Saturday, September 22, 2018

Running But Not Lifting? Read On...

British Olympian and World Record Holder Gordon Pirie

Gordon Pirie was a three time British Olympian, a Silver Medalist in the 5k, who competed back in the 1950s and 1960s, when weights were not part of most athletes' training regimans and certainly not for runners. His weightlifting partners were the throwers on his team. Here is what Pirie had to say about how weights helped his running way back then:

"Before I began weight training, I was a long distance and cross country runner who could grind it out with anyone, but a constant loser in a sprint. A diet of hard weights, however, turned me into a complete competitor, one who could pour on the pace and still sprint madly at the finish."

This very desirable effect of lifting weights, forging oneself into a "complete competitor," is still difficult to get many runners and their coaches to buy into. But looky here: where do you need that extra gear the most? Towards the end of the race.  

Jordan Hasay

Jordan Hasay, who had one of the fastest debut marathons in the history of USA marathoning and is currently the second fastest American female marathoner ever lifts weights three times a week. Sometimes more. She deadlifts more than double body weight for reps, so obviously the young woman is bulky and huge. (sarcasm) Lifting has helped her come back more quickly from injuries and, like Pirie, she notes how weights help her finish off a race.

One of my sports performance athletes, Marlena Preigh, is a high school senior this year and the current Colorado 5A 800 meter champion. She has been lifting with me close to 4 years now and she comes in twice a week to lift. And yes, she lifts in-season for x-country, indoor track and outdoor track! Since you want your strongest performances to be at the end of the season when the most important meets are held you need to lift in-season maintain that strength when you need it the most: for the Championships! Masters runner, USATF photographer and official Barbell Strategy "lens-master" Dave Albo, has a whole album on his photography site of Marlena Lifting Things (Dave lifts things too)

Haiden Freeman, who is pictured on the title page of this blog performing an overhead squat, is a runner and triathlete who also started lifting with me around 4 years ago. If you think lifting weights is only done by short, squatty people with stumpy limbs or that it will make you inflexible and musclebound, please check the photo again.

Finally, this last winter Jason Fitzgerald of released an online strength program he and I collaborated on. Here is Jason's blog post about the program.  Strength Running Strength Program

Stay tuned, there are more posts about lifting and running to come. I have a book in mind and it will likely take shape here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Everybody Says You're the Best"

One of my weightlifting athletes moved to the next town or two over and cancelled her gym membership. This happens quite frequently in Boulder. It's an expensive place to live. Add to that the average age of the population is quite young, upwardly mobile and careers require moves to other towns sometimes. The only residents who don't seem to be transient are the transients.

Anyway, she has been looking for a new gym and become frustrated. She texted me the other night and asked if she could come back, the half hour drive would be worth it. She said she told her prospective coaches that she used to lift with me, "Everybody says you're the best," she said.

I replied that they were kind to say that. But, like the other fine things in life, she should always buy the best coaching she can afford. 

It's been a decade or so since I left the kettlebell certification teaching body for what is now StrongFirst, powered by the formidable intellect and work ethic of Pavel Tsatsouline. One of my friends, a professional strength and conditioning coach (who did his KB certification at my first course as an instructor), is a Senior Instructor for StrongFirst. He sent me this photo the other day with the comment that all these years later I was still quoted in the Kettlebell Certification Instructor's Manual.

It's nice to be remembered.

Lest there be any confusion, I am still at Barbell Strategy Strength and Conditioning
We just changed the website and setting up separate blog for everyone is too complicated so I figured I would start up my own separate blog. So we can link and maybe by posting separately I can increase the hits for us on the search engine. We'll see.