Having the perfect balance between weight and endurance means knowing:
- How much muscle mass you need
- Your ideal weight that will benefit your movement instead of hindering it
Weight loss vs. muscle gain...which makes more sense?
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
Both work together to create the perfect balance of strength and stamina:
- Running prepares the body for a long-term period of activity.
- Weight training can help burn excess calories and build the muscle mass needed to provide the physical strength needed to move your body for long periods.
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
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
People who run on a daily basis can normally control their weight efficiently through:
- Eating the right foods
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.