The rules of the road

Posted on August 25, 2011


The rules of the road and the trends of training are forever changing.

Much like the dating game I guess … and whilst some stand the test of time, others just get gently modified along the way … tweaked following research reports, extensive observation or blog posts from such ground-breaking resources as fit chicks & fast women. (!)

This week alone, three such little rules have dominated the podcasts I’ve been listening to so read on … they might just aid your performance … on the road and / or in the dating game!

MICE BEATS RICE

I hear RICE (Rest Ice Compress Elevate) and my mind switches off.  Rest? Me? Any runner in fact?  Runners don’t really process that word very well believing instead that rest is reserved for the dead. Unless I really can’t be active then I prefer to avoid rest and choose MICE instead.

MICE is the new RICE just like beige is the new black. (soon to be teal fyi) M stands for Movement or Mix it up.  Either way, the idea is just to stay mobile … try alternative sports i.e. mix it up or just stay active i.e. movement. The psychological benefits derived from staying active outweigh the benefits to be had from healing horizontally no end.

Personally, when I had six weeks or so off running with a bad back, after a few days not running really didn’t bother me and I ended up relishing the time to sleep late and then hit a yoga studio or take walks instead.  Midday mall walks.  Multi-tasking at it’s best!

LEARN BEFORE BURN

Come on gals and guys. It’s all about technique.

I see countless girls in gyms lifting weights lighter than a Hermes Birkin with such swing and swagger that they are guaranteed to have no effect at best, result in injury at worst and certainly not give you the strong, sexy arms that you seek.

Likewise with the boys.  Guys … it’s not always about quantity! Yes we all know you’re very strong and that you can grunt really loudly and sweat lots.  But slow down a little, lift less and perfect your technique.

The truth is that weight training will sculpt and shape, tone and define.  Boys will get gorgeous big muscles … girls will just get gorgeous … but before you get anything, get back to basics and master good, effective and safe technique before lifting heavier.

LEGS & LUNGS

We all know the importance of cross-training but all too often we become like Michelin Star chefs who go home and eat packaged meals .. i.e. we don’t practice what we preach!

There’s no hiding the fact though that cross training will make you faster, stronger and better.  Full-stop. Run too much and you run straight to the house of injury. Instead, think legs & lungs … give them both a great workout with a variety of disciplines and you can’t go far wrong.

My top suggestions?

Rowing is a great endurance resistance sport. It focuses on your upper body, strengthens your hips and glutes and loosens fatigued leg muscles.

  • Cycle

Cycling exercises related muscle groups such as the quads and the shins which don’t develop in runners as quickly as the calves and hammies. It’s also great for strengthening the knees, hips and ankles.

The ultimate antidote to land-based weight-bearing exercise.  Swimming is easy on the joints and alleviates sore and tired legs whilst at the same time builds muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. I’ve been a swimmer all my life and think it’s the source of my incredible lung capacity today.

Get a great stretch, work on your balance and improve your flexibility. These three combined can’t fail to have a great impact on your performance in any sport. Pick an energetic yoga practice and your lungs will know about it too! Enough said.

Pilates will strengthen your core no end and give you a fabulous peach which, in running terms, is a godsend as most running injuries stem from weak glutes.  My physio actually laughs at how weak mine are. When it comes to the lungs, Pilates when done properly is big on breathing and control so the lungs certainly benefit there too.

So there you go.  Three simple rules which, if incorporated into your training regime, might help you go the distance … no pun intended of course!

 

 

 

 

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