Everybody needs strong muscles to achieve their workout goals, even runners who are frequently encouraged to remain slim in order to remain streamlined and efficient at long-distance racing. Runners often struggle with strength training for very good reasons – add too many muscles and focus too much on non-cardio workouts, and you could be imperiling your status as a top-tier runner. Nevertheless, some strength training is always essential, especially for sprinters looking to maximize their performance over a short distance.
Here’s an analysis of how to approach strength training as a runner, what terrible mistakes to avoid, and the type of gear you’ll want to invest in to ensure long-term success.
We’re not getting enough exercise
There’s no denying that Americans aren’t getting enough exercise; according to information provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 23 percent of American adults met the guidelines for muscle-strengthening exercises between 2010 and 2015. Runners in particular often struggle with muscle training because it’s a far cry from what they’re used to. Luckily, some advice can help ensure that your running doesn’t have to come at the expense of your strength.
Upper body strength is important, but runners will want to focus on leg, glute, and mid back workouts with special fervor. They’re also going to be wanting to take time to perfect their core routines. Many people don’t pay nearly enough attention to core exercises when they take up running, and this comes back to haunt them by slowing them down and cramping them up.
Taking TRX classes can help, but there are plenty of things you can do both at the gym and at home. While you can run at home with little to new special equipment needed, strength training is a different story. You should set some time aside to review the best home gym equipment that strength-trainers use before deciding what to invest in yourself. After all, there’s nothing worse than purchasing workout gear which is lackluster or insufficient for your purposes, as it’s often expensive.
Getting serious about your muscles
Getting serious about your muscles as a runner may entail changing your diet. Those who are focused on strength-training should be focused on high-protein diets with plenty of healthy fats. Foods like salmon, chicken breast, and other lean meats will be helpful to you, not to mention tasty and enjoyable to cook up in the first place. Ensure that you’re hydrating, too, as runners who haven’t committed to strength training before may not be aware of how exhausting and resource-demanding it can be. Barbell squats and box jumps are particularly popular with runners trying to bolster their muscles because they’re relatively easy to conquer even if you’ve never worked out before. They’re also focused on certain muscles which will be important to improve, especially if you’re a sprinter focused on short-term explosive energy. Become familiar with walking lunges, too, as they’re extraordinarily easy to do and will also improve your general form when running. Keep this advice in mind, and soon you’ll be achieving bulkier muscles and faster racing times at once.