Strength Training Can Enhance Your Running!

Running can have a whole slew of great impacts on your body. It can help you lose weight and grow fit, it can give you those killer abs that are much desired, it can shape up your body and your posture to make you look taller or even help you to grow a few small inches in height, even if you are an adult!

Quite apart from that, running is also incredibly good for health. It improves body fitness, burns excess fat, increases your body’s base line metabolism, helps to increase your stamina, gives more power to your lungs and increases your pulmonary potential. It is also a great exercise to help to keep a healthy heart.

Irrespective of the exact reasons or approach to why someone is running, if what they are ultimately aiming for is to increase the speed and intensity of their running, then supplementing their running workout with other exercises is a good idea to increase their run potential.

Read on to know more, about why upper body strength increasing exercises such as weight training and swimming, can have a positive impact on your running!

Weight training and how it impacts and enhances running

While there is much discussion over the exact effects of weight training and training in upper body strength and how much it enhances a person’s running efficiency, there is one undisputed fact – this kind of training does have a positive impact on running.

For many, training with weights and training for strength are one and the same. However, this is not true. In weight training, you simply try to build up your muscle mass to the point where it is able to lift those weights, while in strength training, you increase the overall tolerance and endurance of your body.

When someone is attempting to body build and increase their muscle mass, they absolutely need to implement both types of training into their workout schedule. However, if you are simply trying to supplement your running workout with other strength and stamina enhancing exercises, a lighter version of these workouts is enough to help you reach your goals.

For training to build up strength, you workout and lift weights for the sole purpose of building more resistance and strength to your muscles. This type of training for resistance is of great benefit in running and increasing running speeds as well as endurance.

There are many training programs for building upper body strength and the one I am using is Adonis Golden Ratio because it has the added benefit of attractiveness.

How upper body strength promotes better running

The science behind this is simply that having a stronger and more controlled upper body which is full of strength helps you to propel yourself forward better to increase your speeds in running.

While running, your upper half is not sedentary and detached from the proceedings of the lower half. Your whole body gets a workout while running, and in the upper body in particular – you have chest and abdomen and back muscles working in sync to bring about maximum running.

Thus, when you train to increase the strength of your upper body, you are giving yourself an excellent forward propelling mechanism.

Pumping your arms back and forth harder while running is something that greatly enhances your running speed.

If you noticed, you would have seen short distance full intensity sprinters using their arms to move themselves forward with greater running speed, in a race.

Doing exercises like weight training and increasing your upper body strength and endurance through workouts like swimming goes a long way towards increasing your running speeds.

Upper body strength impact on different types of runners

If you are a sprinter or are hoping to train to be a sprinter, upper body strength is very important. In sprinting, the runners put in short times of intense and high speed running in order to reach the goal line and take away the prize.

For this type of high intensity running, a great upper body strength is necessary. For sprinting with good efficiency and speed, do mild weight training exercises, while also concentrating on aerobics and exercises that require control and precision, like the hula hoop and so on. For sprinters, building muscle strength is very important indeed as they need to be able to back up the high intensity bursts of speed required for winning the sprinting.

If you are hoping to become a long distance or marathon runner, it is more about longevity and endurance than strength. This type of stamina can also be boosted tremendously by strength and weight training. But here, the focus is to increase the tolerance to high stress over long periods.

Hence, the training should focus on building stamina and should be more of repetitive and progressive exercises that test the body muscles, rather than high intensity bursts of exercise.

But the thing to ultimately keep in mind while strength enhancing or weight training for better running is this – the training itself is not the goal!

If you strain your muscles too much in trying to build up your body fitness and strength for optimal running, you may end up not running at all in the end due to extreme fatigue and muscle cramps caused by your strength training.

Wield your training plans with moderation, careful planning and discipline. Fix the exact goal of what you wish to achieve through your running workout and devise a strength enhancing or muscle building training program accordingly.

This helps you to run faster by increasing your strength!

Make Your Running Workout Fun

Running is one of the most effective and convenient workout routines that a person can start to gain overall body fitness and to lose weight. However, the exercise does start getting monotonous once you get into the flow of things.

As in most workout routines, running is as much about motivation and dedication as it is about effort. If you are beginning to feel unmotivated or bored while doing your running every day, it starts having an impact on your motivation and thus reduces the overall results of your running regime.

However, fear not! With the advent of smart phones and on- the- go technology in every sphere of life, running is also something that comes with custom made entertainment options, in order to make your running workout not just less monotonous, but downright fun!

Here is a look at some of the best running apps that is offered for smart phones with android technology, and all the ways you can use them to make your workout routine into an entertaining and fun hour!

Read on to know more about which app is the best for you!

If you are an android phone user, there are a whole slew of options for you to pick from. Of the hundreds of options, here are the hand- picked best few, which truly are effective and innovative in increasing your running game, while also making it entertaining.

First on the List – The Zombies Run App

This app combines a great interface, a highly entertaining plot line and an engaging play method to keep you entertained and innovated throughout your run!

As the title indicates, in this app your aim is to run – away from zombies!

They provide you with a mission that involves you running – you need to run at particular speeds and with a particular intensity, stride and mileage in order to escape with your life and out run the attacking zombies!

Now if that isn’t motivation, it doesn’t get better!

With such a fun way of interspersing the workout with entertainment, the app also subtly guides you to push yourself harder over the weeks, taking you through higher levels of your running workout.

Thus, it acts like a personal trainer, while also keeping you motivated and entertained for the entire duration of your run, all for just three dollars ninety- nine!

Further, the longer and farther you run on a day, the more complementary tit- bits and beneficial goods you get within the game – such as food supplies and shelter and weapons to defend yourself and your imaginary family within the game.

If you skip out on workouts any day, you will find your supplies and life quality dropping within the virtual world. With such a great motivation to keep you obsessed and dedicated to run, while also making your running itself fun, zombie run is a great game app to buy indeed and worth every penny!

The Nike Plus Running App

While this app is also self promoting for Nike shoes, the Nike running shoes truly are worth buying in the first place, and even without Nike shoes, you can employ the GPS on your phones in order to use this app.

The first best thing about this app is that – considering how good the quality is, it is a free running app!

Designed specifically for android, this app has all the cool and entertaining features to keep you motivated and dedicated to your run!

It is a classing running app. It offers not just a base line to keep you motivated to run, but also statistics and data that will let you know how much you have run and the calories you are burning real time, the longer you run.

Also, this app keeps track of your training. Once you start using this app, it maps out a goal plan for you and pushes you ahead in your running, enabling you to keep track of how much progress you have made in terms of running speed, distance and endurance over the months.

As for the entertainment aspects, this app offers an internalized amazing music stock all hand selected to give you a power beat to match your pace to while running. This really pumps you up to finish your routine and makes time fly by without even realizing it!

Considering it is a free app, the features offered by the Nike Plus running app is impressive indeed and definitely worth a try!

The Run-tastic App

This app is available in both free and paid versions, with the paid version obviously having a much greater array of options and features over the free version, but even the free version is pretty impressive!

The most remarkable feature of Run-tastic app is that it offers to track your location using Google’s Earth real time tracking feature. This lets you know your exact location and distance travelled at any point of time, and lets you be more adventurous in choosing your route for the run.

Also, this app supplies all the necessary data to track your running routine – such as distance traveled, how much calories you have burned, your personal best, your target to reach for the day, and so on.

It also relays data like heart beat tracking, your blood pressure, etc. and even provides well- plotted graphs so you can track your progress graphically! On top of all that, there is a music application that you can use to listen to a variety of music through this app, while on the run!

Best Nutrition For Your Running Workout

‘You are what you eat’ is a common catch phrase passed down through the generations. And one place where it is definitely applicable is in the diet for any person embarking on a planned workout routine – particularly in fitness workouts like running!

Running requires muscle tone, stamina and great tolerance. You also need to be fit overall and sustain an even and perfect breathing pattern to be a good runner.

As such, diet plays an important role in the runners’ body. Here’s a look into some basic dietary information for optimal functioning for a running regime.

Eat your fruits and veggies

Mother knows best. Eat your veggies is a term no one will forget from their childhood – and it really is effective.

Eating plenty of fruits and veggies is the fail proof way to ensure optimal functioning of your body for running.

Fruits and vegetables come high in protein, anti oxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium – you name it! – while also being low in carbs and fats. This is a veritable boon for anyone going into a diet for the sake of fitness, as it delivers all the nutrients necessary without unwanted dietary components!

Pro tip – try to eat the skin in as many fruits as possible. De skinning, like in apple for example, leads to the loss of a lot of stored calcium and firming up nutrients reserves!

Dairy products are good

Milk and milk derived products such as butter, cheese and curd are actually really good for you for running!

While dairy foods do contain lots of animal fats, they are also extremely rich in calcium, which is highly important for the runners’ body.

Try to buy low fat and skimmed dairy products. This reduces the fat and carb intake and the potential for fat gain, without compromising on the good nutrients.

Veggies and dairy products are thus two best dietary sources for a running workout!

Tips To Follow For Optimal Post Run Maintenance

Running is a great way to kick start your metabolism and gain overall fitness, while also losing all those pesky pounds in an efficient and enjoyable way.

When you go for a run, you not only burn a lot of calories, but there are also many other side benefits as well. The first of these benefits is increased muscle mass and muscle toning.

Running really firms up your muscles, especially the muscle groups in your calves, thighs, back and abdomen. This gives you the coveted ‘washboard abs’ all for just going on a run for about an hour every day!

But while simply running in itself is good enough to get such good results, there are also a lot of tips and tricks which can maximize the effects of your exercise.

If you follow certain rituals and practices before you go for a run and after you come back from a run – also known as pre- run and post- run maintenance practices – then you are bound to get the ultimate results from your running!

This article in particular, we’ll deal with post- run maintenance strategies and tips on what to do post- going for a run, to gain the maximum effects from your workout!

Take time to cool down and stretch

This is the most basic of all post- workout maintenance tips, which unfortunately, still gets regularly ignored by the masses, with undesirable consequences.

There are three phases to the optimal cooling down practice after a running workout.

The first phase is the ‘cool down jog’. This is nothing more than simply slowing down your running speed to the point where the body metabolism has also slowed down to a more relaxed pace after the frantic calorie- burning workout it just received from your proper running.

Once you are down with the cooling down jog, you need to stretch. Cooling down signals your body that it is ready to be brought down to its resting metabolism from the intense workout it just received, but stretching is needed to ‘loosen’ your muscles.

Not stretching leads to tight and increased tone of the muscles all day, which not just leads to severe cramps but is also intensely painful in the long run, and reduces efficiency for the next running workout.

As such, cool down running and stretching are important steps to include in your post run maintenance regime!

Hot water compresses and baths for muscle relaxation

A hot soak in a warm tub of water isn’t a luxury every one can manage. But if it is something available to you, don’t fear to take advantage!

A warm water bath does wonders to relax and reduce cramped muscles like nothing else! Soaking of muscles after a good running work out in the hot water is a great post run maintenance practice to follow.

If having an actual bath is not possible, try opting for hot water bags and compression methods! That can reduce muscle soreness and increase your running efficiency to a great degree.

The eating and the drinking

No workout regime is complete without the proper diet and running is no different. After coming back from a running workout, never forget to eat high protein snacks like maybe a protein bar or a handful of nuts and fruits. This is greatly beneficial for building muscles and firming up muscle tone through running!

Another important thing to note is to drink more than enough water, all day long. In running, fluids are usually lost to a great degree. Replenishing this body water stock is essential to get the most out of your running!

Stretches To Keep You Good To Run

The main source of injuries while running is due to the increased muscle tone and the repetitiveness of the workout.

While running, over the period of the workout, your muscles get set into a fixed routine, causing increased tension and rigidity of those muscle groups over prolonged periods of time.

This is actually a good thing! These micro tears and increased muscle tension are what give you the fat burning and over time build up your muscle mass and give fitness to your legs, back, thighs and abdomen.

But all said and done, these repetitive movements lead to painful cramping and sprains due to running on the daily scale – which is the reason why runners have so many injuries related to their workout routine.

These painful cramps can be dealt with by having a good pre workout and post run stretching exercise routine.

Read on to know more about these warm-ups!

Dynamic stretching before the run

Before going out on your run, the best type of stretches to do are dynamic stretching exercises.

In this type of dynamic stretching, you are warming up your body for a rigorous workout, but also giving optimal stretching and working to every muscle group.

This ensures that all the muscles are equally warmed up and loosened, making your body more receptive for the running workout. Its best to do the dynamic stretching for about twenty minutes before setting out on your run!

Post run stretching

Here, you need to concentrate on working out the tension from all the muscle groups which underwent the most strain during your run!

Your ankles, calves, thighs, hips, back and abdomen muscle groups are the ones that undergo the most strain and tension while running. Stretches that concentrate on these areas is the best routine to adapt for your post run stretching!