Strength Training for Competitive Runners
Running has become very fashionable these days. You can see a lot of people running around the neighborhood or at local parks. In most cities, fun runs and marathons are held and participated in by many runners. The rise in popularity of running isn’t surprising because it has always been one of the cheapest and best ways to stay fit.
However, most runners often overlook the importance of strength training. They usually think that running is enough to keep them fit. Yet the truth is that strength training can make them run faster. Strength training not only makes them run fast, but also improves their muscular endurance so they can sustain their runs for longer periods.
Runners don’t need to lift heavy weights at Fitness 19 or any other gym for that matter in order to improve their muscular endurance and boost their speed. Even simple body weight exercises like squats, deadlifts, planks, and push-ups are enough for runners. These are simple and basic movements that every runner should be able to do.
To do this simple exercise, stand with your feet hip distance apart. Sit back as if you were sitting in a chair until you can feel your quads, glutes, and hamstrings engaged. There should be a 90 degree angle in your knees. Come back up to standing position. Complete 8 to 12 repetitions. Add weight to make this exercise even more challenging.
The bodyweight squat is perhaps the best strength training exercise for runners because it is simple, doesn’t require any equipment, and more importantly targets a lot of running-specific muscles.
Single leg deadlifts
This exercise focuses on the glute muscles that are important in running.
Hold a barbell in front of your body then slightly bend one knee. Bend your right knee as you hinge forward at the waist. Slowly lift the left leg behind you while you lower the barbell, or slightly below your knees. Engage the hamstring and glute of the right leg and then come back to standing position. Repeat this 8 to 12 times and then switch to the left leg.
When to exercise?
Another question that may you may have in mind is when to squeeze in these weight training exercises in your busy schedule. You should attempt to exercise 3 to 5 times a week. But you won’t need to allot a lot of time for these exercises, as 20 minutes per session should be enough for your body to get a necessary tune-up.
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