by Hua Chin
An Ironman triathlon is not a joke. It is one hundred and forty point six miles. Yes, you read that correctly: 140.6 miles. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles on foot. People often think of it as the ultimate goal, the achievement of a lifetime in less than 17 hours. It is possible, but people must be prepared. It is a full-time commitment. One that can take 20 or more hours a week to train for, and up to a year of daily workouts.
I decided to do one in 6 weeks.
Let’s retrace my steps, and my decision to do something so brash.
As I continue to mature into a still competitive athlete, I cannot lie, I have been bitten by the Ironman bug. Something about getting as much strength and passion out of my body and mind really plays well to my psyche. Why would one push themselves for up to 17 hours of work? Why would someone endure endless blisters, long lonely training runs, and daily triple workouts? Because of the finish line. Because crossing that finish line knowing you put 100% of your soul into completing this seemingly impossible task is rewarding to me.
But it is not for everyone.
As an ex professional athlete, and someone who still can (sometimes) compete at the pointy end of the stick, the Ironman dream works for me. But it doesn’t have to be your dream. Unless you are winning races, qualifying for world championship events, or setting masters records – training should be fun. An everyman athlete should use a training plan as an escape from their everyday life. Working out is a lifestyle not a chore. The moment it becomes a chore, you should reevaluate.
by Maren Kravitz
Marci Karplus began personal training at The Training Room in March 2011. Since then, Marci has completed 337 personal training sessions. With the exception of summer travel, a few injuries and life’s minor twists and turns, Marci has remained committed to training twice a week for the past five years.
Beyond her commitment, what makes Marci’s story unique is her late arrival into the world of fitness. Marci picked up running at the age of 58, after a news program mentioned that Jill Biden was running five miles a day. “I thought well heck, maybe I can do that,” Marci said. “Nothing like having a role model.”
Marci got hooked on the exhilarating feeling she got from running. Cautiously increasing her mileage, Marci worked up to four weekly runs – ranging from three to ten miles at a time. Marci loved it. “Running at a slow pace allowed me time to get lost in my thoughts, while enjoying the scenery around me,” said Marci.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
Within the first year of taking up running, Marci began to get sidelined by aches and pains in her knees. Determined to get stronger and continue her running, Marci began training at the TR and enlisted the help of physical therapists.
Marci was diligent, completing her physical therapy exercises and making sure she took an appropriate amount of time off running to rest her knees. Unfortunately, Marci continued to feel the same knee pain each time she returned to running after a break. Unbeknownst to Marci, a foot surgery dating back 25 years was the cause of her knee pain and eventual end to her running career.
Join The Training Room, Runfellow, Oat Shop Boston, Neon Bandits and Somerville Local First on Saturday, September 24th for the Community Co-op Series: Health & Wellness Edition. Our mission is to bring small businesses together to strengthen the local economy through collaboration. Proceeds go directly to Somerville Local First, and the funds are used throughout the year to support SLF members as they work to grow their local brands.
How can you help support all things local in Somerville? Sign up to participate in this awesome event that’s not only good for your health, but good for the local economy! Run 2 miles, bike 10 miles (indoor), and run 1 more mile to the finish!
Sign up online via The Training Room website by selecting the September 24th date on the calendar and clicking on your preferred time slot. Registration for this event is FREE, with donations (suggested, $30) accepted at the event. Oat Shop Boston will be on hand for post-workout fuel, and Neon Bandits will serving up socks. That’s right, action-lifestyle socks. What are you waiting for?
By Chris Mullins
Leiter began training with me back in January 2015 to incorporate strength training into his running routine. He had gone through physical therapy to rehab a calf injury sustained while running back in August of 2014, but was still experiencing some lingering effects. His initial assessment revealed some common imbalances, as well as high training volume. Put these two elements together–repeated overload on a compromised foundation–and it’s not surprising that Leiter’s body started to break down. So the approach was simple:
- Address imbalances
- Reduce training volume (# of days and total weekly running mileage)
However, as always the approach may be simple but the implementation is rarely easy. Fortunately, Leiter is a fantastic client with an aptitude toward structure and routine. Without further ado, here is Leiter’s story.
Meet Sallie, a student at Wheelock College who is wrapping up her studies this spring. Sallie ran on the Wheelock cross-country team for a few seasons and had begun to experience some discomfort that is all too common with high-volume running. She came to The TR looking to incorporate strength training into her routine to get stronger, improve her running mechanics and, in her own words, “make the most of my body.”
One of the best things about training Sallie is that she always shows up to her sessions with a big smile and a fantastic attitude. (In fact, she has been known to smile in the middle of a Turkish Get-up.) We put together a training program that would fit into her busy schedule and address areas that have caused her problems in the past. Last fall, a stronger, leaner, and more badass Sallie completed her first two half-marathons six weeks apart, injury-free.
Here is Sallie’s story, in her own words:
With peak running season coming to an end, now is a good time to reflect on what you did well during training and what can be improved upon for next season. After running countless races, as well as coaching for 5 years for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge half-marathon training program, I have seen the same mistakes year after year by many runners. I put together this list in the hopes that you can avoid the common pitfalls that many-myself included-have fallen victim to.
1) Too much/too fast (overtraining). The reasons why people run too much or too fast may differ (“I’m afraid I’m not doing enough,” “I just felt so good, so I kept going.” “I really love running.”), but novice and experienced runners fall victim to this mistake all too often. The “right” amount and pace depends on many factors-race distance, race experience and current fitness level, to name a few. As a general rule, I suggest that my runners who are training for a race stick to 2-3x per week, with one or two longer runs at a conversational pace