Medical Director's Corner
Winter & Cold Weather Training
Dr. Mark Westfall, FCM Medical Director
Happy New Year / 2017
I thought that I would take a moment to check with you about making a plan for the year and leading up to the Fox Cities Marathon on September 24, 2017. Whether you are planning to run the Fox Cities Half or Full Marathon, you have a plan for training and preparation.
Many are enjoying our moderate weather and getting some outdoor running and training. If you are like me, I find that ice is not my friend and I will do my winter training indoors.
I find a big advantage in doing this. I find this a good time to do some cross-training, weight training, as well as stretching and flexibility training.
Let's take a quick look at each of these:
This includes cycling, swimming, elliptical and the like.
Through these activities you can achieve aerobic heart rate and benefit with less strain on the joints.
I have to admit that I learned to do this the hard way.
For many years I would run outside or on a treadmill and did little else.
Then when I got to my heaviest mileage weeks, I found that I was having increasing joint pain. Since I started taking two - three months of cross training with limited and focused running (I still include some treadmill running).
Now is a good time to focus on muscle strengthening through body weight and added weight training.
This is another lesson learned over time. I have found that my muscles needed additional training to maintain a stable level of strength over time.
In short, in spite of running day in and day out, I was experiencing weakening muscles and not performing to the level I wanted to achieve. Through weight training (leg lifts, leg extensions, squats and other exercises, I was able to re-gain that lost strength and reverse the loss of performance.
Stretching and flexibility
Most experts will agree that stretching and flexibility exercises are important, particularly for long distance running to help reduce injuring and possibly increasing performance. I have found Yoga helps me to accomplish this along with core strengthening.
I hope this is information that you have seen before or already doing to some level. Not only are we excited to have another awesome event in September, we also want to promote a great experience. I know that proper training has benefited me every single time.
Run safe and enjoy ... Mark