Strength Training and Running: Why You Absolutely Should Do Them Both!
If you are a hardcore runner, you probably don't feel right if you miss your workout. But... you might have complaints about your speed, your endurance and most of all, the way your body looks. You might not have been able to shed those last 5 pounds despite your efforts to step up the mileage and really hit the pavement hard. Guess what?!? Running more isn't the answer! The answer is incorporating strength training into your run training. It's as simple as that!
You don't have to give up your running and/or cardio! We repeat! You don't have to give up your running and/or cardio! It's safe to keep reading...
The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results," right? So why do we think we can do the same exercises day in and day out and expect our bodies to change? We can't! It doesn't work that way. Our bodies become more efficient at the work that it has to do - whether that is running, weight training, dancing etc., and over time, it becomes so efficient that it uses less and less resources (calories, muscle fibers, etc.) to complete a task. You need to change it up and shock it! That's where cross training - adding strength to your running and cardio comes in!
How can you make this happen?
1. Don’t run every day! Your body needs a rest from certain physical activities and some days, it needs a rest from all physical activities (except daily tasks, of course). We recommend running at a steady pace no more than 2-3 days per week.
2. Add a minimum of 2-3 strength training days. Train in muscle groups (not total body) and space out your lifting days, For example, if you are doing two days, maybe you do Tuesday (upper body) and Friday (lower body). If you are planning to lift three days, you could train Monday (arms and shoulders), Wednesday (lower body) and Friday (chest, back and core).
3. Throw in a day or two of cardio that isn't straight running. Think sprint training or hill training, or stay away from running and have some fun with a dance class or kickboxing or Pilates.
4. Rest! This one is important! Make sure that you rest AT LEAST one day per week, if not two! Your body will thank you. And by the way, rest means NO strength training and NO running!
Remember, add in that strength training! It will only decrease your mile time and make you stronger!
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