Feeling the Burn

Ridge Run training with Swiss Fit Montana.

This year, I wanted to incorporate some new training strategies to meet my goals of improving my time and getting stronger, so as not to break down physically after my third consecutive Ridge Run. To achieve these goals, I started working out with Will Caton at Swiss Fit Montana.

During my first session, I was introduced to the exercises I’d be using. But this wasn’t a polite introduction—it was a full-on workout. Will took note of key areas to target in future workouts, such as my slouch, as it takes more energy to run when you’re constantly lifting your body up and down. I also needed to work on the oft-discussed core, and my glutes, a muscle group that according to Will, I'd need to build for endurance, climbing, and descending.

Getting a leg up with the Power Plate.

And of course, I spent time on Swiss Fit's centerpiece, the Power Plate, a machine that vibrates to engage muscles in a consistent and controlled manner. Sound a little gimmicky? Well it’s not—after my first session, I was sore in parts I didn't know existed. There are other machines I'd be using as well, including "the downhiller" — a platform that rises and falls as you stay in a ski-tuck position, keeping your upper-body steady.

How do these pieces fit together to improve your training? This is what a 30-minute workout looks like:

  • High knees – stand with one foot nearly touching the floor, the other foot flat on the Power Plate and bent at the knee; throw the opposite arm in the air while lifting the extended leg and knee to waist level, then return to the start position. Do one leg at a time.
  • Wall sits – lean with your back against an exercise ball and squat down to a little below your knees, utilizing your glutes and stomach to stay tall.
  • Tele-jumps – teach your body to explode uphill by mimicking a telemark turn, only you jump straight up, throwing the opposite arm and leg to land on the other foot.
  • Calf lifts – extend one heel over the edge of the Power Plate and extend the other foot forward; lift your foot on the edge as high as possible, followed by going as low as possible.
  • Pushups – exactly what they sound like, only you're wearing a weighted vest.
Not your granddad's pushups.

These Power Plate exercises, mixed with pullups and time on the downhiller, result in a complete workout. In my next post, I’ll look at how these exercises work specific areas and how they will help me reach my goals.

Are you competing in this year’s Bridger Ridge Run? If so, Swiss Fit Montana is offering a semi-private training package that will help you reach your goals. Give Will a call at 548-7385 for details.