April 20, 2012 by Katie
Happy (real) Friday everyone!! While my brain is recuperating from memo writing, I have a great guest post for you from Taylor, who blogs at Lifting Revolution! She is a nutrition consultant, personal trainer and runs a boot camp in Charleston, SC!
Time To Run Yourself Into The Weight Room:
A Runners Guide To Cross Training With Dumbbells
Hi-di-ho Peace Love and Oat’s gang! I want to give Katie a big thanks for allowing me to share my passion and hopefully some awesome info today! When Katie expressed her love for South Carolina a few weeks back, I knew I had to send her a friendly “hello! from Charleston!”
And from that hello, came this post!
Back in the day, before I knew better, I turned to running to drop my “Freshman 15 30” weight. I assumed running was the best and fastest way to make it happen, right?
So I would run like Forest Gump.. everyday I was running. And that was all I was doing (along with cutting calories). Yup, I lost the weight but I lost a lot more too. I ended up with a stress fracture in my shin, tendonitis in my hips, and my herniated disc shouted at me daily, plus I wasn’t toned at all!
I was miserable and knew something had to change.
Out of all the ways to exercise, runners are the mostly likely to show up in the doctors office with exercise induced injuries… why?
Because it puts a lot of freaking stress on the body! In fact, 5 to 7 times your weight is supported on your knees when running. That means if you weight 130 pounds, there’s up to 910 pounds of stress on those bad boys.
Is that to say that running is bad for you?
Nope, it just means that cross training is that much more important for runners. Since weight lifting has become a huge part of my life, all those issues have since disappeared! And yes, I blame it 100% on my cross training.
Let’s dive into this a bit deeper in order to help you and Katie improve your running, your body, and easily get amazing PRs!
1. Muscle burns more calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, strength training is going
to work hand in hand with your cardio workouts to make it happen much faster.
Muscle tissue is very metabolically active, the more you have, the more calories you
will burn each day just sitting around! Plus, strength training has an amazing post-
exercise calorie burn, continuing to burn calories up to 48 hours after the workout is
all said and done.
2. Run faster, run longer, run better. Become a better athlete all together by adding
some cross training into your life. A 2008 study published in The Journal of Strength
and Conditioning Research confirmed that runners who added in three days of weight training to their weekly program not only increased their leg strength and muscle
mass but improved their endurance as well!
3. Faster Recovery. Strength training teaches your body to recover from workouts faster,
which means you might be able to log in a few extra miles each week. That could
make a huge difference in your overall training and confidence, right?
4. Less likely to get hurt. Of course, I would come back to this. By doing big complex
moves (squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc) you will strengthen your joints which can be
effected by running. Your knees, back, hips, and even ankles can feel so much better
on your runs. Don’t just turn your attention to lower body though, remember for a
balanced workout to also tone your core and upper body.
Strength training is just one workout routine option of cross training for a runner. Others include doing sprints, intervals, even swimming. By working your body in other ways than just your standard runs you’re going to become an overall better athlete and those PRs will roll in faster than ever.
Plus isn’t it nice to change things up from time to time? Experiment a little with your workouts, push yourself in new ways, and discover just what your body can accomplish?
Awesome! Okay, now I am off to mix up a batch of vegan oatmeal cookies to help fuel up my next workout! Have a great day.
Taylor Ryan is a NASM certiﬁed personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She currently
lives in Charleston, SC with her husband where she runs a successful womenʼs boot
camp as well as the online ﬁtness community. Check out her blog, The Lifting Revolution