Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Training with Butch Reynolds

Starting a business and working my own hours has allowed me a little flexibility to do things I traditionally wouldn't be able to do working for someone else, like sneak out for a training session with former Olympian Butch Reynolds. 

Butch holds an Olympic gold in the 4x4oom relay and a silver in the 400m. His world record of  43.29 seconds in the 400m was held for 11 years before it was broken. 

Two weeks ago I headed to a fancy gym in the FiDi for a private session with him courtesy of Philip Stein. They were launching their new Horizon Sport bracelet, which Butch is a fan of. 

I had a speed workout later that night so I was hoping he wasn't going to work me too hard. 

We started with a slow walk on the treadmill then went over what we were going to do. He was going to show me some warm ups, stretch my legs out and test my flexibility then go over my running form. 

We did traditional coordination warm ups, balance exercises, high knees, butt kicks, etc. We also went over where to look when running- not straight ahead but also not all the way down. Chin slightly tilted and eyes basically aimed at the feet of the person a few feet in front of you. '

After the first portion, he mentioned I was one of the most in shape person he worked with all day. Thennnn we got to the stretching portion and I became the least flexible person he saw all day. 

While lying on my back, we worked each leg individually to get them to a 90 degree angle vertical and horizontal. Whoa did that stretch out my super tight hips! In order to move my legs back further, Butch used resistance on every exhale. I highly recommend working on flexibility if you're a runner. I have been trying to get to yoga at least once a week. 

Last, we got to the running portion. We did this twice. The first time, without any tips, I ran up and down the small corridor in the gym and Butch took video. Then we went over it. I learned that I run too flat footed and up and down. Also, my elbows are a little too wide. 

The second time I did it, of course I nailed it. Launch off the balls of my feet? Done. Lean a bit forward? Check. Aim eyes lower? Yes. Elbows in? For the most part. 

I have definitely been trying to incorporate all of those changes into my training. I can feel the difference when I'm suddenly aware of something and tweak it. 

Training the past 2 weeks has gone fantastic. My speed is coming back and my long run wasn't half bad. Fingers crossed as the weather gets nicer, my breath and hydration becomes normal again. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend!


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