Course teaches Yokota efficient running
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Yokota Health Promotion Flight hosted an efficient running course taught by Mark Cucuzzella and Ian Adamson at the Samurai Fitness Center Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2015.
The six-hour, repeated course taught participants the importance of running correctly, sitting less and living an overall healthy lifestyle. It began by teaching runners how to stretch and how to have an efficient run pace while explaining why all humans feel comfortable running near the same pace.
Cucuzella is an Air Force reserve lieutenant colonel and the chief medical consultant for the Air Force Marathon (which he has won twice). Adamson has won dozens of championships in adventure racing and has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the X-Games. They bring their experience together to help Air Force members improve their lifestyles and running.
"This is not about racing marathons, it's about becoming healthy," Cucuzzella said. "I think everyone needs to learn to move better every day; not necessarily even run, just walk better and sit less."
Runners came for their own reasons. Some came to improve their running for an upcoming physical fitness test; some came to learn new techniques and improve their daily running; others wanted advice to improve their lifestyles. No matter the reason, each participant had one commonality: they wanted to run more efficiently.
Maj. A.J. Baker, with the 36th Airlift Squadron, said he was there to simply learn. Baker injured his knee just more than a year ago which led to more injuries. He went to the course to build a new foundation and prevent future injuries.
"You always hear, 'Don't start out hard or you will get hurt,'" Baker said. "I never thought that it would happen to me, but it did. I started too hard and I was injured because of it."
Baker said the course taught him a lot he wasn't aware of and reiterated many tips and technique he knew were good for running. He said the course was great because it could prevent others from obtaining easily prevented injuries.
Cucuzzella has been teaching health and running techniques to the Air Force continuously for five years. He said, "We are trying to help people not just do better on their fitness test, but become healthier and injury free."
He also focused on the importance of running to improve running. Quoting Aristotle, he said, "The things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them."
A crossbreed between classroom education and sports-like practice, the course spent the day inside and outside of the base gym.
The day-long course not only taught the participants running techniques and basic health tips, it also mentioned the important, and often ignored (according the instructors), need for a healthy diet.
"Ounces are lost in the gym; pounds are lost in the kitchen," Cucuzzella added.
They also stressed the importance of people being able to jog for 30 minutes at any given period. Common mistakes, how to best train, building a running foundation and turning your muscles into oxygen power houses, were also covered during the course.
Cucuzella said living a healthy lifestyle is easy, and anyone can begin. He said Yokota community members are fortunate to have a dedicated Health and Promotion Flight staff on base.
"These guys are really on it!" he said. "They are experts, great teachers and they have a program here that runs for nine weeks spring and fall to help [you].
"If you show up every day you are going to get better and grow with the group," Cucuzella said.
Find out more about the Warrior Run Program here: http://www.yokota.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123426638