Meet Leonard, a 43-year-old professional Personal Trainer cum Strength Coach who works with a wide range of clients from the general population to competitive athletes. Outside from his daily strength and conditioning routine, the avid endurance athlete runs regularly, a sport which allows him to dial into a personal zone away from the distractions of the modern world and where his footsteps, heart rate and breathing get in sync - an experience which he describes is akin to how "the different instruments of an orchestra come together and play the perfect symphony".
Leonard believes that strength training should be an integral component of any complete run training program with the primary purpose of injury prevention. Stressing to us that a commonly overlooked aspect of running is the extensive training mileage that an individual has to clock in preparation for a race, with many rushing to chalk distance without first building a physically robust body - exponentially increasing the risk of injuries stemming from overuse or overtraining.
Our muscles function to produce and absorb forces. When they do not work like they are supposed to, that responsibility gets passed down to the joints. This explains why most common running injuries happen at the knees, ankles/heel and lower back. In an ideal program, runners should ideally strength train at least twice a week combining bilateral and unilateral exercises that focus on activating big running muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings.
As someone who enjoys running light, he still finds it a real challenge at times as he sweats a lot in the hot and humid Singapore weather. One of his biggest pain points is getting extremely uncomfortable with perspiration accumulating in his running gear over the distance. There were also occasions on longer training runs where he suffered from really bad chafing that accumulated and started bleeding - ouch!
Decked in the Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0 and Fast and Free lined Short 6” from lululemon’s latest men’s collection, Leonard was beaming with a smile after his run:
"The fabric is amazing, I felt that I wasn't wearing a top at all due to the weight!"
He pointed out how the seamless construction of the sleeveless running top reduced the likelihood of chafing whilst staying snug under all circumstances. Also noticeable was the Breath Light Mesh technology that helped wicked sweat efficiently and stayed dry even when it wasn't the coolest of days - helping him take away the distraction of sweaty gear and allowing him to fully enjoy the running experience.
His advice for runners on training and setting goals? As with most things in life, overnight achievements are usually short lived and transient. Be patient with your running progression and give yourself the time and opportunities to make and learn from mistakes. Don't go too long or too hard too quickly – it is a continuous learning process that requires tweaking and revising till you find what works best for you as an individual!