Saturday, 29 January 2011

Strength and conditioning

I went to a session on Strength and Conditioning last night, run by Mark Jarvis of MMJ Training, who provides S&C coaching to elite athletes preparing for the Olympics, as well as working on a small group and one-to-one basis with more normal mortals. He gave a free seminar and taster session to members the triathlon club to explain the virtues of S&C in terms of performance and injury prevention. He was fantastic - he really knows his stuff, as well as being funny and extraordinarily positive in the face of our manifold inadequacies. He had us doing some of the basic movements and tests that expose inefficiencies, structural problems and "energy leaks", and was clearly itching to dive in and start coaching as we tilted, over-compensated, collapsed and wobbled our way through the exercises. In many ways, it was a sobering experience in that I feel really strong bodily a lot of the time, and especially when I'm training, but at the same time, was unable to do many of the simplest-looking movements that he set us. That feeling of capacity and control that comes from training can be very deceptive. But it was a very thought-provoking lesson in rethinking what good training is, and where our time might be best spent. I'm not sure how to mobilise this in terms of my training practice yet, but many thanks to Mark for a really great evening.

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