By Karyn Gallivan, MS, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT
Contributor, Sports+Fitness Network
Having grown up as an athlete & being a runner in college, it seems like I am on a never-ending quest to continue to be an “athlete”. Next on my bucket-list is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As a runner recently stated while riding a bus to the start of the 2016 event in Hopkinton, MA, “this is the ultimate for an amateur athlete –qualifying for, and running, Boston.” So, training for and running a BQ (Boston Qualifier) marathon is at the forefront of my mind every day.
I live in New England. Race day is Patriot’s Day. It is also Marathon Monday. To add to the excitement this year, it was a gorgeous & perfectly sunny 60 degree day. In addition, because of the history of and importance of this race to running and all of New England, the TV coverage is non-stop –not unlike March Madness! So, being fortunate enough to work from home, my office has was moved to the living room for the day 🙂
As I watched the interviews and stories with a variety of runners, I was reminded of the importance of having a goal. Some were running because, like me, of a personal athletic goal. Some were running to raise money for a charity. And, because it is now three years following the Boston Marathon Bombings, many who were injured that day were back and running, evidence of the resilience of the human spirit.
You can imagine, then, the variety of body types and fitness levels that are represented this year. This is not unlike any other road race when I witness the impressive accomplishments of folks who, at first glance in my professional mind, have no business being involved in such a repetitive activity with a high rate of injury for all who participate.
What a great chance all fitness professionals have to help these athletes get to the finish line! I know, and many of you have learned, that if someone has a goal -but more importantly a purpose, they will do what is necessary to accomplish it. To help these folks get to their finish line as healthy as possible, my intention is to focus on strengthening weak links and giving them a solid foundation of fitness. In addition to their activity-specific training and appropriate exercise programming progressions, making sure that their weak links have been addressed appropriately and consistently is probably the best single way to avoid the onset of injury.
I believe that this is important because many of us might be inclined to say that there are certain people who have no business even attempting something as extreme as a marathon. My 30 years of experience in this business, however, have shown me that passion and motivation are what drives ordinary citizens to be athletes. It is my job to prepare them the best way I can.
From New England on Marathon Monday, stay Boston Strong!