The weather is cooling down slightly while the sun is still out most days, making it a perfect cocktail for a run on the rocks or the grass! We can now wear our body hugging compression gear to show off our curves and lines without our makeup running with our excessive sweating (oh, hang on, that probably only happens in Bondi).
For the keen runners clocking over 10 km a day, and even the novices trying to avoid the cab drivers with a death wish, there is a lot of debate around whether or not lifting weights slows you down. The answer is: yes it can… But it can also speed you up and help you avoid injury!
The difference is in the type of training you do. Supplementing your running with the right type of resistance training by strengthening key muscles, improving power, balance and endurance, will keep you lighter and quicker on your feet.
The key tips on how to incorporate resistance training for runners are:
- Make your workouts efficient by using big, compound movements
Pick exercises that recruit multiple muscles. Try those with twising, rotating and multiple planes of movement such as walking lunges with alternate dumbbell press, rather than isolation exercises (bicep curls).
- Promote balance with unilateral movements
Movements such as a single leg deadlift with a kettle bell and calisthenics (bodyweight based exercises) are great, as they can incorporate Olympics rings as a cheap alternative to a gym membership.
- Try training on an unstable surface
Bosu balls, a pillow or Swiss balls help to improve endurance and balance.
- Don’t focus on progressive overload muscle bulking techniques
You don't need to use super heavy weight and force the muscles to absolute fatigue. This will stimulate more growth and make you heavier which may slow you down. Focus on the quality of the movement, not the quantity.
If you struggle to even get out the door and lack the motivation to kick-start your run, then try the following:
- Put your runners on no matter what, even if you don’t make it out the door. Don't put any extra pressure on yourself, just put them on and wear them around the house.
- If you’re not pumped to go for a run and feel flat, then just go for a walk. I’ll bet that once you’re outside and your blood starts pumping, you will turn that walk into a run.
- Get rid of your old runners. Sometimes investing in a new pair of shoes or headphones can make all the difference in getting you out there!
- When you lack motivation, think back to how you felt the last time you had a great run. Remind yourself of the endorphins and sense of achievement you felt. Put a smile on your face, get out there and keep smiling while you run!