Advice from the Experts–Fit Club and Tony Maier


For the ten years I’ve lived in Springfield, I’ve been working out at Fit Club.  One obvious factor in making the decision to join Fit Club was the three convenient locations in Springfield, making it easy to stop for a workout either before or after work.  The reason I’ve stayed loyal to Fit Club, though, is because of the excellent staff.

Last week, I reached out to Fit Club asking for a little expertise about building a better running practice that I could share here.  Fit Club could not have been more helpful, and quickly referred me to Tony Maier, Director of Production and Growth at Fit Club.

On Tuesday, armed with a notebook and many questions, I met with Tony.  Tony’s experience as a runner, race producer, and tri-athlete leaves my couple of half-marathons in the dust, but he was eager to share his experiences and wisdom.

Q:  What can runners do in the gym to improve their running?

A:  Strength, core stability and foam roll.  Tony considers lack of strength training to be the most common mistake new runners make.  While lack of strength training may not be noticeable at first, he says that an increase in strength training makes it possible for our bodies to recover from the repetitive, pounding runners’ legs and bodies endure.  Tony also notes that runners don’t take stretching seriously enough.  I know I am guilty of this and have paid for it with sore hips in the past.

Tony also suggests runners foam roll either before or after a run.  Fit Club has foam rollers available and after you get used to the initial tinge, it is a great feeling.

Q:  How often do you run?

A:  Tony generally runs three to four days a week.  Right now, he is training for a triathlon in Utah, and his running routine is five miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a long run on Saturday.  This was a great relief, because it is the same training I used for both half-marathons and made me feel like in terms of mileage (definitely not pace), I am moving up in the world of running!

Q:  What classes at Fit Club would you recommend for runners?

A:  Yoga, Ball Zone, and Body Pump.  I have yet to try these classes (although am a big fan of Fit Club’s Cycle Fit Class), but will be adding these to next week’s schedule.

Q:  What do you eat during long runs or triathlons?

A:  Hammer gels and Thrive gels.

If you’re looking for a gym in Springfield, I can tell you that in ten years, Fit Club has never let me down.  Open nearly twenty-four hours, the staff is always helpful, the classes are challenging and creative, and other than the time I fell off the treadmill (twice, in the same workout, through absolutely no fault of Fit Club), I’ve never had anything but great workouts.

Check out Tony’s race production company, Rise Up and Run Productions.  Tony is particularly excited about the River Run, a scenic ten mile run up the river.  This race also has a bike race at the beginning with shuttle service for the ambitious that want to tackle a ten mile bike race before the ten mile run.

Thank you Tony for the advice! I know I will be adding the classes and stretching to my routine right away.


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