Many runners make a very serious mistake when training. They focus on eating right and cardiovascular exercise and avoid weight training. While a healthy diet will certainly help, cardio exercise alone is not enough to make a runner excel, no matter how much it improves a runner’s breathing and stamina. Weight training offers benefits, such as improved race times, that runners will not get anywhere else.
Running is a sport that is very intensive. Many runners do not see it as an intensive sport, but it shows every weakness that your body has. For example, those who have a weakness in their knees because the knee, tendons, ligaments, or the muscles in the leg are weak are inevitably going to end up with pain in at least one knee. Some runners insist that weight training is completely unnecessary for a runner. These runners are often the ones who find themselves unable to run and instead swimming or biking in an effort to recover from injuries that they received while running.
Weight training strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When the muscles are stronger, runners can look forward to fewer injuries. If a runner does get injured, those who have been doing weight training will have a shorter recovery time and their injuries will be less severe. Runners who have pain in the lower back or hips while running often see a reduction in pain in as little as six weeks after beginning a weight training program.
The type of weight training that runners should do is not the same as those that are looking to bulk up, or who simply are trying to look their best. Runners should do weight training two to three times a week while paying attention to the intensity of their workouts and doing the exercises correctly. Proper form is vital to a successful weight training program. If a runner starts weight training without paying attention to form, or while trying to work out too hard, then an injury is bound to occur. This can set a runner back weeks or even months in some cases, so it is better to learn how to do the exercises correctly than risk an injury, especially if a runner is training for a marathon.
Runners can talk to a personal trainer to have help developing an effective weight training program or can find information online that can be helpful. Once exercises begin to become too easy, runners can add to their program or simply vary the routine to continue making progress. Many exercises will work multiple muscle groups, so an effective workout can be done in less time than expected. Runners should focus on exercises that improve balance, coordination, and leg strength while making sure to work the entire body so that the body is in balance.
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