The 1989 NCAA champion and a world class performer in the steeplechase, Tom Nohilly knows a little something about the importance of flexibility training.
Everyone seems to take it for granted, because static stretching has been the norm for 30 to 40 years, he said. Its hard to see the results. In fact, some research has shown that it contributes to some injuries.
Nohilly has pursued this issue, joining Jim and Phil Whartons world-renowned Maximum Performance International (MPI) as a muscuoskeletal therapist. He was in Bloomington, Ind. on Aug. 22 to work with the Indiana mens cross country team.
Tom and I first met while doing elite athlete seminars at the US Olympic Training Center in San Diego, IU mens cross country coach Dr. Robert Chapman said. Were lucky that he has agreed to come out and work with us.
Nohilly gave an overview of the Active Isolated Stretching Program designed by the Whartons. Utilized by world class athletes such as Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, it helps an athlete maximize his range of motion and efficiency.
I was just trying to reinforce what Coach is doing, Nohilly said. Its so important that theyre motivated to keep using it. Anyone can go out and train hard, but they need to know how to do that and then recover properly and get in a consistent routine. Its an honor to get to come to Indiana, because I think this program is on its way to becoming one of the best in the nation.
Nohillys visit is another highlight to an eventful first week of training for the Hoosiers. IU Hall of Famer and former Olympian Terry Brahm addressed the team last Friday, and Indiana has also made trips to Purdue and Indiana State, hosts of this years NCAA Great Lakes Regionals and the NCAA Championship, respectively.
According to senior Chad Andrews, the more that they can run on the championship courses, the better.
In every race, there is a point where it hits you, where it really starts to hurt, Andrews said. The preseason allows us to run those courses a couple of times so that we can learn where those points are. Were better prepared.
Due to conflicts with summer jobs schedules, Indiana has adopted a sprint workout schedule. Eight runners work out in the morning, while the remainder usually gather around 6:15 p.m.
Only four of our 15 athletes are on tuition scholarships, so I need to be flexible enough to let them earn as much as they can during the summer, Chapman said. Its not ideal, but something that we have to do. These guys also run track during the spring semester, so there isnt much time to earn money for school.
Chapman and his team leave Sunday for camp at Chain O Lakes Park near Ft. Wayne, which provides an environment conducive for training.
They have some nice cabins and some really great trails, Chapman said. It allows us to get some good work in and hopefully helps enhance team chemistry.