If you have not added at least one day of strength training to your weekly running routine you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Most runners think that time off the road is wasted time, but adding in quality strength training time will help your overall running experience. Not only will it help to increase body strength but here are 6 other reasons why it will help you have a long and happy running career.
1. Increase Joint Mobility & Your Stability
By strengthening your muscles you are also strengthening the connective tissues and stability of your joints that will help prevent against injury while running. Most facilities also have amble mobility equipment like foam rollers and lacrosse balls that can aid in logging your mobility minutes. They also have strength coaches who can show you how to properly use them so that you can get the most out of these pieces of equipment.
2. Develop Balance, Co-ordination and Agility
Most of the runners that I know only run. Non-running muscles get under developed and create imbalances which eventually lead to injury. By moving your body in a different way, you become a better and more versatile athlete who can succeed in what ever life throws at you.
3. Shed Unwanted Pounds…Really?
Most people have a misconception that weight lifting will leave you bulking and weighed down but actually the opposite is true. Increasing muscle mass will help you to burn off extra calories and shed body fat quicker than steady state cardio. It will help you to get a lean and strong body that will have you running faster.
4. Improve Your Posture
The majority of people have sedentary jobs where they are constantly sitting at a desk or driving with horrible posture. Weightlifting will help to increase the strength in your back and core that will cross over to improved overall running posture. This will also help you to run more efficiently and waste less energy.
5. Stay Young!
As we age, our bodies’ naturally loose muscle and bone mass. According to a study done by the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: “Prolonged participation in resistance training has clear benefits for slowing the loss of muscle and bone mass and strength, which are not seen as consistently with aerobic exercise alone.”
Not one that you would normally expect but joining a gym that is filled with other health conscious, likeminded individuals is a great way to meet new people and expand your support group.
If you are looking for somewhere to get started, many facilities offer intro classes that cater to runners or people just starting out.
The Hybrid Fitness Centre in London, Ontario offers great beginner classes every week that strongly focus on mobility and functionality while giving you an intro to lifting.
Try adding strength training into your running routine and tell us how your times and distances improve!
About the Author: Sarah McIntosh is a Personal Trainer at the Hydrid Fitness Center in London, ON and a proud Kinesiology graduate of the University of Western Ontario. She has taken her love of running to a new level and is now training to compete in triathlons. She also enjoys rock climbing, camping and baking, not all at the same time.