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Want to Train Faster, Harder, Stronger and Safer?

Posted on: Monday, August 27th, 2012

Categories: Uncategorized

I was recently talking to a friend about her brother, who it transpires is a keen rower with Olympic standard promise, who scuppered his chances of competing in this year’s games due to injury.  He dutifully trained for hours every day, but was unable to sustain the level of nourishment his body needed, and unfortunately became very ill.  His zeal was not enough to turn him into the athlete he aspired to be, and because of his illness, lost out on his chance to shine.  This got me thinking- in the blaze of glory this year’s Olympics resulted in, not much attention was given to those, who as a result of illness, and especially sport-related injury, were unable to represent their country in the games.  As my friend’s story shows, injury and illness are unfortunately common-place in the world of sport and athletics, and even any amateur fitness enthusiasts are likely to suffer some kind of injury over their lifetime.

One of the most extreme sporting events, which places a huge strain on the body is the marathon.  The marathon is meant to be a celebration of the extremes the human body can take itself to, and the very myth of its origin is testament to human endurance.  As the story would have it, in 490 BC, the soldier Pheidippides ran from the Battle of Marathon (hence the origin of the events name) to Athens to announce the news of the victory of Greece over Persia, where he promptly collapsed and died.  While there may be integrity and glory behind an individual’s determination to conquer physical frailty in the pursuit of something higher (be it political victory, as in Pheidippides’ case, or even personal fitness) it is vital to remember, as clichéd as the sentiment may be, that we are only given one body to last our lifetimes, and that once a person is afflicted with certain injuries, the damage can be irreparable.  Even if you are not a top athlete (and chances are you’re not- no offence), it is important to seek out the correct help if you even sense an injury coming on.  As a keen runner blighted by hideously painful shin-splints, I can testify that prevention is an infinitely preferable course of action to cure.

While the Olympics serve to show what can happen if an individual pushes themselves to the physical (and often mental) limit, we’ve come a long way since the days of poor Pheidippides, and it is perfectly possible to do any type of exercise without such tragic consequences.  So, to ensure that you can continue to train and exercise ‘faster, harder, stronger and safer’, remember to keep poor Pheidippides in your mind and consider a personal trainer to help you with your journey.