August Newsletter

Posted in Blog

Dion Yatras - Pistol Shooter

Dion is the President of the Zimbabwe Sports Shooting Federation. He has been shooting for 14 years and is now the top ranked pistol shooter in Zimbabwe. Since 2002 he has won an array of competitions, some of which are listed below, and in 2010 he was awarded Zimbabwe Colours.
“I am inspired to train as a lifestyle choice, to stay fit and healthy. The added bonuses that it compliments and often enhances my performance in my chosen sport.”
What message do you have to young athletes?
“You may not be the strongest, you may not be the fastest, but if you work the hardest, you will be
the best. Hard work and determination, coupled with a positive mindset led me to the top. Belief is a
key aspect of success in all facets of your life.”
We wish him the best of luck at World Champs in Florida, USA in October this year.
2009 - Gold Medal Winner, All Africa Champs
2010 - Namibia Open Champion
2011 - 2014 - Manicaland Provincial Champion
2013 - Midlands Provincial Champion
2013 - Zimbabwe Open Champion
2014 - Matabeleland Provincial Champion
How Strength Training Can Improve Your Running
Strength training and lifting weights are two concepts that many runners are foreign too. There is a constant fear of bulking or carrying more weight than is needed. Even some exceptionally famous coaches combat the idea. But can these fears be justified? Strength training may provide a number of benefits to endurance athletes, one being an increase in running economy which allows a faster running pace over the same distance. According to an article by Alan Jung at the University of Alabama, he concludes that each type of strength training has its place and can have benefits resulting in a 4% increase in running speed. Of these training routines three types were examined more closely: Plyometric training, Circuit training and Traditional gym-based strength training.
Plyometric training
Plyometric training or otherwise known as explosive training, is the most beneficial for running economy as it is the closest to mimicking running patterns. The running stride itself is a high-speed plyometric exercise and would require light weights and fast movements. Studies show that plyometric training has been directly connected to improved race performance at 5km distances, additionally benefiting the running economy and neuromuscular coordination by as much as 8%.
Circuit training
Circuit training has seemingly high benefits on the cardiovascular system. Since there is as little rest to none between exercises your heart rate can jump as high as 80% of its max. Untrained individuals have shown improvements in the time-to-exhaustion and it can be useful for people that are just getting back into shape or don’t have much running experience under their belt. Not only will circuit training improve aerobic fitness but it will also strengthen your running muscles so you can increase your running volume with less injury risk.
Traditional Weight Lifting
Traditional weight lifting doesn’t have a significant benefit on the cardiovascular system like circuit training but instead, improvements can be seen in running economy, time-to-exhaustion and the neuromuscular coordination (which has relevance to top speed). Strength training with traditional lifts such as squats, lunges and chin-ups will increase your core strength. Better core strength will help you avoid back pain and make you faster. However, runners that are new to lifting should first develop base levels of strength and flexibility.
To conclude, strength training benefits the endurance athlete by improving running economy, thereby assisting the cardiovascular system, making you stronger and thus less prone to injury.
Written by Kim McMaster, Personal Trainer, Innovate HPC.

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