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Specificity of Training

When it comes to pelvic health symptoms, like leaking, specificity of training matters.

I work with a lot of women who are able to run at a nice, easy, conversational pace for them for a long time without having any issues, or leaking. But anytime they start to pick up their pace, whether it’s just a harder interval effort, a sprint, or maybe it’s sprinting across the playground to get their kid, that’s when they leak.

And then if we talk about the things that they’ve tried, maybe they’re doing some pelvic floor strengthening where they’re laying on their back or standing. That can be good, and is needed, but that is not the same as what is happening when we are sprinting.

So we need to work on that in order to see any progress or any improvement. And to decrease that leaking when you’re actually sprinting.

So how do we do that?

We want to find your fence. So we want to find that area, that speed with which you leak or you feel like you may leak. And then we want to just kind of work on that fence. So we want to work just below those symptoms of leaking. So say if you are running on a treadmill, and 8 mph is where you were leaking. Can we work at 7.8 mph?

Same thing outside, find that speed where you might start to leak, and then we want to work just below there. And eventually over time, we want to just keep nudging that fence so it’s further and further out. So that’s one way: find your fence, work right below it.

Second way, we can find that speed with which you we get and then we can modify impact. So can we increase your cadence? Increasing your cadence or increasing that foot turnover is going to decrease the impact. Will that allow you to run at that speed without leaking?

Or playing around with a form change, like doing a slight forward lean. Can you implement that at that speed with which you leak and see what happens with your symptoms?

Other ways to do it besides just working on running at that speed and finding your fence are to incorporate agility drills into your strength training. So imagining you have a ladder at home. You can do a whole bunch of different types of agility drills. But some that I like are gonna be quick feet, a shuffle where we’re going side to side. Also line jumps going forward and backward and line switches. Any type of agility drill that you do, can be good and can help with that running at higher speed.

So those are just a few different ideas you can try to start to incorporate. I know it can be really frustrating when you’re able to do one thing totally fine, but you can’t do another thing without leaking at all. Just know that specificity of training does matter. We need to work on the problematic thing for you in order to get better and see progress.

Our Mission:

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.