Being so passionate about running, all I use to do was run, run ... and (you guessed it!) ... run! I loved what running did for me both mentally and physically. I loved how I was forced to push the limits of my body, escape my day and feel accomplished. I didn't want to slow down. But my hamstrings were tight, my core was weak and my upper body had no definition. It wasn't until I became injured and was forced to slow myself down, that I slowly realized (pun intended!) how essential strength training and regular core exercise was to my running routine.

As I learned the benefits of shoulder and bicep exercises to hold my arms appropriately in place, core training to support my entire body, and also incorporated a lower body cross training routine, I then started to feel like a stronger runner. And after years of plateauing with my race times, I also started to PR (set personal records) at each event I completed.

So, why should you strength train?

• Adding resistance training to your routine has been shown to increase lean body weight and decrease body fat. You most likely won’t see these effects on the scale. Instead, take body measurements every 2-4 weeks to supplement weekly weigh-ins on the scale.

• Gaining muscle will increase your metabolism. You will be burning more fat – even at rest. Your body will be burning fat and calories even 24-48 hours after your strength training session.

• Strength and mobility training complements cardiovascular fitness routines and helps prevent over-training – usually with less of a time investment.

• Injury-prevention is a positive outcome to a regular strength training routine – especially for runners. Improved coordination and stronger ligaments and tendons will help strengthen those tendons that are used over-and-over again on the pavement.

• Strength training will help improve your balance, stabilization, coordination and movement patterns. This will also help you perform the everyday activities of daily life. Climbing the stairs, bending over to pick up a pencil, carrying a gallon of milk will all become easier.

• Like running and other cardiovascular activities, strength training has also been proven to increase bone density, improve mood, lessen your risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety and depression.

If you are interested in getting started with a strength and cross training routine, I have a few spots available in my schedule at my boutique fitness studio. Email me to see what my current availability is like to meet with you. Together we will work together to develop a fitness routine that you can do together at the studio and on your own at home.