Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lift Up Your Stride

Resistance training (weight lifting) combined with running is something that is becoming more popular among runners. I knew runners needed strong core muscles to rely on when your legs felt like they were giving out. At first, I was skeptical about adding weight training. I mean, how can lifting weights help you run faster? I was training with a beginner’s plan which did not incorporate cross fit or resistance training. I had plateaued in my time and I wanted to get faster so I decided to do research and I went to a certified running coach. It all makes sense now: Being stronger will help you finish stronger when you are getting fatigued.

According to experts, strength training is one of the best non-running ways for runners to boost performance. Lifting weights, performing functional strength movements, training the core, and completing plyometric movements improve how efficiently your body uses oxygen. You will use less oxygen to power muscles when you're “pushing the pace, so you'll be able to run harder for longer”.
Strength training helps to build the smaller muscles that get neglected in running, and can help correct the muscular imbalances which can contribute to overuse injuries in runners. It also reduces the change of being injured or helps you recover faster. Click here to read more. There is also a great book called Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster that addresses running less, but adding cross-training or resistance training as a substitute for some of the running days.  It is dedicated to help make running more accessible and limit overtraining and burnout while producing faster race times.
As I mentioned before, I have a nice set up in my basement but decided to go to the gym after dropping my daughter off at Tae Kwon Do. Keep in mind, I haven’t been to a real gym in 10 years and some equipment has changed a lot! I felt so out of place. Everyone looked like they knew what they were doing. So after asking some dumb questions such as “Is this supposed to move this way,” I sucked it up, put in my ear phones, and pretended like I was a pro. I felt like a super star until a lady came up to me at the end and asked me if I had it all figured out!  In the end, I achieved a good workout and I can still pretend be a superstar in my own mind! It felt good, and I am going back again but I got it down now... at least I hope.
(Original source of photo unknown)

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