Having spent much of my life living, eating, sleeping, breathing, and working out with endurance athletes, there are 3 things that a majority of them do not fully commit to. Now in their defense, I have seen the pendulum swing the other direction for some. The 3 things that I see need improvement to increase their performance are: strength training, mobility, and nutrition.
1. Strength Training
Get your lift on! Many runners I know avoid the weight room like the plague. Things have really changed since my competing days more than 15 years ago. There are more tools available like the TRX suspension trainer and kettlebells. You do not have to go all meathead and solely use barbells and slam protein shakes like you’re at Muscle Beach in Venice.
What Strength Training Will Do:
· It will make you a more balanced endurance athlete
· It will reduce your risk of injury
· It will make you more efficient
Some pretty stellar side effects if you ask me!
Roll and stretch! Your body gets thrashed with the repetitive movement of running, so you need to treat it with some tender loving care. Foam rolling and stretching are awesome ways to reduce risk of injury and help you feel like a spring chicken rather than an elderly person getting out of bed. A little bit can go a long way. 5-10 minutes, 4-5 times week will do the trick. If you are feeling especially beat up from all the mileage, get a massage.
But I’m skinny and run 50+ miles a week so I can eat whatever you want. You certainly are entitled to eat whatever you like, but don’t think this comes without consequences. There are many runners I know who have the worst eating habits I’ve ever witnessed. Nutrition matters!
Benefits of Nutrition:
· It can help with recovery
· It can improve your general health
· It can improve your race performance
My suggestion is to count your macros (protein, carbs, and fat). You can read more about this here. Your daily levels of protein and carbs should meet the demands of your training.
If you need help with your training and nutrition, give me a shout 310.251.7420 and I can design a program just for YOU!
Image credit: Molly Taylor
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