The way I see it there are three main reasons you may underperform on a run
- Muscle tiring
- Energy low
- The everything else….
So here is how I think they can be fixed. Today I’ll look at muscles.
There are two main reasons why you may choose to go running. The first being to get in a good cardio exercise to burn fat and the second being to be a better runner. Of course, it’s most likely that you want both.
If you run every day then yes, you will be burning off fat each time but you aren’t doing yourself any favours in being able to improve your run. Muscles will only be able to strengthen when you rest them, post exercise. If you work them hard, they will need a day, more likely two, maybe three days to recover and ‘knit’ themselves a bit stronger than before. By using them every day you aren’t giving them a chance to develop. The rest days are when the progress is really made, so be patient and let your body have the time it needs.
If you are finding that your muscles are hurting while running this may be because they are not strong enough to maintain the performance you are demanding from them, so you can work on strengthening with further of exercises. Of course it could also be that your warm up was insufficient – everyone is different in their requirements of this. There are all sorts of recommendations for what you should do, ranging from static stretching, no static stretching, loads of jumping around and warm up running. Judge for yourself what works and what doesn’t. You may also be running too soon after previous exercise, if this is the case then going for a walk instead is more beneficial.
In order to strengthen your body you would benefit from undertaking a different set out of exercises. For example, I go to two bootcamp workouts a week plus an hour of zumba. By pushing myself into training in different ways I can get a variety of workouts to use each muscle group and improve their capabilities. I honestly believe that the bootcamp training has worked wonders for my overall fitness, enabling me to improve my running performance in leaps and bounds. My muscle capability is much higher and recovery time hastened; don’t forget your heart is a muscle which although you cannot train to increase in size, you can improve it’s strength..
Two runs a week , one 3 mile and one six mile plus the two bootcamp training sessions seems to be my optimum regime for overall fitness. I know bootcamp sounds so arduous and mean but that’s not the way it works at all, at least not from mine the reports I’ve heard about others. If you’re looking for a new way to keep in shape and up your game then give your local class a try.
Muscles need a good amount of protein in order to grow stronger so make sure that included in your balanced diet is lean protein such as chicken and white fish. I’ll be talking more about diet in a future post.
Any thoughts to add about muscle?