Advanced Physical Therapy & Fitness - April 2020

APRIL 2020



On April 20, thousands of people will leave the starting line of the most anticipated race of their lives: the Boston Marathon. Runners spend months and sometimes even years training for marathons, and the Boston Marathon is at the top of the list for many American distance runners. As a runner myself, I definitely understand the hype. I’ve never done a full marathon, but back in college, I competed in a couple of half- marathons and triathlons that gave me a taste of the race day excitement. I had so much fun at those races in part because I did them with my friends and in part because I was able to lock in the “runner’s high” — that feeling of invincibility that you get when you break through your mental and physical barriers and feel like you could run forever. If you’re a runner, odds are you know exactly what I’m talking about! On race day, I always got an extra rush of excitement and adrenaline that pumped me up to compete, and crossing the finish line came with a euphoric sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. The last race I did was the BOLDERBoulder 10K, and the environment and atmosphere were absolutely amazing. Before race day, though, I put in a lot of work behind the scenes. As any runner knows, training is a crucial part of the sport. My method was to spend between 3–6 months preparing before every race, and I used periodization (basically, the practice of cycling through different exercises and rest periods) to combine specific training for the event with strength training.

I did weightlifting in the off season, which is when I could dedicate more time to it, and then focused on cardio as the event drew closer after I’d built up my base strength. This method worked really well for me and helped me hit my goals each time. are hobby runners or preparing for long-distance races. With the Boston Marathon just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to share my three biggest tips for runners just getting into the sport or those getting serious to prepare for a race. training partner. Finding other runners to train with was a real game-changer for me when I was preparing for races in college. My training partner and I held each other accountable and pushed each other to work harder. On race day, we got to celebrate together at the finish line, too! If you have a close friend who’d like to train with you, definitely take advantage of that, but if you don’t, a local running club can serve the same purpose. Check out local running gear stores (Altitude Running is a great one) or do a quick Google search to find options in the Greeley area. If you have the means, hiring a personal trainer is another good option. 2. Work to strengthen your hips. Runners are notoriously weak in their hips, so focusing your These days, I don’t run as much as I used to, but I see a lot of patients who 1. Join a running club or find a

strength training on them is crucial. Exercises like Bulgarian split squats, banded marching hip bridges, lateral lunges, and kickstand Romanian deadlifts can strengthen those crucial muscles. 3. Get a body type assessment. Last but certainly not least, if you’re planning to start a serious training program, make sure you consult professionals first. Your local running store can help identify your foot type (Is it rigid, or flexible? How are your arches?) and fit you with the perfect shoes. Then, a physical therapist can give you a whole-body perspective, pointing out your strengths and weaknesses and offering advice on the type of training that would work best for you. Whether you’re thinking about starting to run more often or are training for a marathon, please consider coming in for a consultation. I can set you up for success and identify the source of aches and pains if you’re having them, saving you money and recovery time on the back-end. Call 970-573-5313 today to set up an appointment! –Dr. Thomas Cleveland

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