Keen runner Jackie is the April 2020 client of the month in unprecedented times. A period of history that will always be remembered.
The warnings have been present in recent years of a possible catastrophic global pandemic. We had scares with SARS, MERS, Ebola and Swine Flu. Yet, the world initially chose to ignore Covid-19 cases in Wuhan causing a global lockdown. There are over 332000 recorded deaths (May 22) which continues to rise resulting in the economies of the world in free fall.
LOCKDOWN IN UK AND EXERCISING
Here in the UK, the public were allowed to exercise outside once a day. Many people started walking, some cycling and others running. For those that already exercised daily, this was a new challenge away from the routine of gyms and exercise classes. For others, it’s a chance to start exercising whilst enjoying the sunny spring weather.
Jackie runs most days and attends exercise classes including body pump workouts. Because the gyms closed, Jackie contacted me for online workouts to maintain and gain strength.
Strength is vital to runners. Weight training addresses muscle imbalances and helps to prevent unnecessary injuries. Lifting increases mobilisation, builds lean muscle mass, promotes tendon and ligament strength, protects key joints such as the ankles, knees and hips and helps to maintain correct running technique. Therefore, lifting helps you run faster.
Why wouldn’t you lift weights if you were a runner!
I asked Jackie why she decided to go online with her training.
“I realised lockdown had kind of thrown my 2020 goals out of the window. So now I’ve put my ‘run 50 miles in a day’ goal in writing, I’d better get to it”. That’s some goal! Jackie also said “a life goal is to stay as fit as possible for as long as possible and to burn lots of calories so I never need to worry about eating seconds”.
I know exactly what she means!
Ensuring the right amount of calories and correct percentage of macronutrients will improve a runners performance.
A 60 minute run burns between 400-800 calories depending on your sex, size and intensity of run. This equates to a bottle of wine or 100 grams of chocolate. Food for thought!
So with Jackie’s goal and fitness history to hand, I designed a series of programmes with compound lifts, core exercises and varied the sessions to keep workouts challenging and interesting. Recording the reps and weights lifted of each workout helped Jackie to focus when revisiting the same session a few weeks later.
“I like the simplicity of running: the ability to go anywhere, on/off road, new/old routes. But I don’t like getting tired or walking up hills, so I try to combine running with other fitness activities. Lifting weights is rewarding and less hard on the lungs”.
And I agree with Jackie. Lifting weights is vital to a balanced training programme.
You can alternate your days of training between cardio and strength. This way, you are maximising your recovery from each workout and preventing overuse injury, tiredness and burnout.
In addition, the weights will ‘mix it up’ because your programme will be fresh, interesting and promote longevity.
And there is an added bonus to lifting weights. Body composition because increased muscle speeds up the body’s metabolism enabling more calories to be burnt during rest periods. Put simply, you will be burning more calories sitting down then you would if you had less muscle because muscle burns calories, even at rest.
Why online training?
Imagine if this pandemic had been 30 years ago. No access to computers, internet, social media or up-to-date news. How would many of us have coped!
‘Deep emotional traumas in societies overwhelmed by large-scale human disasters like global pandemic diseases, natural disasters, man-made tragedies, war conflicts, social crisis etc., can cause massive stress-related disorders’ (Cosic, Popovic, Sarlija & Kesedzic: ‘Impact of Human Disasters & Covid-19 Pandemic on Mental Health: Potential of Digital Psychiatry’. Psychiatria Danubina 2020; Vol 32 No 1 pp25-31
I know I would have struggled. Having access to other people outside of your household helps my mental health. After all, we are social animals.
And online training is a means of gaining information, knowledge, support, expertise and social interaction.
Plus it’s a great time management tool. Jackie fits her online workouts around her employment where she currently works from home. Her commitment to scheduling workouts up to a week in advance helps her balance leisure and work time. Another key reason for Jackie winning the April 2020 client of the month. She’s organised and above all, focussed.
Our weekly Zoom sessions have been great for feedback on the training programme. In addition, Jackie has increased strength even though gyms are closed. And she has learnt how to improve her training, stay motivated, keep focussed, update her lifting skills and enjoy the social interaction of the workouts
By embracing online training and working hard during the sessions, Jackie sees attainment of her goal moving closer.
“My 2020 goal is to run 50 miles in a day (and for it not to hurt too much). Now we’re over the peak, I’m figuring out how to achieve it by September”.
In conclusion, Jackie will achieve her goal. She has been dedicated and committed to every online session and running workout. These are the ingredients required to be the April 2020 client of the month.
Well done Jackie. Keep up the lifting, running, yoga and cycling. By September, you will need a new goal.