The Running Doctor: Conditioning key in all sports

An athlete’s training experience is of the utmost importance. Many athletes who have never followed any kind of strength and conditioning program must be trained more carefully in their respective sport.

All sports differ in speed, endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. There are many elements an athlete should consider in the choice of their sport, such as muscular strength, endurance, hot weather acclimation and nutritional diet. Also, the athlete’s medical status must be viewed as to asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and faulty foot imbalances.

The individual program chosen must utilize muscle fitness with strength training and stretching workouts. A pre-exercise warm-up and after exercise cool-down should also be included in this particular program. From a nutritional aspect, the athlete has to eat the proper carbohydrates (fluids and foods) to maintain the strength for conditioning -“eat to exercise…”

Whether you train year-round for a single sport or you play a number of different sports, the athlete must maintain their strength and conditioning continuously in order to maintain their fitness. In most sports (running, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, wrestling, ice hockey, field hockey) the athlete must maintain both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism to produce their energy. Therefore, training should include a diversification of high intensity activities along with prolonged less intense workouts.

Whatever level of athletics, the athlete must eat well, hydrate, rest and recover. These principles will allow you to reach your physical excellence.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Dr. Weiss is a veteran of 35 marathons. For more information, visit