High Country Running: Preparing for your Olympics

High Country Running: Preparing for your Olympics

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The thin air of Flagstaff is shared by local and elite runners alike who are mad about pushing their physical limits and equally passionate about the wonderful community of Flagstaff itself.

As the Olympic year heats up and Flagstaff welcomes runners from around the world, it’s inspiring to recognize the overlap between the local and professional running communities. You may have noticed more national and international athletes at the Northern Arizona University track and on our beautiful trails and roads recently. NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario attends Team Run Flagstaff track practices, where runners can ask him about the team’s training for the Trials. Buffalo Park’s wide trails see youth runners and Olympians alike.

Flagstaff regularly hosts hundreds of distance runners from all over the world. Before the 2016 Olympics in Rio, 16 of Team USA’s 35 distance runners prepared in Flagstaff. We’re seeing a similar effect this year, as excitement builds for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the local community is gearing up for another busy summer running season. Paces, distances and competition schedules may be different, but those who live here and those who train here commonly use the same resources to improve their performance.

At HYPO2, we have a unique opportunity to serve national and international sports teams along with our wonderful community. Starting on a typical day at 5:30 a.m., our gym opens with one of our performance coaches taking community members through a session focused on improving strength and flexibility. A little later in the morning, our chiropractic and massage therapy offices begin seeing patients of all ages and ability levels. I might start my day helping a local runner recover from a calf strain, then treat an Australian middle-distance runner preparing for an Olympic qualifying race and round out my morning with a 66-year-old looking to build strength so she can continue running.

Throughout the day, my colleagues in our altitude training camp office pore over the puzzle of current and upcoming camps for elite athletes to ensure all components are on track (no pun intended) for success. Ongoing exercise physiology and laboratory testing ensure that athletes are optimizing their training camp experience.

Local professional running groups use the gym for strength sessions all morning before a community group enters for their lunch-break workout. Small-group workout classes continue into the evening hours, as friends and neighbors with common running and personal fitness goals challenge themselves.

Between appointments, local and professional athletes in the waiting area talk about their common injuries, workouts and upcoming races. Professional runners train on the same roads and trails, lift in the same gym and seek knowledge and inspiration from those in our community.

Whether your goal is to win an Olympic medal, set a personal best or finish your first 5K, the principles and resources at HYPO2 are the same. I’m proud to help serve the Flagstaff community and share in providing a space where athletes of all ages and abilities can come together to promote a better world through sport.

Dr. Wes Gregg, DC, is a chiropractor at HYPO2 who enjoys helping a variety of people recover from injury and perform at their best.

Do you have a column, tip or idea for High Country Running? Send it to coordinating editor Julie Hammonds at runner@juliehammonds.com.


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