Happy Spring Michigan! It’s that time again when everything resets and we are excited about a fresh chance to either improve on the old or begin something new. Many of you may be thinking about your first running endurance activity. Maybe something like the RiverBank Run or Bayshore Marathon? You may be laying out your plans on mileage, frequency of workouts, adding in tempo and speed work, researching shoes, looking for the best programming…training for an endurance activity can be very time consuming……
Would it surprise you to know that adding strength training to your schedule will ultimately make you a better runner? If it does, it shouldn’t! Strength training, in fact, can help on multiple levels such as improving power and neuromuscular coordination as well as refining overall endurance performance. This is accomplished by the strength gained at both muscle and tendon. Additionally, adding in functional movement patterns to your strengthening (think reverse lunge to single leg balance to dead lift) can improve overall economy and stride.
Very commonly runners come in to The Center for pain associated their training. This may be due to either overuse or poor mechanics – both ailments would benefit from increasing strength training and perhaps reducing some running time – which is often a concern for middle and distance runners. They find it hard to either fit more into their schedule or reduce their focus on running for something else. Swapping a run day for a cross training activity can be an excellent idea to allow for an active recovery day yet still maintain or improve your conditioning. Activities like yoga allows you to hit the underutilized yet still important musculature in conjunction with improving balance and flexibility. It’s a great way to reduce stress and additionally assists on breath work. Swimming is another excellent addition to your programming providing a fantastic aerobic workout with no pounding to the joints. It also improves breathing techniques and cardiovascular function due to the time you hold your breath under water.
Unsure where to start or what you need? The Center offers both gait and swim analysis as well as personal training to target your personal goals and get you there safely! Happy running(and lifting)!