Whether you’ve decided to run a 5K or a marathon this summer, committing to running is an amazing choice for your physical and mental health. But once many people decide to become runners, they start to think about other aspects of their fitness routine, such as strength training, very differently. This is often because of the countless strength training myths that exist.
Below you’ll learn about the top strength training myths for runners and why they’re untrue.
Myth #1: Strength Training has to be Intense
Lifting weights can help you prevent running injuries, and many runners think that in order to reap the rewards of strength training they have to do it many times a week. In reality, any amount of strength training will help you, and 1-3 times a week should be plenty. Taking a strength training class is a great way to stay consistent.
Myth #2: I Don’t Need Strength Training
Runners can benefit substantially from strength training. It can help you reduce your risk of injury, keep your body’s muscles in balance, and also give your body a break from the high-impact activity of running. Running actually breaks down your body to create energy, but strength training stimulates your muscles to grow. Having a balance is essential.
Myth #3: Abs Should be my Only Strength Training Priority
Having strong abs is crucial to training for long-distance running, as much of your running energy originates with your core, but other large muscle groups, including your arms and legs, are also extremely important. By doing strength training exercises that use your entire body, you’ll prevent imbalances and injuries.
Myth #4: Lifting Weights Two Days in a Row is Fine
If you’re training for any kind of race, you’ll want to avoid doing extremely high-intensity workouts two days in a row. Your body needs time to recover in order to run well, so doing back-to-back weight training sessions just exhausts you and breaks your body down further. Avoid lifting weights every day and focus on every other day or several times a week instead.
Myth #5: Runners Shouldn’t Lift Heavy
Many runners think that lifting heavy weights will make them too bulky, but in reality runners need the strength that lifting heavy weights provides. In fact, if you run and lift heavy weights for fewer reps, you’ll get stronger and more efficient without your muscle size changing.
Some of the best weight lifting exercises for runners are basic, including bench presses, lat pulls, squats, and lunges. Always follow up your strength training workout with stretching.
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