Coach David ‘DJ’ Jones shares why you need to train with a holistic approach

DJ, a renowned running coach, and co founder, of First 42k, emphasises the importance of incorporating different training modalities like strength training, yoga, mobility exercises, and easy runs in addition to your hard runs in your training program. By doing so, you can develop a more balanced and well-rounded fitness routine that will help you become a stronger and better runner.

Strength training, for example, is essential for building lean muscle mass, which can enhance your running form and endurance. It helps to develop the strength required to maintain proper running form and prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injury. By incorporating strength training exercises that target the muscles used in running, such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts, you can improve your running economy and reduce the risk of injury.

Yoga is another training modality that is particularly beneficial for runners. It helps to improve your flexibility, balance, and posture, which can reduce your risk of injury and enhance your overall performance. Yoga also aids in relaxation, which can be particularly useful for runners who are training at a high intensity.

Mobility exercises, such as foam rolling and stretching, can also help improve your range of motion and reduce muscle soreness. Foam rolling is particularly useful for runners as it helps to break up knots and adhesions in the muscles that can limit mobility and cause pain. Regular stretching can help to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.

Incorporating easy runs into your training program is also important, as they can aid in recovery from harder workouts and build endurance. These runs should be done at a comfortable pace, allowing you to maintain a conversation while running. By doing so, you can develop your aerobic base and improve your overall fitness. Over time, you will be able to run faster and farther with less effort.

By diversifying your training with various modalities, you’ll be able to reach your running goals and perform at your best. A well-rounded program that includes strength training, yoga, mobility exercises, and easy runs can help you become a stronger, healthier, and happier runner. So, start incorporating these modalities into your training routine and see the benefits for yourself!

Sean weight training with kettlebells

Proper technique is important

Effective weight training depends on proper technique.

Follow these weight training tips to maximise your time and avoid injuries in the gym.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

You may have learned training techniques by watching others in the gym, or on social media. However, not everything you see is safe. Incorrect or poor technique can lead to sprains, strains, fractures and other serious injuries that can hamper your training efforts.

If you’re just getting started, we recommend working with a qualified weight training specialist such as a physical therapist, personal trainer or similar fitness specialists who are familiar with proper weight training techniques.

Even if you’ve been training for a while, it’s beneficial to schedule time with a qualified trainer to review your technique and identify any changes you may need to make.

Weight Training Dos

When you’re weight training, you should:

  • Choose an appropriate amount of weight. Leave your ego at the door and start with a weight you can comfortably complete at least 10 to 12 repetitions. As you get stronger, you will gradually increase the amount of weight you’re lifting.
  • Use proper form. The better your technique, the better your results, and the less likely you are to injure yourself. Proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the weight racks.
  • Move through the full range of motion in your joints. If you’re unable to maintain good form, decrease the weight or the number of repetitions.
  • Ask for help. If you’re unsure whether you’re doing a particular exercise correctly, ask a personal trainer or other fitness specialists for help.

Weight Training Don’ts

How to avoid common mistakes when you’re weight training:

  • Don’t skip the Warm-Up. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles. Before you lift, always warm up by following the Warm-Up Routine in your First 42K program.
  • Don’t hold your breath. Instead, breathe out as you contract or lift the weight and breathe in as you relax or lower the weight.
  • Don’t rush. Complete the movement in a deliberate, controlled fashion. Slow and steady helps you isolate the muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight.
  • Don’t ignore pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop!

Remember, by concentrating on good form and proper technique, you’ll reap all the benefits of your training while avoiding injuries.