There are lots of ways to become a faster runner.
But the one thing that most runners neglect is their upper bodies. It is a strong upper body and core that will significantly improve a runner’s speed.
Upper body strength helps improve your posture and running form.¬†Your legs are not the only thing that moves you. You use your arms, core, back, shoulders for guidance and balance.¬†
“Upper-body strength is essential for boosting your speed?”¬†– Jeff Horowitz author of Quick Strength for Runners.
My experience:¬†Last year, I hit the weight room, and found a new passion for lifting. I knew a stronger body would help prevent running injury, but I didn’t know it would improve my pace significantly.
During my April (2013) 10 milers, and half marathon, I began setting new PRs. It was an amazing feeling to be running an 8:30 min/mile. Nothing in my running training plan had changed. In order to fit my weight lifting sessions in, I was actually running less. ¬†The only thing ¬†I was doing different was focusing on getting stronger and lifting weights. Turns out it made a huge difference.
I loved the way my body looked. I loved the way I felt. I didn’t just look stronger, I felt stronger. And the cherry on the cake, I was running stronger, faster, and with better form.
This last marathon season, because my milage increased significantly, I lost some of my muscle. It was hard to fit in both weight lifting and running. During marathon training my main focus was getting those long runs in, so my weight lifting sessions decreased to once a week.
But now I am back at it.
I did 4 weeks of lifting heavy and super sets. Then I did 3 weeks of active rest periods and super sets. ¬†Now I am doing 2 weeks of circuit training. I am also running 25-30 miles a week. Sometimes on rainy days, I will do some HIIT on the t-mill.
I’m finally getting some of my muscle back!
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