Spring is right around the corner and I know many members are ready to get out on these nice days and start running outside again, especially with the longer days upon us. With life so busy our time is very limited a lot of days, and sometimes we have to make that decision do we want to go for a 5 mile run after work or go to the gym and get some sets in or go to one of the many great classes. Many variables dictate but usually weather plays a big part, the nicer it is, harder to turn down being outside, vice versa with the not so desirable weather. With that being said, I want to give you 3 reasons why you should implement strength training into your running program. So the next time you regret missing a run because you lifted instead, you will realize that you actually helped your running by doing so. Let’s get to it! (I know you’re thinking finally)
1. Strength training will increase your speed.
Strength training increases leg strength and improves your body’s efficiency to use energy and oxygen. Increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently is a primary goal of endurance training, and it’s measured by VO2 max. Simply put, if you decrease the amount of oxygen used at a certain speed, you will be able to sustain a faster pace for longer, which in turn you will run faster overall.
2. Decrease body fat
The bulk of energy that is burned in the body comes from your resting metabolic rate, which is a function of the proportion of lean muscle to body fat. Muscle and lean tissue improve metabolism instead of hurting it, meaning to be a better runner you need more muscle and less fat. Also you will have a better looking body, that’s a nice little bonus!
3. Prevent injury
Strength training can help get rid of nagging injuries or chronic pain and help prevent further injuries. It will also help correct structural Imbalances that increase Injury risk and lead to improper motor patterns. Joint discomfort occurs from ‘ pounding the pavement ‘ strength training minimizes these aches that comes from this. Are you experiencing shin splints? Try some single leg squats.
These are just 3 reasons why you should strength train if you are runner, so the next time you are torn between running and lifting, either way you are winning! There are several more benefits and I will happy to elaborate more on any of these 3 or share the other benefits. My daughter is putting an end to this session because it’s time for a tea party, so email me or stop me in the club if you have any questions. Until next time!
Written by: Justin Rollins
Personal Trainer, Spartanburg Athletic Club