Whether you are new to running or you have been running for years, you can benefit from strength training. I was hesitant to strength-train because I thought it would make me bulky and much slower. After I ran my first marathon, I was determined to add strength training into my next routine. The truth is I found that strength training can help me be a more efficient runner, burn more calories, increase my endurance (and reduce fatigue), and reduce chances of injury.
These are the reasons why:
- Become an efficient runner. Strengthening your core can help improve and maintain your running, which transforms into greater running efficiency.
- Burn more calories. Adding more muscle will increase your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest and during workouts.
- Increase endurance. Strength training helps your body better deal with the stresses of running. Your muscles will be able to perform longer before getting fatigued, which will help you maintain your proper running form.
- Reduce risks of injuries. Lower body and core exercises are particularly important when it comes to reducing injury. Many running injuries, especially knee and hip-related issues, are a result of muscle imbalances or weaknesses.
- Run faster. Improving your form and endurance also translates into faster overall pace, so strength training is an excellent way to get faster.
- Running will feel easier. Adding strength training to your routine can definitely speed up the process. Strengthening your leg muscles will help increase your endurance, meaning you can run longer without feeling fatigued.
I am now into my second week of strength training in my marathon training. I am still getting into the routine, but look forward to the strength and endurance I will gain throughout my training.
I am not only integrating strength training into my routine this time around, but I am also continuing my spiritual workout, which will strengthen the other areas of my life. While physical training is important, spiritual training is the most important. “…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8. Below is a seven-minute spiritual workout plan I learned and would like to share with you this season:
Read Romans 10:17. Spending regular time alone with God each day will help you grow in your faith. As a result, it will help you begin to trust God more each day with every area of your life. Even taking just seven minutes alone with God can make a huge difference in your attitude and well-being. Below is a suggested spiritual workout which includes three steps.
1. Pray – 1 minute
- According to 1 John 1: 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” According to this verse, confess to God any known sin in your life.
- Ask God to show you something new as you read His Word.
2. Read God’s Word – 5 minutes
- Choose a Bible verse. Read it and ask yourself three questions:
1. What does this say about God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit?
2. What does this say about me (mankind)?
3. What can I do to apply to my life what I’ve learned from the Bible verse?
3. Pray – 1 minute
- Thank God for what you have learned.
- Ask God to help you apply to your life what you have learned.
- Pray for yourself and others.
To God be the glory in this big race before us! Happy training!