Rec the Competition
One of the biggest perks of being a Cal Poly student here in San Luis Obispo is having the ability to utilize the brand new rec center; a $72 million workout and sports facility that is filled to the brim with all the amenities one could ask for in the fitness world. Often times when individuals are lacking motivation to stick to a fitness routine or train for Miracle Miles, their excuse revolves around not having the facilities or gym to properly train. Now in my opinion, there are ample ways to train without any equipment or facilities, but lucky for us at Cal Poly, we don’t have to worry about this problem. My name is Kyle and I am a third year Business student at Cal Poly and an avid fitness enthusiast. From my first days of youth team sports to the present day, fitness and training have been a very apparent passion of mine that seeps into the cracks of my everyday life. What started as training through my 19 years of competitive sports led to an overwhelming passion to lift and stay healthy. I have worked with many coaches and personal trainers, and have studied diet, nutrition and weight lifting amongst other things. At 21 years old I can say I have gained an extensive acumen in the field of fitness. More importantly, I am a student at Cal Poly and have used the Rec Center every single day for three years now.
I want to inform our runners who have access to the Rec Center of the plethora of training options that it has to offer. From personal trainers to yoga classes, I will highlight what I feel are the best options to utilize to effectively and properly train for this years Miracle Miles for Kids race. Training for a 10k can be a difficult concept to master, especially for beginners. “Do I simply go for runs?” “Do I start a weight lifting routine, or will gaining muscle hinder my running ability?” There are many different options that seem feasible, however it is finding the perfect balance between all fitness areas that suit your fitness level and expertise that will lead to the most positive results. My goal is to guide you through this Miracle Miles training journey utilizing the many amazing things the Rec has to offer.
Before we start, I am going to run you through my personal workout and fitness routine and how I build this routine to reach my fitness goals. Since arriving in college, my goal has been less athletically driven and more health and physique driven. I no longer play competitive sports, so I do not need to work on those niche sport related training areas that I used to. Instead, I work on building a strong and toned physique while ensuring I am staying healthy both inside and out. My lifting routine is as follows:
Monday: Chest + Triceps for 1 hr, Abs for 15 min, Treadmill Sprints for 15 min
Tuesday: Shoulders for 45 min, Abs for 15 min, Spin for 30 min
Wednesday: Back + Biceps for 1 hr, Abs for 15 min, Treadmill Sprints for 15 min
Thursday: Legs for 1 hr, Spin for 30 min, 15 minutes of Speed Jump Rope
Friday: H.I.I.T Training for 30 min, Stair Climber for 30 min, Abs for 15 min
Saturday: Hatha Yoga for 1 hr
Sunday: Random cardio for 30 min, 30 minutes of Speed Jump Rope
My fitness routine is tailored towards my body, and definitely would not work for everyone. However, this routine helps me balance building muscle while still staying lean through cardio. I switch my routine up fairly frequently, about once every 2 months, in order to continue confusing my muscles and deny complacency, which fosters an environment for constant growth. No matter what routine I choose, it is always tailored towards achieving my goals. Goal setting is an important aspect to fitness, and is something I highly suggest you all do when training for Miracle Miles. Do you want to beat your personal best 10k time? Do you want to simply run the 10k without needing to stop to catch a breath? Do you want to shed 10 pounds concurrently while training for MM4K? Whatever your goal may be, before you take your first step into training for Miracle Miles, I highly suggest you take a second and write down some tangible goals you can work towards achieving. It gives training a purpose and something to work towards, allowing you to stay fueled and motivated on the long journey ahead. Now that you’ve heard a little bit about my fitness routine, here are a few of the many great classes Cal Poly offers to students at the rec center.
Individual Strength Trainer - Fee Based
One of the most important aspects to training for a 10k is in the area of strength training. Running long distances multiple times per week breaks down your muscles in not just your legs, but your entire body. It is crucial for you to include strength in your training regimen in order to keep your muscles strong and healthy as to ensure you continue to progress through your training, and more importantly, stay healthy. At the Rec center, a unique and awesome option available for you is to work with nationally certified personal strength trainers. These personal trainers meet with you and find out what your personal fitness goals are as well as your current fitness levels and construct a completely unique and individualized workout plan to compliment your health and fitness needs. You will learn proper exercise technique, correct body mechanics, and sound health and fitness principles all while providing motivation in a fun environment. These lessons come in a few options which are as followed:
PRIVATE SESSIONS: · 1 Session: $45 · 4 Sessions: $160 · 8 Sessions: $320
GROUP SESSIONS: (2–3 people) · 1 Session: $65/ Group · 4 Sessions: $65/ Groups
The national average for a personal trainer as of 2017 was $50 per hour, and in SLO the average price is $70 per hour, so by using the Rec Center trainers, you are getting an unbeatable deal. Personal trainers are a great tool for beginners to build a solid fitness foundation. Once you work with the trainer enough to feel comfortable on your own, you can use the practices they taught you on your own. I personally used a personal trainer for 4 years, meeting twice per week. My plan was focused on building strength, speed, and endurance for baseball/hockey as well as to benefit my overall health. Those sessions were unbelievably helpful and beneficial, and i highly suggest trying it out no matter what fitness level you are in. You learn to workout the correct way with perfect form, all while having this extrinsic motivation pushing you to new heights. So as you train for MM4K, using the Rec Center trainers may be a great option for you.
Breakaway (Indoor Cycling)
Cardio Focused Group Class - Free
Another critical aspect of training for Miracle Miles is building your cardiovascular endurance. What is the purpose of building endurance? To start, having high endurance allows you to run for longer distances without slowing down, getting tired, or getting injured. Also, it helps you to push yourself through tough workouts without losing steam, allowing you to train harder and longer to keep progressing towards your fitness and running goals. Cardio achieves this through increasing the strength of your lungs and heart as well as increasing your V02 Max, which is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense, or maximal exercise. Higher V02 levels help determine a person's capability to perform sustained exercise. Most cardio can be pretty boring to do for more than a few minutes, but luckily Cal Poly offers an array of different group cardio classes that are both effective as well as fun.
The most popular and my personal favorite is called Breakaway - Indoor Cycling. Breakaway is a group indoor cycling class, otherwise known as a Spin Class, where a high intensity, enthusiastic teacher takes you through a varied spin routine. This simulated series includes various sprints, hills, and resistance sections. To add to it, high energy music plays throughout routine, with disco balls and party lights filling the room, giving Breakaway the most unique atmosphere for a workout at Cal Poly. Spin training has many benefits besides simply cardio, including the strengthening and toning of muscles. Most spin classes are very expensive, with the average class price at around $20/hr. So the fact that Cal Poly offers this to students for free is amazing and a feature I certainly suggest to use to train for MM4K.
Strength and Tone Group Class - Free
As stated before, strength training is critical to the success of your training program for MM4K, and unlike a simple personal trainer, Fusion Pilates allows you to work on strength training in a fun and unique way. Often times, when simply doing a normal lifting routine, people can fall into a rut and feel unmotivated to move forward. Complacency can be a huge problem in training, so by utilizing fun and unique classes in a group setting, you can find new intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to continue grinding through. Cal Poly offers a few versions of your typical pilates class, but my favorite one is Fusion Pilates, a well constructed combination of all of the pilates classes they offer. This high intensity mat-based Pilates class uses different fitness props (including free weights) with dynamic movements to strengthen, tone, create balance, and foster endurance. A unique feature of this class is they incorporation of a H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) aspect, which fosters an even greater cardio-based, fat burning atmosphere. This class is another free option for students, and a great way to hit all of the core areas of training in one class.
Mind Body Group Yoga - Free
One of the more underappreciated and undervalued aspects of training for not only a 10k but in fitness in general is flexibility. Stretching and rolling out your muscles before and after workouts is critical to the health and safety of your body, and also allows you to train more effectively. Muscles shorten and become tight as you use them more and more, so without stretching it becomes easier to pull or tear a muscle, amongst other injuries. Stretching also helps to increase the range of motion of your joints, as well as increases blood flow throughout your muscles. One of the best ways to increase flexibility and achieve the stretching of your muscles is through yoga. There are many variations of yoga, all aimed for a different purpose. For our purposes of training for Miracle Miles, I would like to focus on Vinyasa Yoga, a flow-style class that connects movement and breath to create a strong, healthy, and limber body while cultivating a peaceful mindset that focuses on the movement. The key parts of this kind of yoga are the stretching of the muscles and breathing techniques, both essential to runners. Focused breathing techniques can be utilized in running, especially long distances, which helps with your endurance and ability to go longer, harder. As previously stated, stretching has multiple benefits, and Vinyasa Yoga delivers in this category as well. Cal Poly offers this yoga class for free at the Cal Poly rec center, and would be a huge benefit to any of you who are training for MM4K.
We go to a school where it seems that everyone is active and fit, and lucky for us Cal Poly has supplied us with a place that fosters this active mindset. The rec center is filled with tons of classes, trainers, and workout amenities that allow us as students to hit any fitness goals we may have. So as you train for MM4K and are stuck on how to progress towards your goals, I hope you use this blog for reference on a few awesome opportunities that Cal Poly offers to students. If these options don’t seem like your style, you can explore the breadth of options available on the Cal Poly ASI website. One last piece of advice I have for you is to not go in this alone! Grabbing a friend or group of friends to become your workout pal is a great trick in keeping motivated and staying on track to your fitness goals. It is easy to make excuses if you are alone, but by being in it together, you can all push each other to not give up. Not only does it keep you motivated, but it’s more fun to workout with friends, and is definitely a tool I suggest trying out. I wish you the best of luck in your training for Miracle Miles, and I look forward to Running For A Reason with all of you.