What are you training goals? Do you want to get lean and burn fat? Do you want to increase your strength? Tired of being winded after doing everyday activities? The one exercise that you should add to your training program that addresses all of these goals, and much more, is the deadlift.
The deadlift is a great compound exercise that is an amazing whole body workout. It targets the major muscle groups in the legs (glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings) and also works your back, forearms, shoulders, and traps. Try implementing the deadlift into your training program and experience why it is the King of Exercises.
Benefits of deadlifting include:
"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champion
As Jacqueline Gareau mentions, your body does not want you to run a marathon. Running a marathon is not an easy task and it takes a lot of determination, focus, and the will to succeed. It challenges you not only physically, but even more so mentally. While training, you may want to stop just short during your runs or maybe skip a day. You can not afford to do either one of those options if you want to finish the marathon that you are signed up for. Need a little extra motivation to get you through those runs? Run for a charity or a non-profit to raise awareness about a specific cause that you are passionate about. Here are some ways that you can run with purpose.
CrowdRise: This website is a easy and fun way to create a fundraising page for any event. Here is the page that I created for the marathon that I will be participating in this coming October: http://www.crowdrise.com/autismsocietyoforegon/fundraiser/ryanlockard
Team in Training: Team in Training, TNT, provides the coaching and training to help you reach your marathon, half marathon, triathlon, or hiking adventure goals. The cost? You just need to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help raise money for blood cancer research. Join TNT by clicking the following link: http://www.teamintraining.org
Charity Miles: This is an app that you can get for your smart phone. Sign up for free and start raising money for one of their preselected charities.
Find out more ways to raise money for a charity of your choice by contacting the organizers of the event that you are participating in.
"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." - Emil Zatopek, Czech runner; winner of four Olympic gold medals
I have always been told that you will never learn more about yourself than what you learn by running a marathon and that running one is an experience like no other. I just registered for the Portland Marathon and I am looking forward to the experience that Emil Zatopek mentions.
WHY A MARATHON?
Running for the sheer pleasure of running has never appealed to me and growing up I often steered clear of sports that involved long distance runs as a part of preparation. I played football in college and professionally overseas, where the farthest that you ever had to run was 100 yards and that rarely, if ever, happened. Although I have never had the interest in running, I have always looked for ways to challenge myself physically and mentally. Since hanging up my cleats in 2011, my last year playing football in Europe, I have been training, in essence, just to train and stay in shape. I shy away from cardio and use weight training as my main source of physical activity. I wanted something to challenge myself and to train for, like when I had to train for an upcoming football season. It gives your training a purpose, keeps you focused and motivated. What better way to challenge myself than running 26.2 miles (officially 26 miles and 385 yards)? This is why I have signed up for my first ever marathon this Fall.
EXPANDING MY FITNESS HORIZONS
Not only is running a physically demanding sport, but may be one of the most mentally demanding as well. You have to push yourself past your preconceived limits and stay with your training, however tedious it may seem. And unlike sprints that you do training for football, you don't get to rest at the end after a 5-15 second sprint. Rather your workout ends after a 30 minute to a multiple hour run, a weird concept for a athlete who has only done sprints.
THE NEW YOU
I am excited for the "Marathon Experience" and pushing myself like I never have before. I will be participating in multiple races leading up to the Portland Marathon and will be using Hal Higdon's training programs. Add me on Nike+ Running and feel free to share your favorite runs and training secrets. I look forward to the NEW ME during the marathon experience and encourage everyone to find the NEW YOU.
Making a New Year resolution(s)? Have bucket list items that you want to cross off or want to be more health conscious? There are 3 important things to do in order to make your resolutions a reality!
1. SET A REASONABLE GOAL - You want to make sure that your goal is measurable and attainable. Write this goal down somewhere that you will see it everyday (ex. note on the fridge or bathroom mirror) to remind yourself of what you are striving for and so that you will continually ask yourself if you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed on a daily basis.
2. CREATE A PLAN - Now that you have set your goal, what steps are you going to take to reach it? You need to create a plan. My goal this year is to run the Portland Marathon in under 4 hours. It is a measurable (4 hours) and attainable. My plan is to follow Hal Higdon's marathon training programs that offer detailed 18 week training regimens that provide daily instruction.
3. CARRY OUT THE PLAN - You may have a great plan to reach your goal, but if you don't actively carry out the plan then you will only be setting off your goal until 2015. Make sure that you are continually putting yourself in the best possible position to act on your plan and hold yourself accountable. Keep a daily journal to write down the ups and downs of the road to reach your goal. This will help you be more accountable to sticking to the plan that you have set and make any adjustments that you may need to make along the way.
Take 2014 head on and achieve your goals. Make sure that they are attainable and measurable. Create your plan to achieve those goals and then carry out the plan. I promise that you will be happy with the results!
Happy New Year!
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CSPS is the founder and head trainer of Specialty Athletic Training and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Special Populations Specialist. He is a member of the board of directors for the Autism Society of America, Central Oregon Disability Support Network, as well as the Lewis & Clark College Board of Alumni.