Hit The Road...Running provides fitness training and education aimed at runners. This section is a collection of articles and white papers written by Tony Denford, founder of Hit The Road. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments of any post.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Train for Overall Fitness

Training your muscles is easy. Just perform some exercises and they will get stronger. If you want to do some sport specific training then you tend to train the muscles associated with that sport. This part of training is easy and well know by almost everyone but have you ever considered what other things you could do to improve your performance as well as your general quality of life?

There are four primary components of fitness:
- Cardiovascular Ability - How efficient your heart and Lungs are,
- Muscular Ability - How strong your muscles are,
- Flexibility - How much range of motion your joints can perform,
- Body Composition - How much body fat you have.

There are also a number of secondary components that not only affect your health but the quality of life that you possess. These components include:
- Balance
- Coordination
- Agility
- Reaction time
- Speed
- Power and
- Mental Capacity.

Just like the primary components, the secondary components can also be trained and the principals are not that different. The SAID principal, which stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands, means that if you put any of these components beyond their normal range your body will adapt to the new demands in a very specific way.

So how do you train your balance? Put your body in out-of-balance situations like standing on one leg or try trail running on uneven surfaces. This will help your body's proprioception which is your brains method of understanding where your body is in space and your nervous systems ability to get your body back into balance. The more outside stimuli you can remove from your perception of your position, the more trained your nervous system becomes and increases it's ability to be able to react to falls or slips.

One additional thing you need to be aware of is the fact that the nervous system fatigues more quickly than your muscular system and takes longer to recover. So if you would usually take a days rest between muscular workouts, you should allow at least two days between balance, coordination, agility and reaction time workouts.

About The Author

Tony Denford is a certified personal trainer and owner or Hit the Road. He has been training primarily runners since 2002 and has worked with beginners all the way to Boston Qualifier Marathon runners.

Tony emphasizes balance and variety in his training methods and always tries to make sure his client’s fitness routines are fun as well as beneficial.

Visit www.hittheroadrunning.com for more details on Hit The Road’s programs and services.

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