Today marks the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, one of the oldest and most prestigious road racing events. The stage is set for both the runners and the city of Boston to demonstrate resilience, strength and courage in the face the tragic events that occurred last year. It goes without saying that it is a very important and historic day for Boston, the sport of marathon running, and also for several of our very own employees who are participating in the race.
Based in Dubai, John Young, our Senior VP of International Sales, has travelled many miles to participate in this year’s race. A seasoned veteran, John will make the trek from Hopkinton to Boylston Street for a fourth year, and has completed over 30 marathons in total. As an experienced runner, John is taking the experience in stride. “Race day is great, but a marathon is really about the 6-month journey it takes to get there. You have trained hard for 6 months, and race day is really a celebration of that.”
John’s training over the years has not been without struggle. Two years ago, John suffered an Achilles injury about 10 weeks before the race. The injury would have put John out of commission, but John decided to use his Arc Trainer to still maintain his training schedule.
“The Arc was great. It was the only thing I could use that didn’t aggravate my injury further, and it also gave me a great workout, so when it was time for the race, I still felt ready.”
John not only felt ready, but also finished the race that year in 3:26. John attributes his success to the versatility of the Arc Trainer’s settings. He was able to not only keep a high stride rate throughout his workouts, but also used the settings to mimic hills and varied terrain. When asked if he could have accomplished the same results on an elliptical, John felt that it would not have given him the same intensity required for this type of training. “On an elliptical, you can’t really go fast. Your feet will fly off the pedals, and you can’t get the same workout intensity, but an Arc will allow you to maintain a high stride rate, similar to how you would when you run.”
Even though John has recovered, he still uses his Arc Trainer to augment his training, and used it as an integral piece of equipment as he trained for this year’s race. “[The Arc Trainer] is nice to have to protect your joints from overuse during the course of your training. My wife’s coach for example, who also trains Olympic caliber distance athletes, also highly recommends supplementing some of your training with the Arc, at least 1 or 2 times a week. Save your joints if you can!”
John also praised the Arc Trainer’s ability to not only simulate real running conditions, but to also strengthen areas distance runners typically undertrain, such as the glutes. “By setting the Arc on low incline and doing a long run, runners are forced to use their glutes more often than they would by training traditionally, because they have a tendency to shuffle their feet. The Arc doesn’t let you do that.”
John hopes to run this year’s marathon in around 3:25, though admits he is more looking forward to “just enjoying the city and the experience”. In reflecting on the tragic events of last year and what it means to participate this year, John feels that he “appreciates it more given what happened and the senseless loss of life. Running is kind of a self-indulgent sport, meaning you train and run for yourself, but this year it is more about giving ourselves back. As runners, we are part of a community. It does not matter where you are from, but for this day, we are coming together to run strong for Boston.”
From all of us at Cybex: Good luck, John! We are proud that you will be representing us this year.
For more information on how you can use the Arc Trainer to augment your training, click here to contact us.