injury prevention for runners
Being a strong runner takes more than just logging in the miles every week. It takes hours of dedication doing the supplemental work, which usually involves massage and chiropractic appointments; self massage (self myofascial release) and trigger pointing; various exercises to strengthen the feet, hips, core, and legs; stretching sessions and maybe some yoga; and lastly maybe some contrast bath therapy or walking around your house in compression gear, hoping to speed up recovery.

What ever your “supplemental” work ritual entails, make sure it adds to the bottom line: making you a faster, more efficient, stronger runner.

Build a foundation of strength so your body can handle all the miles.

Remember, you get what you train for. So, running more miles per week or adding in more intense running workouts will make (should make you) a faster runner, to a point. However, sometimes, doing more for the sake of doing more isn’t always a good idea. Every runner is different, but there will be a point where your body will start to feel little niggles from all the pounding. Supplementing your running with strengthening-type exercises should build a more resilient body, capable of handling the pavement. So, challenge yourself by adding in more miles per week or running at a higher intensity a few times per week, but for the sake of your season, add in strength and core training accordingly.

Everyone has a different vision of what type of weight lifting runners should do, whether it’s high rep sets with minimal breaks to low reps with heavier loads and longer breaks. Some think a leg press is better than a squat, while others think a knee extension hits the quads better than a lunge (yes, it burns more, but isn’t optimal). Also, some have no idea, and that’s why you’re reading this blog. I want you to use StrongerRunner.com as a resource for making you a stronger runner (duh!).

I won’t get into the details in this post about what exercises to do and what not to do. Here’s a post where I discuss some great lower body exercises for runners and here’s another where I discuss some of my favourite core exercises for runners.

Remember, build a foundation of strength so your body can handle all the miles.

Run strong and have a good run today,

-Jon

photo credit: ericmcgregor via photopin cc

I was looking for something to augment my 20+ year yoga practice with a focus on strength conditioning. I am friend’s with Jon’s sister in-law and over the years always heard great things about JKC, especially with respect to the top quality trainers they have and programs they run. After talking to Jon about my goals, and hearing his thoughts on a training plan, I knew that this was going to be an awesome experience … and it sure has been. JKC stands out from other gyms because of the attention to detail, the high quality of the staff and the facilities. Also, the amazing people that train there. And no one posing and taking selfies. I’m 41 years old and I started in Dec 2021.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

I started at JKC because my colleagues that go to JKC all look and felt fit and healthy thanks to Jon and Thomas – if JKC helped them, I knew they could do the same for me! I think JKC stands out from other gyms because of their personal touch! They listen to you and help motivate and support. They always believe in my ability progress and learn new exercises. I’ve been training at JKC since January of 2019 and recommend them to anyone looking to learn how to lift weight properly, feel stronger, and improve their health.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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