Guest post by Orangetheory Fitness Regional Trainer and Arboretum Head Coach, Bekah ​Eljoundi.
Bekah is the Regional Director of Fitness for Orangetheory Charlotte as well as a Master Educator for Orangetheory Fitness. She served as a Head Marathon Coach for Team in Training Miami as well as Team Challenge Columbus. She has presented as a Run Leader for Wanderlust Yoga Festival. Bekah has run 16 marathons in her running journey and is a 14x Boston qualifier.

Orangetheory is the perfect complement to my marathon training in multiple ways. I am guided through high intensity interval training to improve my running speed as well as strength training to help decrease my risk of injury during race season. The treadmill interval training is very similar to speedwork I would do on a track. High intensity interval training has been shown to increase speed, power, VO2Max,and improve cardio capacity and endurance. This type of interval training has helped me to improve my marathon time drastically and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Post Injection Ortho 5K

Ortho 5K

Orangetheory incorporates total body strength training to help me stay in top shape for racing season. Strength training is a very important part of my marathon program. Running is such a repetitive movement for your body and the majority of running related injuries are from overuse. Cross-training and Strength Training are necessary for me to keep from getting injured. I need 2 strength sessions a week to keep my muscles well balanced and strong. Weight training has been shown to decrease the risk of injury among runners and improve leg strength helps me run longer.

I will typically take an OTF class 2x/week during race season and I make sure they are not on days before or after a long run. Training at OTF is also efficient because I can add in the miles I run in class to the miles I run outside to equal what I am scheduled to run that day so I am not missing any running time and not overtraining.