Yes, you read that title right. Not running? Excuse me, isn’t this Lulu Runs? I know, I know, it sounds weird, but today I wanted to chat about the importance of cross training, strength training, and stretching, which are often neglected habits of runners.
If you are like me, you would LOVE it if you didn’t ever have to do another plank, still have a rock solid core, and a healthy running body. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Unfortunately, that is just what it is. A dream. In order to be a strong, healthy, and balance runner you need balance in your workout “life” – or should I say, routine.
I didn’t learn this truth overnight. In fact, it took me years of solely running before I learned that there was a huge, amazing, in fact, benefit of incorporating other exercises into your workout routine and not only running. I think it was around the time I was training for my half marathon that I started adding in weights into my routines. After a couple months or so of using my parents’ bench press (bench press, I miss you…) their Total Gym, and incorporating other forms of cross training (i.e. Walking and biking) I quickly realized I was feeling stronger and running better!
Running and running often is important to maintain your muscle tone, running fitness, endurance, and speed, but just as important is building up a strong core, maintaining (and adding) flexibility + balance, (we need balance as runners!) and having an overall, strong body. Now, I’m not talking about building up muscles the size of a tree trunk (if you want to do that, that’s fine- but that much muscle may slow your running down!) but having a strong body will only make running easier and help fight against injury!
Personally, I incorporate strength training in around 3 times a week (sometimes after I run I will do some quick strength training routines) in the form of plyometrics, Pilates, circuit workouts, planks, and free weights. Right now, I don’t have the luxury of going to a gym and using the machines + weights, so all I am doing right now is at home with the weights we do have (10, 20 and 45lbs: side note Landon is the only one who uses the 45lbers, haha!).
Another benefit of adding strength training into your routine? It makes running, easier! Yes, you read that right! Having strong glutes makes running up hills easier. A strong core keeps your body centered and helps your endurance. Strong legs also help your endurance and speed. There are so many benefits to strength training and I can’t stress this enough to runners. Yes, you don’t need to be lifting for continuous hours in the gym if you really love running and want that to be your main sport. BUT, lifting, plyometrics, circuit workouts, Pilates, and body weight exercises will make you a better runner and that sounds good, right?
If you have no idea where to even start with your strength training, have no fear! I just created a NEW PAGE on my website, where I’ve combined a few of my TOP FAVORITE Pilates and Plyometric at home, no equipment required workouts! Make sure to click here to read all about it. Have fun, try out a few of the workouts, and let me know how they go!
Questions of the Day
- How about you? Do you add strength training + cross training to your workout regime?
- What is your favorite, non running workout?
- Who else is excited for?