Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/03/2014 -- Avid runners set goals for themselves around their performance. Many aim for improved race times, longer distances covered, or increased endurance during every day runs. But for training, there are a lot of misconceptions about what runners should and shouldn’t do to achieve these goals, and knowing the facts can make all the difference when setting goals and realizing them.
While the focus of most training programs runners adapt will always focus on distance and endurance, there are additional components trainers and runners need to consider. Strength training improves muscle coordination, and can help prevent injury while enhancing performance. Performance is enhanced by improved endurance in muscle fibers, and strength training improves running economy which leads to more endurance and faster times overall.
With strength training, many feel that runners should lift on their off days to balance out a workout, but research has shown it’s preferable for performance to piggy back strength training with daily runs. An example schedule could be to perform a tempo run in the morning and then a 20-30 minute strength training workout later in the day. This also allow for full body recovery on the off days rather than continual training with no rest.
Since running can work all areas of the body, many believe the only area runners really need to focus on is the core. But research has shown that working upper and lower body muscles combined with the muscles of the core increases overall running performances. Rather than assuming one area is inherently weak, it’s better to focus on developing strength throughout the whole body.
Runners may think that quick movements during lifting will enhance speed, but it’s more important to lift the weights in a slow and controlled manner. Moving quickly incorporates momentum, which takes the pressure off the muscle fibers and can increase risk of injury. To become fast, lift slowly for maximum muscle recruitment and increased overall strength.
For enhanced performance in any sport, overall fitness is required and strength training is an essential part of this goal.
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