Running is an exercise that requires strength and endurance. Being able to sustain a specific level of activity for a long period takes strength. However, it also means your body must have the ability to maintain that level of activity without becoming injured or fatigue.
Having the perfect balance between weight and endurance means knowing:
Weight loss vs. muscle gain...which makes more sense?
Weight loss and muscle gain both offer benefits when it comes to running. They also have drawbacks. For example, if you lose too much weight, you lose body fat that can be used as fuel in the final stretches of a long race.
The problem is having an excessive amount of weight at the beginning of the race can slow you down and decrease your body's efficiency. Maintaining approximately 10 to 15 percent body fat prior to a long race allows the body sufficient fuel to sustain a steady pace throughout the race.
Muscle mass is also important, but you must remember that when it comes to running, too much is not always a good thing. Because muscle weighs more than fat, it can actually slow a runner down.
Muscles also require more fuel to maintain a set level of activity. To be effective during long races, it is important to have enough muscle mass to move the body smoothly and efficiently without burning so many calories. Otherwise, you will become fatigued before the end of the race.
Best ways to lose weight effectively
For a runner to lose weight effectively, they must know how weight training, running and diet work together to create the perfect body. Eating the right foods provides the nutrients and the fuel your body needs to maintain itself and function efficiently for long periods. Proper training allows you to lose the weight you need and maintain an adequate amount of muscle mass without encouraging excessive amounts of muscle growth that may hinder performance.
Both work together to create the perfect balance of strength and stamina:
Balancing your training schedule to include equal amounts of time for both running and weight training will help you to effectively lose weight and keep it off.
Weight training tips for runners
When it comes to weight training, remember that running does not require massive amounts of strength. For a runner to lose weight and stay in prime condition, more reps and less weight is the ideal. It prevents too much muscle mass from being created, and will help keep your weight low.
Adding more repetitions will increase stamina while helping to burn extra calories that can slow your body down. If you are training for an event, slightly increasing the amount of weight used will help you increase strength. Incorporate plyometrics on your leg day, before a weight training workout to help increase your power and strength.
Make sure that you warm-up to prepare your muscles for extended activity levels. When warmups are performed, they help your body stay limber for intense workouts.
Finding your perfect balance
For you to maintain your competitive edge, you need both strength and weight management. Controlling your body weight is just as important as maintaining a strong, well-supported frame. Weight training supports both concepts when performed correctly. Used in conjunction with running, both condition your body for long periods of exercise, while keeping your body at an ideal weight.
People who run on a daily basis can normally control their weight efficiently through:
If you compete on a regular basis, you may have to cut or drop weight slightly before a race to help you maintain a sufficient speed. Increasing the amount of conditioning and eating high protein foods can help sustain muscle tissue while controlling your weight.
You must look at your current situation and determine what works best for you. Everyone’s body is different and will need different levels of exercise, nutrition and conditioning to maintain their ideal body weight. There are times when you may find that weight loss will be more beneficial than gaining strength and vice versa. Knowing what the desired result is will also help determine which path to take during training.