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!
“Why am I not able to lose weight?” asked Jill, a mother of a 2-year-old boy and a successful administrative assistant. “I’ve been working so hard to get rid of this weight, and I don’t seem to be making any progress. Maybe my body just isn’t programmed to look a certain way” she frustratingly said. I told her to be patient and to keep an open mind, and to go over the steps she had taken to get to this point. As she recounted her story of diet and exercise, I could tell in an an instant what the problem was.
People start running for a multitude of reasons–reducing stress, boosting energy, or losing weight, just to name a few. In addition, running can improve your mood, keep your heart healthy, and stave off sickness. However, (depending on your personal goals) going full speed is not the only route to good health.
While walking can provide many of the same health benefits associated with running, there is increasing evidence that suggests that running may be best for weight loss. People expend 2.5 times more energy running than walking, whether that’s on the track or on the treadmill. This means that for a 160 lb individual (for example), running at a speed of 8 mph would burn over 800 calories/hour compared to around 300 calories/hour walking at 3.5 mph. And when equal amounts of energy were expended (meaning that walkers spent more time exercising), one study found that runners still lost more weight. In this particular study, the runners also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference.