Do you want to be a faster runner? Here’s the Secret…

There are lots of ways to become a faster runner.

Hill repeat…

Track workouts…

Speed work…

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.

Why?

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!

Articles you may like…

  1. Nike Women Half Marathon DC
  2. Running Form Clinic
  3. Back in the Gym and running 18 miles

What’s your favorite thing to do in the gym?

© 2014 sweatdaily

2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional Final

This weekend was packed full, and randomly I ended up at the¬†2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional Final. My mom, sister, and I headed to Landover, MD early Friday morning to watch my cousin’s gymnastics tournament. The minute I walked into the PG Sports and Learning Complex, where the tournament was held, I ¬†was surrounded by some seriously strong athletes. On one side of the facility was gymnastics, on the other side was CrossFit.

I know what CrossFit is, and I know a ton of people who do CrossFit, but I never knew there were CrossFit competitions. ¬†When it comes to CrossFit, I have always been interested in trying it, I just haven’t had the opportunity to. CrossFit is also super expensive. It is $200 a month, and I already spend so much money towards fitness as it is (yoga studio, gym membership, running, cycling, snowboarding.)

Anyway, the Reebok CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional Final, was worth watching. It was really hard not to stare. The men had amazing bodies, and the women had fabulous bodies as well, some a little bit to strong. Another thing that I noticed was the patriotic spirit the CrossFit competitors have towards their CrossFit gym. To see that spirit, is really interesting, because I never thought of CrossFit as team oriented. But after watching the support the competitors had from the other athletes that they know from their gym, I now consider this a sport. A sport with a competition, with a team, with team mates.

xMost of the sports that I participate in, (yoga, running, cycling) I do solo. It would be nice to work out with a group. The energy at the event was amazingly positive. It definitely inspired me to strength train more, and I might actually go ahead and try CrossFit.