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Running Season – Three Tips for Staying Injury Free

‘yogging with a soft J”

Every year around May (July if you are from Northern Ontario and winter lasts 10 months-Story of my life) the streets are flooded with a plethora of fresh health enthusiasts turning the sidewalks into an interstate highway.

Personally, I’ve had a real On-Off relationship with jogging over the last 10 years. We’ve dated seriously for a few months then take an extended break with no-contact for half of the year. For a while, we would hook up for a single night on a whim, but as of late it has become much more structured. We date 1-2x / week and appreciate our time together much more.

In a lot of ways my relationship with running mirrors that of the North American Health and Wellness space. When exercise began gaining momentum in the modern era, aerobic fitness (specifically jogging), was the currency of the realm, the more miles you logged the better your health. The focus eventually shifted and we bought into the idea that it was horrible for your joints and would “make you slow”; interval work was thrust to the forefront. Since then I believe the consensus has found a healthier middle ground, we see the value in aerobic training but understand that it is also important to spend time on other activities.

Where on the spectrum does your running relationship rank? Are you a dedicated marathoner? An occasional guilty Monday jogger? Did you start last month when the weather warmed up? Do you fall somewhere in between? No matter your running marital status the three tips below are guaranteed to improve your Running Relationship.

Warm Up –

Everyone who participates in some form of exercise knows the value of warm up, it has been mentioned in every gym class, soccer practice and group fitness session. Yet, the number of people who actually take the time to complete a proper warm-up is alarmingly low.

warm up

A warm-up serves multiple purposes, it raises our core temperature and activates the proper muscle groups but more importantly, it decreases our risk of injury. The goal of our training is to improve our quality of life not decrease it and an injury is never positive.

The three major components of a warm-up are below, check back later this week for a breakdown of each!

a.     Mobility

b.     Activation

c.     Dynamic Movement

Monitor Intensity / Volume –

I am not a great swimmer, I won’t drown if you were to toss me in a pool and I could struggle through a few laps but by no means am I podium worthy. I know that and should I spontaneously decide I want to swim across the English Channel (which will never happen) I wouldn’t pretend that I was immediately ready.  Running is no different yet people who haven’t run in 10 years believe they can handle the distance and duration of their younger self. Take your time, start slowly and build up progressively. A universal rule in the running community is 10 percent. Don’t increase your volume by more than 10 percent per week, staying within this number should keep you relatively safe from injury.

Strength Train

A friend of ours owns a gym and one of their signature shirts has this quote across the back, “Being strong is never a weakness”. Perhaps not the most eloquently said but the core idea is solid. Having a basic level of strength is crucial to avoiding injury and improving performance in all aspects of life. You do not need to become a competitive powerlifter but if you refuse to spend time strength training you will eventually develop overuse injuries as a result of running’s repetitive nature.

split lift

Don’t Just Chase Your Dreams

DON’T JUST CHASE YOUR DREAMS…

I was asked recently where I was from (Sault Ste Marie) and why I moved to Toronto (athletic and professional career). When I answered he nodded his head in a seemingly knowing manner and replied: “Oh chasing the dream.”

I hate the saying, I understand what it represents but the words we choose directly influence our outlook. The word “Chase” conjures up images of a hopeless dog after a much-to-quick rabbit. “Chase” is the childish younger brother that is still partying all night and sleeping all day because he hasn’t yet decided what type of legacy he wants to create. “Chase” is without a plan or focus, and ultimately, just “chasing” your dreams will never be enough.

HUNT your dreams down! The replacement of one word changes the entire outlook on the situation. Instead of overmatched and wild it has become methodical and precise. You are now the wolf closing in on its prey, wearing it down daily and making adjustments until it collapses at your feet instead of the hapless dog.

So, you’re sick of fruitless circles and want to start hunting down your dreams but aren’t sure where to start? Below are my top three tips for becoming a Dream Hunter.

1.) Plan… “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” -B. Franklin

Mr. Franklin is frequently referenced, for good reason. It’s important to sit down and plan out your attack. I have heard some experts suggest 5 – 10 years in the future but it is next to impossible to accurately estimate your position in 10 years. I would instead suggest writing your goals for the following:

-1 month

-3 month

-6 month

-1 year

Now that you have written your goals add 1-3 notes on how to achieve each of them. These bullet points will become your flexible action plan. Constantly assess and evaluate what strategies are successful and bringing you closer to your goals. Incorporate more of those actions and discard the ones that haven’t proven useful. Having a plan will create focus and clarity in your work, and keep you moving in the right direction.

2.) Know your WHY… “There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we disciver why” – W. Barclay

There are several motivational speakers and lifestyle coaches that preach how vital knowing your “WHY” is to achieving success. Everyone has their own guru but I love listening to “ET” Eric Thomas because he has so much passion and excitement.

If you don’t know why you are hunting your dreams how can you expect yourself to put in the necessary work? Set aside some time for reflection and write down your WHY(s), having them in front of you will help you stay motivated and on task.

Check out the short clip below on knowing your WHY.

3.) Develop Staying Power…“The ability to maintain an activity or commitment despite fatigue or difficulty.”

Personally, I feel this is the most important ability when hunting down your dreams. You will get hit, certainly metaphorically but perhaps literally. Sometimes it will be minor, the whip of a branch as you pound down the trail after your dream, and sometimes the ground will fall out underneath you. You have to develop your staying power and be willing to absorb and learn from whatever is thrown your way.

I fight mixed martial arts professionally, a sport where the stakes are as high as they can be every time I step under the lights. I’ve lost and it has hurt, but I understand the value of adversity and I am a better fighter and person because of those experiences. I will stay the course.

Far too often people have the courage to take the first step but as soon as they encounter adversity will flounder and quit. You cannot know exactly what to expect but you can be prepared to endure it.

An integral part of living a Championship Lifestyle is hunting down your dreams every single day and I hope you can begin implementing those three tips into your life immediately. Plan, Know your Why and Develop Staying Power. Don’t just chase, Hunt!

Welcome to the Championship Lifestyle

Welcome to the Championship Lifestyle,

We are so glad that you found us and want to take a quick moment to welcome you to the family. Our goal is to provide you with all of the resources necessary to live your own Championship Lifestyle. Together, we are able to combine strength training, nutrition and mindset practices in a manner that is uniquely motivating and challenging.

We have both spent time working with a range of clientele from professional athletes to busy executives and want to share that knowledge with you. In an online space full of clutter our aim is to bring you the best possible information in a manner that allows for immediate implementation into your life, bringing about meaningful change.

We’re not for everyone and we understand that living a Championship Lifestyle takes dedication and effort. Anyone can live like a Champion but it means waking up every morning and consciously deciding to be the very best version of yourself for every waking minute. It means holding yourself accountable for all aspects of your life. It’s a difficult thing to do, but the positives far outweigh the negatives and we want to help you along the path.

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohnbluffs