There are many things to keep in mind when you’re preparing to run on a regular basis. This can be just an intensified version of your morning or evening run, or the aspiration to hit the marathon circles, either way, it’s important to keep yourself fit and inculcate a basic fitness regime so that you’re not faced with any untoward injuries. For this, there are two essentials — strength training and core strengthening. While the former increases the durability of your muscles involved in the running process, the latter concentrates on the group of deep muscles that hold the spine and pelvis in the right form.
Strength training has a important place in a runner’s training plan. It is a great tool for injury prevention. Strengthening exercises help to create good running form and become a more balanced runner. It must include strengthening of the muscles that work the most while you run. This include the gluteus, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and the back muscles. You should try and do two sessions of 30-45 mins of strength training every week to increase your muscular strength. Beginning with free-hand exercises, and then progressing to resistance bands and weights is good idea.
Inculcating a good strengthening routine will help you in the following ways:
* Achieve higher speeds and mileage by building leg strength.
* Reduce the risk of injury by correcting imbalances that occur naturally in the body.
* Improve your overall running form and become a more efficient runner.
The stronger one becomes, the more resilient his/her body will become to the demands of running. The repetitive impact of running will not cause much of wear and tear. Also, when with a strong body, pre-existing conditions will be less likely to worsen. This is because strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses of the body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues. In a broad aspect helps in eliminating the source of many common running injuries.
Here’s a sample strength training routine:
Core muscles are the group of deep muscles which hold the spine and pelvis in the right form. Strengthening this muscle group helps prevent any injury to the spine, as they help to keep the load minimal and, hence, play a key role in running efficiently. Core strength for distance runners is especially important. Towards the end of long runs or races, when you are extremely tired, your form begins to suffer.
Poor form not only slows you down, it also opens you up to potential injuries. For distance runners who are familiar with that lower-back ache, building up core strength will help to maintain good posture, and reduce the pains that result from poor posture. Three sessions a week of 20-25 minutes of core strengthening exercises is sufficient to have a strong core.
A sample core strengthening routine:
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