As we approach the start of the spring running season, it’s important for runners to ensure that their muscles are up to par. Training for any race undoubtedly should include time spent pounding the pavement, but also time spent pumping iron. Often times runners will neglect strength training activities, whether because it was specified in their training plan, they’re afraid of getting too ‘bulky’, or they’d rather put the time aside to get a few more miles in. Whatever the reason, strength training, aka lifting weights, can help runners and other cardio enthusiasts. Not a believer yet? Perhaps these tips will help convince you to sneak a few push-ups into your cool-down:
1. Strength training helps you run longer. Strong muscles developed from lifting weights are able to take more of a beating before tiring. Build more strength in your calves, hamstrings and glutes, and notice the increased distance you’re able to achieve.
2. Build your upper body too. While running primarily involves your legs, a strong upper body developed from such exercises as push-ups, pull-ups and rows will help you maintain good running posture during strenuous training sessions and races.
3. Prevent Injuries. Most of our bodies are compensating for weak muscles in one way or another. Have weak glutes and your hip may drop between strides. Constantly tight hamstrings? The works miracles by compensating, but can only do this for so long. By engaging in strength training, you’re able to target and build-up lagging muscles as to prevent the stress from being transferred to an over-worked area of your body.