Secret Reason Why Running is the Worst Training for Runners
By Scott Miller, PT, MS, SCS, CSCS, TPI-CGFI
I know what you’re thinking-- I’m a runner, so the only training I need is more running.
This is the by far the most widely believed myth in the running community. Although it is true that a lot of training time needs to be dedicated to running, you must also take into consideration the viability and efficiency of your running. (Keep reading to find out how you can greatly improve your running efficiency and prevent and treat knee pain and injury!)
But strength training will make me bulky and slow, right?
Wrong again! The additional strength and power gained from additional muscle mass far outweighs the stress of carrying a few extra pounds. The right strengthening techniques set you up for greater running success by ensuring the proper alignment as you land each step. The right type of strength training will change the way your body moves as well as how it looks - you’ll see a leaner build without any bulking up.
Running speed is a product of stride length and frequency. In other words, the length of your step times the number of steps your make equals your speed. (Who knew the math was so simple?) Stride length is a function of strength, power, and stability, and can only be increased by increasing those factors. (If you want to learn the best way to increase power and stability, while curing pain and injury, stay with me and I’ll share my secrets to improving running performance!)
So you’re telling me I need to do more leg lifts and IT Band stretches?
Nope! I’m going to let you in on a little known fact-- While strengthening and stretching the legs are beneficial to any athlete, the BEST way to increase stability and power is through core strength training.
That’s right-- you need to train your core muscles if you want to run faster, farther, and without the risk of pain or injury. The core muscles of the body function as “central command” during all movement, especially running. Your core controls stride frequency and the force production of the lower body (stride length), regulating your running efficiency. Core muscles are also integral to keeping your stride aligned to a neutral position, which is crucial to preventing and curing the three most common running injuries -- IT Band Syndrome, Patellofemoral Pain (commonly known as “Runners Knee”), and shin splints. It’s worht noting that IT Band stretches, anti-inflammatory medications, and massages will only offer temporary relief.
So you’re saying that a weak core and improper alignment are to blame for my knee pain and my slow running times? So all I have to do is strengthen my core and straighten my stride? Then I’ll cure my running injuries and increase my speed and distance?
Now you’re catching on! It’s as simple as following my unique training program specifically designed to help identify your muscular imbalances and misalignment in your stride, AND help you target core muscle groups in your training sessions.
I’ve trained runners and athletes to increase their speed and running efficiency and build solid core strength to protect their joints from injury and pain. I can teach you also these special techniques for less than the cost of a visit to the doctor or physical therapist. Check out my book, "Smart Running Solution," to learn how YOU can improve your speed and cure pain and injury with a just a few simple clinically-proven exercises.