If you’re only pounding the pavement, your PBs could be suffering
We’re all guilty of it: focusing on the workouts we feel strongest in and basically ignoring the rest. It’s an easy trap to fall into – who wants to do exercise they’re no good at? But the problem with only training to your strengths is that your body gets used to it, and fast. That means less results, even if you’re working as hard as you always have been.
On top of that, doing one type of workout over and over gets boring, and we probably don’t have to tell you that getting bored is the quickest route to zero motivation. But the biggest problem with only sticking to one style of training? It can cause you to over work certain muscles while other, just as important areas, don’t get a look in. And that’s how injuries happen.
Why can’t I just run?
Resistance training is a must for everyone, but it’s especially essential for runners. While running is great for your heart and lower body, it totally neglects other important muscles, like your back and abs. This is an issue because, as Matt Roberts says, “A strong core and upper back is important for maintaining good form when running.” And good form = better running times and fewer injuries. Plus, strong core and back muscles help prevent lower back pain and keep your posture in good nick. Who doesn’t want that?
Where to focus your efforts
Runners should be hitting the weights at least once a week, according to Matt (he also recommends a second cross-training session in the form of a swim, cycle, or row, too). Here’s where you want to focus to make sure your body is primed and prepped to be the best runner it can be:
- Squats – to target your quads, hamstrings, bum, and calves, plus a bit of core
- Lunges – like squats, a great total lower body move, but especially great for your hamstrings and bum
- Glute bridges – to really strengthen your bum and also your lower back and core
- Swiss ball hamstring curls – to work (you guessed it!) your hamstrings, and your bum
- Russian twists – use these to get into your core and obliques, which will help with your running gait
- Planks – an amazing overall core strengthener
The day after a long or high-intensity run, you need to either rest or cross-train in the form of swimming, cycling, rowing or using the elliptical machine – but avoid any resistance training until you’ve fully recovered from the run.
The day after a hard resistance session, you should rest, cross-train or do a short, easy recovery run.