might ask? Well, I try to clock in more distance in a week when I train, or, just show up. Yes I’ve done that before and I highly recommend you never ever do that. Worst idea ever!
I met Yuvaraj who specialises in endurance events like marathons and triathlons. Being a runner, all I thought was needed for long distance running was to do a bit of weights to build that base and core and just clock in those miles. It’s all about the miles.
Well Raj taught me a thing or two. He splits his training into indoor (gym) and outdoor training. Part 1 of this blog series is going to be focused on indoor training. As any good personal trainer would do before any form of training, Raj wanted to know about my injury history; I told him about my ankles, my sore knees and my right abductors. We did a couple of stretches and he knew I had tight hamstrings from years of running outdoors and not stretching!
He got me doing this little exercise to release my fascia, which was amazing. So he got me to try and touch my toes (I’ve never been able to touch my toes and never thought I would). With my best attempt, I only got as far as the top of my ankles. Then, he got me to roll a tennis ball under the base of both my feet, clockwise and anti-clockwise for 30 seconds each way. “Now try and touch your toes”, he said. It worked! I could touch my toes!
Next, Raj taught me some dynamic exercises that incorporated weights and machines in the gym. He emphasized the importance of balance and unilateral movements when using weights to improve endurance performance. We did a series of rowing, pressing and twisting exercises that were all single-arm. Then, he proceeded to attack my core from multiple angles with various knee tucks and twists! I might be smiling in the photo but I certainly wasn’t for the rest of the time!
What totally caught my attention were the exercises Raj got me doing on the treadmill. I’ve always been pretty one dimensional when it comes to the treadmill. Hop on, turn it on and walk or run.
Raj got me moving sideways on an incline that I could feel my quads burnings. He got me walking backwards to strengthen my hamstrings. I was doing various forms of exercises on the treadmill and, boy, were my legs burning!!! Those exercises really piqued my interest for they weren’t your typical gym variety but I felt it was refreshing to do something different, something new. Maybe it’s not uncommon for some individuals to include them in their routine but for myself, it was truly a surprise! Any personal trainer can show you the standard weight exercises, but adding in those dynamic exercises on the treadmill made such a big difference. Not only are your muscles already working (trying to stay on the moving treadmill) but incorporating exercises on the treadmill brings that workout to a whole new level!
Check out the pictures to find out what else Raj had me doing and try using them when preparing for your next half or for the brave, a full marathon!!
You can check out Yuvaraj’s profile here.