Thursday, December 11, 2008

Strength Training Session

My coach, Eric Hodska held the first of three strength training sessions on Sunday morning at his house and it was great.

I'm like most endurance athletes. Ask me about strength training and I'll tell you I think it's really important. Ask me if do much of it and I'll say "Well..." I actually think last year I did a fair amount, but that's a fair amount for me, which equates to not enough.

When Eric announced that he'd be holding these sessions, I decided right away that I should go. I have a bigger goal next year than I've ever had- you read it here first- a 9:59:59 Ironman. Can I get there ? Who knows ? Can I get there without strength training ?


So on Sunday morning I hopped in the car and drove in the year's first snow down to Trumbull. Let me say right off that Eric did a great job with this. There were six of us there including two of my Force Five Sports teammates, and Eric had been planning on having us do some of the training exercises in his back yard. He easily adapted to the snowy conditions and never missed a beat.

I'm not going to go into the details of what Eric did or rationale for it, but I will say this. Eric did a great job of first laying out what the endurance athlete should be trying to accomplish with a strength training program, what constitutes good and not so good types of exercises and how form and function go together. He struck a good balance between educating the group and evaluating the individuals, and I think we all left with four giant sets worth of exercises that are really going to target important areas for the endurance athletes we are, but with a better understanding of good technique and form.

I also had to admit that while I'm normally a pretty coordinated individual, I have a walk and chew gum sort of problem. Any exercise that requires me to move my upper and lower body in different directions at the same time creates an instant problem. You want to laugh ? Ask me to do lunges some time. I can throw a football across my body running full speed, spike a volleyball (college women's net), but I can't swing my arms up while throwing my foot forward and down. Go figure. I was the klutziest person there.

Which was okay. Practice makes, if not perfect, at least passable.

Look at my swimming...

Thanks, Eric- great session. Hope some of you reading this get the opportunity to attend one of his sessions.

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