FEATURE – Colleen Rue of St. George loves to run. She has competed in marathons, triathlons and more running events than she can count. But last fall, she found herself struggling with pain in her hip and hamstring that made it difficult. Then she heard about the Runner Fit program at Dixie Regional Medical Center’s Sports Performance Training gym.
“This program is designed by exercise physiologists and physical therapists to make runners strong and efficient,” Rue said. “I fit the bill. I was neither a strong nor efficient runner, especially under the current circumstances.
Runner Fit is a program designed specifically to strengthen the muscles runners often neglect, like the hips and core. The course trainers also analyze your running technique and help you improve your form for more efficiency. This prevents injury and improves speed and endurance.
“After just four one-hour sessions, I could already see huge benefits. I could feel myself starting to connect the necessary technique to what was really happening with my body. That kind of information is invaluable!” Rue said. “In addition to the treadmill intervals, they guide you through plyometric and strength-training exercises targeted to work the areas found to be weakest and most necessary in the sport of running. This isn’t just doing some bicep curls. These are dynamic movements that make you strong.”
Since starting the program, Rue has competed in several races, including the Vineman Triathlon in California last summer. She earned third place in her age group and seventh overall. Rue said that Runner Fit helped her work past her injury and get back to the sport she loves. “As my technique changed and my strength increased, there was a marked improvement in my injury,” she said. “I was loving to run again!”
Runner Fit is not just for world-class runners like Rue, but anyone who loves running on any level. The training is customized based on each athlete’s needs and abilities, whether you just want to prevent shin splints during your morning jog or train for the Ironman. By combining the techniques learned in Runner Fit with regular training, athletes are sure to have fewer injuries and enhanced performance.
The class takes place Thursdays at 6 a.m. and is open to runners age 16 and over. The cost is $45 per month or $40 for Southern Utah Triathlon Club members, and runners who sign up for two months can get $10 off a Bod Pod body composition analysis at the Intermountain Healthcare LiVe Well Center – St. George. To learn more, call 435-251-3793.
Written by Brady White for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.
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