Static holds have been the key to my recovery from back pain going back as far a high school and are what have allowed me to race again without pain as a masters athlete and now after two years of static holds and reduced aerobic training I am feeling good postural strength.
Postural strength, in my mind, is the key component for any athlete pushing their limits, as you need that control so that you can limit over use injuries. With my lack of postural strength in both running and skiing once I got to a certain level my lack of postural strength would lead to overloaded back muscles and disc deterioration.
These static holds started at a very short 30 seconds and over time I built strength to able to hold positions for 3 minutes. During this time my ability to run or ski for longer than 30 to 60 minutes was hard on the back so to compensate for this inability to run long workouts I started to utilize USRPT workouts as the short intervals at race pace were easier on my back and allowed me to maintain a good level of aerobic fitness.
The USRPT workouts may not be ideal for athletes racing more endurance based events but in my particular case they allowed me to maintain a good training level while focusing on building postural strength.
At points I progressed too fast and I had a number of set backs along the way but I feel I am at a point where I can start to absorb some additional plyometric strength and with this I can start to increase interval length to build aerobic fitness further without irritating the back muscles.
I have utilized plyometrics many times in the past few years but they were not always absorbed well. I started with very short sessions as strength allowed and have now started to increase sets with lunge jumps and plyo pushups for two to three minutes.
At this point I feel the body is handling the load and the back has continued to maintain good postural position while building aerobic fitness by way of increasing the length of intervals but still keeping workouts short.
This past Thanksgiving long weekend I found some good skiing in Canmore on the Rundle trail. The highest elevation trail at the CNC. The trail had been rolled and had surprisingly good snow depth.
First on snow session of the year and I hit the trail with two light USRPT sessions focusing on technique. Striding felt strong but timing a little off with the double pole. Since coming home from Canmore the focus has been on building upper body strength with ring work to improve the DP.
This coming weekend I am looking to head down to Camrose for the ACAC XC running event and then the Sunday Throwdown roller ski race on Sunday.
Frozen Thunder is just four short weeks away and its time to get nordic ready which will entail some nordic specific strength, SkiErg and some short roller ski efforts.
On the XC running side we will wind things down with the last Franks XC Races of the season and maintain the running fitness daily with the USRPT training and will look to incorportae a few indoor track races over the winter to keep the speed up for the Nordic Sprint events through the winter.
On the strength side I quite excited with the addition of gymnastic style ring work and light plyometrics for the legs as I feel this is going to transfer well for both the skiing and running.
Passionate runner and nordic skier who happens to own a run & ski shop!