athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

How to Train for a Marathon

It’s officially marathon season, as runners around the globe challenge themselves to compete in competitions of stamina and endurance. The Boston Marathon was held on April 17 and many more will be held throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. If you’re thinking of registering for one of these events, there are a few things you should know first. A full marathon is 26.2 miles, so obviously running a marathon is not for everyone. It’s a great thing to put on your bucket list and be able to say you’ve accomplished, but you won’t be able to go from three-mile runs to running a marathon overnight. Marathon runners are in prime physical shape, but they didn’t start out that way.  You need to work your way up to running a marathon.

Whether you’re training for a full marathon, a half, a quarter, or a shorter race like a 5K, the rules are still the same. Only you really can really know what physical extremes you’re capable of pushing yourself to. If you’re a casual runner who enjoys leisurely jogs around your neighborhood, then you probably want to start small with an event like a 5K. If you’re used to long distance, 20+ mile runs, then you just may be capable of a marathon. Regardless of the distance of the race, you’ll need to be prepared in order to finish the race and avoid injury. Here are the tips you should follow to train for a marathon, or a race of any length.

Get your gear in order

It may sound like a trivial detail, but having the proper running shoes is critical for how well you run. Too tight, too loose, not enough support or not enough traction, and you could injure yourself and impair your ability to compete in future races. Running shoes are one accessory you definitely don’t want to be cheap with!

Stretch before every run

The pre-run stretch is just as important, if not more important, than the run itself. If you don’t stretch your muscles to loosen them up before the run, you could be putting yourself in real physical danger by putting too much strain on under-worked muscles. It’s also important to cool down after running to allow your body to recover from the workout. Stretching before running is believed to reduce muscle tension and increase flexibility, improve muscular coordination, stimulate blood circulation and raise energy levels, and increase the range of movement in the joints. Consult rei.com for some stretches you can try out before your run.

Start training early

It’s vital, when training for a race, to allow yourself plenty of time to work up to a comfortable run, close to, but not quite as far as, the distance of the race. Marathon runners start training months in advance, sometimes even a whole year before the event. If you try to take on too much too fast, you could injure yourself. Instead, run consistently each week, gradually working your way up to longer runs. If you’re training for a full marathon, you could start with shorter races like 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half marathon. Eventually, you’ll want to be running about 20 miles each time on your weekly training runs; if you can make it that far, the last six miles you’ll need to complete the marathon should come naturally on race day due to the increased adrenaline and crowd support.

Don’t overdo it

Depending on your experience level, you may need to start with intervals of walking and jogging before working up to a consistent run. Also, be sure to keep a steady, consistent pace. If you exert yourself too much at the start of your run, you won’t have the energy to keep going. Take deep breaths and be conscious of how your body feels.

Stay hydrated

No matter how hot or cold the temperature is, it’s easy to become overheated and dehydrated from running. Therefore, drink plenty of water. Bring a water bottle with you while you’re training (try a hydration pack or belt if you don’t want to hold a bottle the whole time) and on race day, be sure to stop at the hydration stations along the way.

 

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

Fun Ways to Stay Active This Summer

Bryan Lockley- Fun Ways to Keep Active This Summer

In the summer months, it’s no fun being cooped up inside all day…okay, maybe if you’re a teenage boy playing video games inside all day, oblivious to the gorgeous weather, that’s fun for you. But is it healthy? Not so much.

You may associate staying fit and active with owning a gym membership and going there on a regular basis. However, when summer rolls around, you don’t necessarily have to waste away the beautiful days inside the gym. Outdoor activities are often an even better exercise than what you’d do at the gym, and a lot more fun! Rather than using the summer heat as an excuse to avoid dragging yourself to the gym or running outside, here are some fun and unconventional ways to exercise outside this summer.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is one of those activities that doesn’t even feel like working out. However, it’s a great exercise for your arm and leg muscles, as you stretch yourself to reach new heights on the climbing wall. On a hot day, going to your local rock gym is an excellent way to beat the heat, and if you go with friends or a date, you’ll forget all about the workout you’re getting.

Hiking and biking

What better way to enjoy a beautiful day than by removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of city or suburban life, and connecting with nature? Find your local trails, and pick a day to go with friends. If you’re not an experienced hiker or biker, you may start to feel some pain, but the gorgeous scenery you’ll be treated to make it all worth it.

Ropes course

Ropes courses are essentially jungle gyms for adults. It may not sound like climbing around on nets and walking across beams while strapped into a pulley system would be a great workout, but depending on the level of the course you choose, you may be called upon to lift your full body weight at some points. Don’t be fooled: ropes courses are challenging, often involving complex tasks that require you to employ your problem-solving skills and push yourself in ways you haven’t before, but that’s what makes them so much fun.

Early-morning yoga

Yoga can be a great group activity if you take a class, or you could opt for a more therapeutic solo experience. You’ll have a more refreshed start to your day if you wake up with the sun and take your workout outside. Plus, you’ll get your workout out of the way first thing and have the rest of the day to yourself.

Take a swim

When you were a kid, you probably didn’t need to be told to go swimming. Playing around with your friends in the water was one of the highlights of your summer. As an adult, it may be a little trickier convincing yourself to go to the pool if all you associate with it is swimming laps. The fun doesn’t end when you’re an adult though! There are so many ways to get a good workout in the pool, from volleyball, to paddle boarding, or even a pool game like Marco Polo with friends.

Go kayaking

If you haven’t been kayaking before, you’ll realize right away what a workout it is for your arms, and you will definitely feel it the next day. Whatever tension you may feel in your arms, however, you’ll feel relaxed as you gently guide your kayak through the water and take in the surrounding nature.

Spend a day at the amusement park or water park

No, I’m not kidding about this one! When you think about it, you’re on your feel almost all day as you make your way from ride to ride. You can burn a ton of calories walking for several miles around the park and standing in line.

Embrace your inner child

Lastly, just have fun and you’ll get a better workout than you even know. It certainly beats staying on your couch all day watching tv or playing video games. Be a little silly and have a water gun fight or a field day competition with your friends or your kids. There’s nothing that says you have to stop having fun as an adult!

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How to Get Kids Interested in Sports

Summer is just around the corner, so it won’t be long until kids are out riding their bikes again, kicking balls through grassy fields, building tree forts, going on adventures, declaring themselves king or queen of the jungle gym, creating chalk masterpieces on their driveways…okay, this sounds more like the summer of a child growing up in the 1960s. I’m not saying these things don’t happen, just that it’s becoming increasingly rare to see kids out playing these days.

I live in Miami, so perhaps you could blame it on the sweltering summer heat. With so much technology at their disposal (Xbox, smartphones, Netflix, you name it), who can blame them for being tempted by the cool, air-conditioned confines of their homes instead of the great outdoors? However, I know it’s not just aroud me that kids are becoming less active, and inactivity in children is a real cause for concern. The rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled since the 1970s, with one in five school-aged children classifying as obese.

When I was a kid, staying active was never a problem. I lived for sports and am lucky that I was able to make a career out of my passion. I may not be a parent, but, looking at my own upbringing, I know that it’s important to get kids interested in sports from an early age. I don’t know where I’d be without sports. If you’re a parent who wants to expose your child to the wonderful world of sports, now is the perfect time to start. Keep in mind that you can’t force your child into being an athlete, but it is important to keep them active so that they’re healthy. Here are some ways to introduce kids to sports.

Have a conversation with your child

The first thing you should do to introduce your kid to sports is to simply talk with them! Ask your child what they like doing and evaluate their interests. According to Huffington Post columnist John McCormick, his strategy is to first ask his sons if they’re interested in playing a particular sport and help them identify something they’ll enjoy. From there, he will go over the logistics with them, such as fitting it into their schedules and whether or not their friends are playing. Keep the conversation positive, and non-judgmental. You should encourage your child and give them the freedom to choose what sport they’d like to play- never let your own interests get int the way of your child’s.

Play with your kids at home

A great way to foster a budding interest in sports is to introduce them into your home. Toss a ball in the yard after dinner or take a family bike ride. If your child is already accustomed to being active at home, playing sports with their family and friends, they’ll be more inclined to take up a club or school sport.

Take your kid to sports games

Watching sports can be just as monumental to developing an interest in sports as playing them. Cheering with your kid on the sidelines encourages sportsmanship and friendly competition, and your child will also develop and understanding of the rules of the game and the spirit of teamwork and friendly competition.

Be flexible and accepting

The best thing you can do for your child, not just in encouraging a love of sports but in all aspects of their life, is to be supportive. Sports are meant to be fun and never so competitive and full of pressure that they make your child dread them. If your child wants to quit whatever sport they’re playing because they’re not enjoying it, let them. Find out why they don’t enjoy the sport and come up with something else your child can do together. Also, instill good sportsmanship in your child. Teach them that there are more important things than winning, and all that matters is that they do their best. According to Daniel Gould, Ph.D., director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University in East Lansing, “If you put too much emphasis on winning or rankings, [your child] may get stressed out and fear letting you down.” Encourage your child to focus only on his own performance and not compare himself to anyone else.

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, sports

What it Takes to be a Great Coach

Bryan Lockley- Coaching Photo

When watching a sporting event, most of the focus revolves around the players and their abilities to score, shoot, dribble, and kick. One key component to a team’s success, usually refraining from the spotlight, is the person standing on the sideline, the coach. While many teams come with a great deal of talent, coaches are the brains and backbone behind showcasing and collaborating skills of players in the most efficient way. Being a coach comes with a great deal of responsibility and certain innate skills needed to maneuver the machine that is a team.

Qualifications

Those wanting to become a coach should not only possess certain personality traits but most organizations require obtaining certifications before hitting the field. As many other professions expect, gaining experience plays an important role in establishing a coach’s authority. Getting started in school, club, or even recreational levels of coaching opens the door for various other opportunities. As a coach continues to work with higher level athletes, their knowledge of the sport grows, and will likely result in a need for specific training or courses.

At high levels of sporting (collegiate, semi-pro, and professional), coaches are likely considered for a position based on qualifications, degrees, or certificates they have accomplished over the years. Those interested in pursuing a high-level, long-term career in coaching should initially look into obtaining a coaching-related degree. Major universities offer degrees in Sports Management, a path chosen most often by sports fans. This degree is a great foundation for those wanting to coach, but many graduates with the degree end up in sports agencies. More commonly found overseas, but offered at The United States Sports Academy, is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science, which encases a curriculum more suited for those seeking coaching positions. Having proper qualifications lays great authoritative groundwork for future coaches.

Personal Traits

While pieces of paper proving knowledge of sports and the sciences behind them are great resume boosters, personality and certain traits truly define a coach and how they will lead. One of the most important qualities a coach must have is patience. Unable to physically take action on the field and only having the ability to give verbal guidance poses frustrating in many cases. Especially with younger athletes, finding a way to communicate a vision in a dozen different ways requires deal of patience.

Though many characteristics define a successful coach (too many to list in one sitting), the ability to communicate properly and efficiently ranks highly. Going hand-in-hand with patience, knowing the athletes and their style of communicating is vital in productive coaching. Having the ability to communicate exactly what a player needs to know does not come easy to everyone, so having this skill enhances a coach’s likeability factor. Inspiring athletes is a major part of being a coach and doing so through words creates a crucial bond between coaches and players.

Commonly stereotyped as parents who were forced to volunteer, coaches play an extremely important role in every sport. When a player has a qualified, trained, and knowledgeable mentor to guide them through their passion for a game, their love for the sport continues growing. Someone not possessing certain attributes will likely struggle to maintain a healthy or positive relationship with their team players. Do you have what it takes to become an influential coach?

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athletics, bryan lockley, fitness, florida, gym teacher, miami, physical fitness, port orange, sports, training

Half squat rack pt 2

Here is a front view of the half squat rack exercise, which is great for working your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It’s similar to a full rack squat, except you begin on your knees (resting on a step) supporting the barbell on your shoulders, and thrusting your hips back into a crouching position, then returning to the starting position.

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