I was recently asked to shoot a video testimonial to talk about my running training at Gain Strength and Conditioning; it was easy and not so easy at the same time. It was easy to explain that I love to run and I love to challenge myself and work on improving. Justin at Gain is a great coach and teacher and has helped me improve my running form, paying attention to details, and focusing on helping me improve my endurance by working on my anaerobic threshold and continuing to help me work on my aerobic conditioning through weight training and conditioning. I also mentioned Justin’s expertise in mobility work to help keep the chassis in running shape. That all lasted about 2 minutes, but there is definitely more to the story.
Since joining Gain and listening and learning from Justin, I have also paid more attention to how I take care of my body, and why moving correctly is so important. With a focus on position and movement, along with mobility, I am able to slow things down and get things more “right.” It is easy to be able to lift weights and run fast, it is more difficult to do these things with attention to detail, paying attention to proper breathing and positioning.
It is hard to explain in a 2 minute video how this has changed how I approach training, and it is definitely a work in progress. I am impatient, and I like quick results, who doesn’t? But sometimes what feels like the quickest way to the biggest improvement is actually a shortcut preventing you from doing the work necessary to create lasting improvement and good habits.
It is ironic that racing and running are all about pacing, and sometimes it is necessary to slow things down to get faster. It may not mean running slower during sprints or intervals or tempo runs, but it may mean slowing down the process. I am working on patience and persistence through steady, solid effort.
Another big thing that I did not get into is my habitual reliance on a monthly chiropractor visit to get my hips, back and neck properly aligned BEFORE I began training at GAIN. I also used to take anti-inflammatory over the counter meds not often, but occasionally, as a way to gauge my pain level. If I was sore, I rested. If I was in pain I took ibuprofen. I have been to the chiropractor twice in 6 months, and I have probably taken anti inflammatory meds twice in 6 months. It is that rare that I am in any pain whatsoever, even running 10-15 miles a week and lifting 3 days a week.
I have not changed everything about how I run; I did not need to. The best thing about working with Justin at Gain is that I am learning how to approach my training differently. I am no longer what my uncle referred to as a “Type A Runner”. The whole point of running or any kind of physical activity is to make you feel better, both physically and psychologically. I learned the hard way that constantly training for half marathons so that I would feel the need to run a minimum of 20 miles a week could not be maintained.
What I am discovering at GAIN is a balanced approach to training, fitness and life. It really is all about pacing-even in life. Go too fast, too soon, and you will burn yourself out.