Running Club’s regiment benefits entire body

Amy Boldt

The Summit Running Club hosted by Hammond-Henry Hospital is back for another year, but with a few new training techniques to get local runners in shape for area races.

“We’ve added an extra day and a long day run on Sunday to add another option to the track work out,” said instructor Kelley Timmerman. “Most participants are training for 5Ks, the Bix and then in September for the marathon.

“Long runs are important. It helps them build up their endurance level and that is an area that really needs to be tapped into. Todd Ehlert, instructor, works in the track area, while I handle the distance area. We parallel each other very well.”

To build up endurance, Ehlert and Timmerman have thrown a few new kinks into the workout routine, such as adding hills, interval training, tempo runs and long runs.

“Each Thursday night we meet is different,” said Ehlert. “We have different types of training to train the runners’ heart. Runners have to start slow and then increase their time every week and slowly bring up their time. It takes a lot of time and patience.”

“It is a way to get area runners together, who have a lot of different goals,” said  Ehlert. “Some are getting ready for the Bix and others for marathons and triathlons. We are doing a lot of teaching, but are also trying to have fun.”

Participants in the Running Club can expect to take part in speed workouts, long runs and running evaluations, along with different training tips, nutrition pointers and injury prevention tips.

“The role of nutrition is huge in all  sports,” said Ehlert. “If you don’t eat the right foods, you won’t excel. We want to let the runners know what are the good foods to eat.”

Another element Ehlert and Timmerman are working on with their runners is running form.

“Running form is a big thing,” said Ehlert. “We teach them to run correctly, which will help prevent injuries. You need to have correct body mechanics when you run. We want people to run correctly so their knees and hips are not injured. A lot of people learn to run from their parents and they pick up their habits and that is where you can get into trouble.?It just takes time.”

Injury prevention is also a big focus for the club.

“The whole hour the club meets they are doing injury prevention activities,” said Ehlert. “We do different things every week. We stretch at the beginning and end, work on flexibility and core. If you don’t stretch you can get injured. There are a lot of things that go with injury prevention — teaching how to eat correctly, recovery days and running form.”

Throughout the runners’ training regiment, Ehlert and Timmerman also implement some strength training, different stretches and work in the core areas to help the entire body.

“Everybody needs different stuff sometimes,” said Timmerman. “The runners programs are individualized. Each participant has a time trial at the beginning to see where they need to begin and then will have a time trial at the end to see how far they have progressed.”

Timmerman said the group participating in the Running Club this year is right around 20 people and anybody can join, but it is an adult running club.

“It is a way to train with other people and it is kind of nice because there is more accountability,” said Timmerman. “It is a great way to meet new people in the community that are runners that you didn’t know about.”

The Running Club meets Thursday nights at 6 p.m. at the Geneseo Foundation Activity Center and Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. at the canal across from the Geneseo Country Club.

“It is good to set a goal and hopefully we can help them achieve their goals,” said Timmerman. “Whether it is their first 5K or a marathon, to obtain a goal is satisfaction for us. I hope they achieve that and self-improvement.”

“The biggest thing is to have fun,” said Ehlert. “I also want them to learn running is not a punishment and it is something that can be fun.?If correctly, it can be a lifelong activity.”

For more information, contact Hammond-Henry Rehabilitation Services at (309) 944-9150.