In Part 1, I listed 9 Reasons Why You Should Be Strength Training. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Still not convinced of the benefits and think that by simply performing cardio you’re maximizing your health and welfare? Well, here are 9 additional reasons why you should be strength training.
Maybe you wanted to lose some weight. Maybe you just wanted to tone up. And just maybe you wanted to be able to go for long runs . So you went to the gym and spent an hour or more on the treadmill…and/or the elliptical…and/or the stepper. And you’re proud of yourself because you’ve been sticking to your healthy meal plan. But all is not right…the weight’s just not dropping like you thought, or you’re having trouble completing your running because of nagging injuries. And you rack your brain, maybe blame your genetics for having “slow” metabolism. But truth be told, maybe you’re missing something critical…like strength training.
In Part 1 of “12 Ways To Increase Your Running Speed,” I listed 12 ways that you could have a better, faster, harder, and stronger workout. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Here are 12 more ways to consider to increase your running speed.
1) Strength Training–I’ve mentioned it previously on several other blog posts. I’m not saying to take up bodybuilding, but stronger, leaner muscles will certainly help you to attain a new PR. Just 2 to 3 short training sessions a week can have significant positive impact.
So you want to be able to run faster? Then you have to practice running fast! Here are 12 ways to have a stronger, faster workout. Who knows…maybe you’ll even set a new PR!
1) Use Proper Running Form–You must be able to run correctly, which is the key to running at any speed. Keep the upper body tall, yet relaxed. Land on the mid-foot with knees slightly bent and drawing the arms back at close to 90 degrees. Drive your heel toward your butt on your follow-through. Step with your foot landing under your hip. Steps should be soft and springy–gravity and a slight forward lean create forward propulsion. Make sure that you ease into this form…the body takes time to adapt.
It’s no secret that runners love to run. As a matter of fact, some runners only want to run. I cautioned against this mentality in my last blog post. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Yes, I’ve heard it before…”How can I possibly fit strength training into my schedule when it’s hard enough to fit daily miles in…isn’t it enough that I run?” The short answer…”NO!” There are some studies out there that state that the annual injury rate of runners can be as high as 66%! Quite simply, runners are a frequently injured group. With the busy lives that many of us lead, we sometimes erroneously think that we don’t have time to add strength training to our regimen. The problem, however, is that many individuals live mostly sedentary lives–quite simply, our bodies are not always prepared to handle the stress of pounding the pavement.
In case you missed it, I wrote about 7 Ways To Improve Your Running Performance (check out Part 1 here). These were considerations to think about, especially if you were getting ready to start a running program for the first time. I have 7 more additions to the list.
1) You run as your only means of exercising
You would be correct in saying that running is an awesome workout. However, that is no excuse to avoid strength training. In order to maintain proper running form, you need to build up your glutes and hip muscles. Strengthening these areas will enable you to prevent injury and run more efficiently. Some studies even state that strengthening will also help you to build up your running endurance.
You’re excited to take up running. You’ve got a snazzy new pair of running shoes and your iTunes playlist all set to go. Congrats to you for beginning a great form of exercise that will certainly reduce stress, improve your overall health, and elevate your mood. But not so fast…Before you take your first step–from your mental state to your running form–certain running techniques can lead you to success while others can lead you down the wrong path. Let’s take a look at 7 of the most common mistakes that beginner runners make (and also some veteran runners as well).
Regardless of whether you’re a recreational runner jogging around the neighborhood or training for a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon, there are not many other sports out there that require as little equipment as running. You obviously need the right clothes, but much more important is a good pair of running shoes. So how do you know when it’s time to trade in your old pair of shoes? And just how long should a pair of running shoes last? Read on!