The basic mistake made by runners is monotonous training focused solely on speed. Meanwhile, it turns out that it is equally important to strengthen the muscles.
What elements should make up the training of a runner?
Every runner, regardless of whether he or she is a beginner or has already run many marathons, should think about a varied training. After some time of repeating training units your muscles get used to a specific effort and it is more difficult to make progress. In addition to speed training, it’s a good idea to incorporate strengthening exercises into your training plan. Thanks to them all your running goals will be a bit closer, and the vision of injury will be far away.
Which muscle parts are worth strengthening?
There are still runners who firmly believe that for effective running only strong legs are enough. However, this is not true. To run fast (regardless of the distance) and, above all, safely, you need to think about strengthening not only the muscles in your legs, but also the muscles of your body or arms. Without this training element, you will be much more prone to injury. If you run several times a week, treat at least one workout as a complementary exercise to strengthen your muscles. You will quickly see that this was a good decision. A varied workout will translate into better sports results.
Training for muscle strengthening – at home or at the gym?
Where you train is up to you. You can do effective full-body strengthening training at the gym or at home. Due to the increased sanitation regime at gyms, more and more people are opting for home training that uses mainly body weight.
Don’t look for excuses in the form of lack of time. Even if your daily schedule is so busy that you are unable to set aside an hour for a separate muscle-strengthening workout session, you can certainly find a few minutes to do some simple exercises.
What strengthening exercises can you do at home? If you are interested in sample strengthening exercises, ask your personal trainer for advice – he/she will adjust the set of exercises to your body’s capabilities. You can also easily find videos of strengthening exercises on the Internet, but remember to adjust the intensity and frequency of the exercises to your level of fitness. Below are some examples of simple-to-follow strengthening exercises that will be the perfect complement to your running workout.
Squats – the way to go for your leg muscles
Squats are exercises that you certainly remember from the school gym. Are you bored with regular squats? Then try to perform them using only one leg for support! If you think that this exercise comes easily to you, you are either a perfectly trained person, or you do too few repetitions in series. It is also possible that your technique of performing squats is not perfect.
Supported squats – strengthen abdominal and thigh muscles
This exercise can be a real workout, provided of course that you incorporate the right amount of repetitions (from 10 to even 20 repetitions in one series) and don’t forget about the correct exercise technique. What will you gain from regular training? Your hips will thank you – you will increase the range of motion in your joints. Remember, however, that they should be stabilized, in one line.
Pulling up on a bar – strengthening back and arm muscles
Depending on the pull-up technique (overhead or underhand) you are able to strengthen the muscles of your back and shoulders. These parts of the body are unfortunately often forgotten by runners. A good quality bar can be purchased in a sports store for as little as several dozen PLN. This investment will definitely pay off!
Remember about correct exercise technique!
The basic rule of training for muscle strengthening is: “do not rush”. This is not a running competition, no one is chasing you. Do each exercise slowly but carefully. Start from the correct starting position, as the precision of individual exercises is of great importance for the effectiveness of strengthening training. Practice regularly and you will notice the first effects after just a few weeks!