Fitness Friday: An Interview with a Pro

April 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

This post is a follow-up to one I did several weeks back about encouraging kids’ dreams of sports success.

A friend of mine’s husband, Pat Woodcock, is a former professional football player and runs a well-respected athletic training program for youth in Ottawa, Elite Performance Academy. He has two main programs, 1) strength, and 2) speed and agility. I asked him when kids should start working on these aspects of fitness in order to excel in their sports. Here’s what he said:

With me, Speed and Agility has started as young as 10, Strength training at 13. When I say Strength, I don’t mean throwing them under the bar for squats. I teach them the movements they will need to master as they progress to lifting actual weight, ensure they have optimal joint mobility and flexibility, and prepare the core musculature to accommodate increased loads. A lot of bodyweight, Med balls, bands, light dumbells to start.

I also asked Pat about his Elite Performance Academy and who he trains specifically:

When it comes to strength training, I train primarily football players, although that is merely a result of who I am, as opposed to training methodology. I just seem to attract football players….can’t figure out why!

When it comes to Speed and Agility training, I have football, soccer, hockey, basketball, rugby, lacrosse. Speed and agility uses the same principles regardless of sport.

I was curious how Pat decided to open this type of academy. I imagine there wasn’t anything like it in Ottawa when he was growing up:

I had some great Strength Coaches over the course of my career, and towards the end I took a greater interest in the why’s of my own training, as opposed to simply performing the lifts they laid out for me. The more I learned, the more I liked it, and I thought it would be a waste to have all of this knowledge and first hand experience and not pass it along to the next generation of athletes, and help them achieve some of the same things I did.

And finally I asked Pat for any additional words of wisdom for parents of would-be athletes looking for an edge:

Really know who you are training with. This is the person you are trusting with a big part of your health and wellness, or in my case, to help you fully develop your natural athletic ability. There is much more to it than following the workout plan in this month’s fitness magazine, and what works for some will not work for everyone. Find out what their credentials are, and if they really know what they are talking about. If you’ve been with a coach or trainer for a while already, find out when was the last time they took a course or certification to learn something new. No matter who you are, there is always somebody who knows more than you….as a Coach, I know that the more knowledge I have, and the more I learn, the better results I’m going to get for my athletes and clients.

Thanks for the insight Pat! See you in a few years…

And the usual Fitness Friday stuff (to keep my honest):

Everything is posted in km. For those of you who only do miles, 1 km = .625 mile OR 1 mile = 1.6 km

Saturday – 23 km run – First 17 km at 6:05/km(ish) pace; last 6 km at 5:30/km(ish) pace – just wanted to get it done.

Tuesday – 8 km run around the neighborhood. 2 km warm-up at 5:40/km; 6 km at 5:20/km. I’m trying to establish a reasonable race pace for my half-marathon. I wanted to see how easy this pace feels over a shorter run. I think it has to feel easy enough that I can maintain it, but fast enough that I am working hard on the last few km.

Thursday –6 km run. 2 km warm-up at 5:40/km; 1 km at 4:55/km and the rest at about 5:30/km. I had planned a longer run but I wasn’t feeling it. I had a very low carb shake for breakfast. No carbs equals no energy in the legs equals aborted run. Lesson learned.

This was a recovery week so the runs were less intense and this coming weekend is a shorter long run. I have the Minto Run for Reach on Sunday so I will include that in my long run – I’ll do a 2.5 km warm-up, run the 10 k race and then do a 2.5 km cool-down for a total of 15 km.

My goal time for the 10k is the same as it was for the St. Pat’s run – I’d like to finish in under 51 minutes.

Strength Training Stats (and Yoga)

Monday: Greco Lean and Fit class

Wednesday: “Hips” yoga class at Elation Centre.

Friday: Personal training session with Mathieu focusing on core and upper body


Entry filed under: Fitness, Otown. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Nothing in Particular (but Eating, Reading, Gift-giving, and Baking) Race Recap: Minto Run for Reach 10k

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