When I started running 4 years ago I made one very crucial mistake. I just dove right into running and only ran. I didn’t do any form of strength training whatsoever. I just thought in order to get better at running I just needed to run more. So that’s what I did. I ran harder and faster and longer until…I hurt myself. During one of my runs my body just said “NOPE!” and my knees gave out and I crashed. I literally came crashing down with my knees to the pavement.
After this experience I was terrified to run again. It took me 3 months to recover from that injury. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to run again. And I was even more worried that if I did run again that I would hurt myself all over again.
Shortly after I recovered from my knee injury one of my dear friends introduced me to T25. I was hesitant to make the investment because I wasn’t sure my knees could handle the squatting, lunging and jumping involved in the program. I took the plunge and went with it since I had never tried anything like this before. 4 weeks into the program and I was hooked. I was feeling stronger than ever and finally feeling brave enough to run again. When I started running again I found that I was able to run faster and longer than ever before due to the new muscles I had gained through T25.
Now 3 years later and several strength training programs later I’m getting ready to run my 2nd half marathon. One thing that bugs me about a lot of half marathon training guides is that there is such a huge focus on running and very little attention on strength training. So I wanted to write this blog post to tell you all the reasons why runners need strength training. I know a lot of runners are cardio junkies, but it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and do some strength training. I promise your body will thank you!
- Injury Prevention
Strengthening your muscles will make your body more resilient to the high demands of running. Not only that, but it will help prevent the reoccurrence of previous injuries (case in point my knee injury).
- Run Faster
Strengthening your core will help you run faster and improve your posture while running. And who doesn’t want stronger, tighter abs?!
- Decrease Body Fat
I always thought running would help decrease body fat. Running has nothing on strength training when it comes to reducing body fat! The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism gets. This means that you continue to burn calories throughout the day after a good strength training session.
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