With temperatures dropping and daylight diminishing in the U.S., the temptation to hibernate might be growing stronger. That’s why many people are turning to their exercise routines to help keep their energy high and spirits up. This Week’s blog post explores some creative ways to keep your running routine fresh throughout the fall. We’ll focus on why bodyweight exercises are crucial to running performance, the most effective ways to bounce back from hamstring injuries, and how meditation can help you beat boredom. Lace up your trainers and prepare to hit the trails—or the treadmill.
Will bodyweight exercises cause you to bulk up—and slow down?
While many runners fear strength training will bulk them up, bodyweight exercises are actually a great way to build leg strength and reduce injury risk—which definitely won’t slow you down. Glute bridges are great for increasing endurance and power, as well as reducing knee pain. Single-leg squats can help reduce imbalances that result from overcompensating on one leg. And plyometric exercises such as box jumps improve start time and running economy. For more bodyweight exercises that will leave your running competition in the dust, take our daily quiz.
Injury got you hamstringed? How to get back on track.
Hamstring injuries are the bane of many runners, as they can be chronic and difficult to heal. Hamstring tendinitis—inflammation of the tendons caused by overuse—can be especially difficult to treat. Warming up properly before running and increasing intensity gradually—especially if you are a sprinter—is a great way to reduce tendinitis risk. Correcting muscular imbalances with 1-legged deadlifts can help strengthen the weaker of the two hamstrings. And eccentric hamstring exercises such as Nordic curls are shown to reduce hamstring injury risk by 65%. If an injury is fresh, it’s best to rest the hamstring and focus on strengthening other leg muscles. For more on reducing and treating hamstring injuries, take our daily quiz.
Beat boredom and boost performance with mindfulness training.
While running on the same terrain or treadmill might eventually lead to boredom, mindfulness training can help bring present focus awareness to the body—which both engages and relaxes the mind for the long haul. Mindfulness training—being aware of the body’s sensations and letting go of mind chatter—is associated with helping to build mental stamina for ultramarathons. Becoming aware of one’s body and breath while running can also improve posture, reduce depression, and even alleviate digestive issues. Take our daily quiz for more tips on incorporating mindfulness techniques into your running routine.
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