I have been seriously running for well over a decade now and have had very few serious injuries or set backs. I consider myself very lucky. I also have been told that I have very good biomechanic’s, or to put it more simply… I have good genes. Despite having such good structure, early on when I tried to improve times, go after PR’s, or become a faster runner I would almost always be faced with knee, hip, or foot pain severe enough to make me stop running altogether for awhile (the very last thing you want to do when your goal is to get faster).
When this would happen, I’d explore if I was wearing the proper shoe, do some stretching, and change my routine a bit. But, when that still didn’t get better results, I’d start to think that maybe I could never go faster, that I was getting too old, or that I was injury prone.
I later realized, none of these were true. Although getting into the proper shoe for your build and mileage is key to preventing injury, for many, doing the right kind of strength work is the answer to help prevent injury and improve speed.
Like a chore that gets the “eh, I’ll do it latter” routine, many times strength gets pushed away, neglected, or forgotten altogether. Sometimes we find ourselves saying, “I ran X number of miles today, I’m tired and have done enough.” But, if you want to prevent injury, run faster, or be a stronger runner the one thing holding you back is blowing off that strength work. It doesn’t take much time at all, and the benefits will be enormous.
Strength work doesn’t just improve running, it is essential to maintain muscle mass as we age, thus preventing more serious injuries later on. More importantly, being strong at any age builds self confidence and independence. If you have ever done strength training, you will know the feeling I am talking about. You feel so much more confident when your body is strong and conditioned. There are so many emotional benefits to strength work that we don’t really discuss.
What feels better, playing soccer with your kids or sitting on the sidelines? Being able to move furniture on your own or having to wait for someone to help you? Running a strong race and getting a PR or having to quit half way through – or not running at all? For many years, I had NO idea how doing my strength work would completely transform my life. I was clueless. Strong muscles build strong confidence in more ways than one.
That’s were Kohl’s comes in. As part of the Kohl’s Make Your Move Campaign I’m challenging myself and my readers to work toward becoming a stronger, more empowered person. Make Your Move is about living your best life: eating cleaner, moving more, sleeping better. This leads me to the next challenge.
Challenge 5: Get Strong From The Inside Out
Benefits of consistent Strength Training
- Helps you stay lean and strong – It’s really very simple, muscle burns more calories that fat. If you commit to strength work three times a week, you will burn more calories in a normal day than those who don’t. When you have a strong body you are a fat burning machine.
- Protects Your Bones -After puberty, whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose about 1 percent of your bone and muscle strength every year. One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts.
- Keeps You Injury Free – Strong muscles do more than enable you to look good in a swimsuit, they also improve your balance, posture and coordination along with strengthening otherwise unused muscles, thus preventing injury.
- Improves Your Running – Looking for a PR, to qualify for Boston, or to finish a race without walking? One major thing that will improve your running is by doing a regular Strength routine focusing on hips, glutes and core.
- Improves Mood and Confidence – Not only do strength workouts produce endorphin’s ( A Natural opiate produced by the brain) it also can build self confidence and self esteem.
You might think that you need to go out and spend a a good chunk of money on gym memberships or personal trainer, but that’s not necessarily true. You can start by purchasing simple items that you can use at home, like these ones from Kohl’s.
Empower 2 n 1 KettleBell
Sunny Heath & Fitness 3 pk Pilates Bands
Sunny Heath & Fitness Exercise Ball
Bosu 4lb Medicine Ball
CTA Universal Aerobic Step System
Gaiam Watercress 3mm Yoga Mat
Mari Winsor’s Pink Ribbon Pilates by Gaiam
It’s wise to start slow. Try doing low reps, three times a week. As you gain strength, slowly add more.
[bctt tweet=”The One Thing Your Running Is Missing @Kohls #MakeYourMove #ad”]
My other Make Your Move Posts- Challenges 1-4
Although I am a certified running coach, I am not a physician. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.