Hello runners! Hope week 6 of running has been awesome despite this sudden cold weather we’ve had. This week, week 7, we will be briefly discussing the importance of strength training; both in general, and pertaining to your running training program.
Strength training is of vital importance for endurance and performance athletes, both during years of training and throughout the rest of your life. Adding strength workouts to your regimen will:
Increase muscle mass
Muscle burns more calories than fat; thus, by adding more muscle to your body, your metabolism will increase.
Help to slow down or halt muscle loss that accompanies aging
Adults lose up to ½ pound of muscle per year after the age of 20, resulting in loss of energy and an overall weaker bodily make-up.
Maintain or increases joint flexibility
Performing a proper warm up and stretching routine in conjunction with your strength training will improve your joint flexibility, which also helps to enhance performance and decrease injury.
Increase your endurance and reduces fatigue
Strength training allows your muscles to perform longer before becoming fatigued because a proper strength training program helps your body to better handle with the stresses of running.
Improve fitness variables
Your strength training will enhance your: glucose metabolism, blood pressure, muscle strength/endurance, body composition, and even insulin sensitivity
Improve your mood
Helps to alleviate depression among older adults.
Improve brain function
Performing various strength training exercises improves your overall coordination.
Help you sleep more soundly
Help to control and reduce pain from ailments such as arthritis/old injuries & improve balance and decreases risk for injury
Most runner injuries are a result of muscle imbalances and weakness; these include most knee and hip related issues. Performing a strength routine for your lower body and core are particularly important when training for distance running events.
Regarding our training program this Fall/Winter, Mondays and Wednesdays should be the days when you incorporate strength training into your cross-training routines. Supplemental exercises can be added to your workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays so long as they aren’t overdone.
Always be sure to continuously hydrate, warm-up, cool down, and stretch!
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