Bird Camp in the numbers:
Hours of driving from CT to NH: 8 (4 each way)
Pairs of sneakers packed: 4 (only 3 were worn)
Miles run between Friday – Sunday: 22.9
Nights spent lying in bed, freezing, with 3 layers on top AND bottom: 3
Number of birds in our cabin: 6
Bird camp attendees: 105
Showers taken at camp: 2
Number of showers that were with hot water: 0
I’ll be honest: I was a little skeptical of this concept of Bird Camp. 105 women in one little space. I figured most people would know each other…and I’d know no one since our CT meetups have been lackluster due to the scattered location of our members. And the itinerary seemed packed; would we be able to relax at all? I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to run since I’ve been taking some much needed time off after double marathoning to rest my irritated hamstring.
But as soon as Charlotte picked me up in the driveway, I knew it was going to be great. We spent the entire drive up to New Hampshire chatting and getting to know each other, and I instantly felt better. We arrived to camp just in time for dinner/orientation and instantly started making new friends as soon as we stepped foot in the dining hall.
The runs were beautiful and my hamstring actually felt fine. Through some fantastic presentations, I learned the importance of putting my phone away long before bed and I may even consider investing in a pair of Sketchers (maybe). Fast forward to Saturday and it was time for my strength presentation!
Being a running AND a strength coach, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss the importance of strength training and varied movement for runners. Strength training is not only used for injury prevention…but there are also numerous studies that indicate strength training help increase aerobic speed in conjunction with running economy. On a personal level: the only time I haven’t been injured is when I’m strength training.
So after a brief intro about why strength training and moving differently are SO important for runners, I jumped right into a quick body-weight workout that incorporated all planes of movement.
There are three planes of movement: sagittal, frontal, and transverse.
As runners, we are really really great at moving forward – i.e. – moving on the sagittal plane. But that means we’re leaving two entire plans of motion out of our practice. To put it simply: by continuing to only move on the sagittal plane, runners create a great deal of imbalance, which eventually can turn into injury.
To be better runners, we should not only incorporate resistance training into our workouts…but also other types of movement. And, no, I’m not talking about sitting on the bike or elliptical or stair master for 45 minutes (though, I did think that was the solution for the first 2 years of my running career). I’m talking about MOVING differently, along all planes.
Being limited with space and equipment at camp, I developed a quick series of exercises that incorporated all planes of movement. My objective was to teach something that wasn’t running…get some hearts pumping…and to drive home the concept of thinking outside the box when it comes to being a stronger and better runner. If you have any questions about anything I’ve written below (or would like me to send you a video and/or clarification of the exercise, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. CARs, or Controlled Articular Rotations (These are types of movements stemming from the training system called FRC. Read more about FRC here or read more about CARs over at my friend Todd’s blog here. If you attended Bird Camp and want a refresher of what these movements are, shoot me an email).
2. Active Movement
-walking high knees
-knee hug to lunge
-heel to butt
4. Wall posture
-wall posture holds
-load & lift
The workout! (finally!)
Side shuffle (5R/5L x 4)
BW squat (x 10)
Agility ladder: 2 in/2 out (20 sec x 4)
High knees (20 sec)
Lateral bear crawl (10/s x 2)
Jumping jacks (20 sec)
Pushups (x 10)
Agility ladder: Icky Shuffle (20 sec x 4)
Lateral march (10/s x 2)
Plank (30 sec)
Lateral skip (10/s x 2)
Shuffle hop (30 sec)
Side to side hop (30 sec)
POW reverse lunge (10/s)
Side winder (10/s)
Hand touch (x 10)
Side plank (30 sec/s)
Downward dog w/ slow rise
Reach and lateral stretch (ITB)
(These are just some of my favorites).
Thanks again to Rebecca for organizing such an amazing weekend and to Oiselle for making this entire thing possible. Can’t wait for next year!