In any sport you commit yourself to, you will find that one has to go to the gym almost always. No discussion. Now some sports I have discovered require different amounts of gym, for example: a netball player would need more plyometric gym and functional training compared to a canoeist who I imagine needs more upper body strength to pull the canoe with their bodies. With runners how ever, we need a little bit of both. We need functional training and plyometric to practice using our fast twitch muscles and to apply the basic ideology of form follows function as many plyometric movements follow those which are similar to your running style in sprints or long distance. We also need weightlifting to strengthen our big muscles like quads, hamstrings and glutes – do not forget your arms and core! They are equally important, but it is important to find a balance out of the whole regime because at the end of the day, you are an athlete, not a body builder.
Please note: I am not a personal trainer nor a dietician, I am only an athlete sharing my opinion of what I have learned from various coaches and through research.
Let’s Talk Weights!
Lifting is probably one of my favourites to perform as an athlete. When you perform some powerful exercises you really do begin to feel powerful yourself like woah, how did I just do that? BUT, we must not get carried away and as athletes we must be careful on how much we lift.
From what I have learned and seen, if you are planning on just lifting weights one day, then only do that once a week and make sure those weights are light. As a sprinter, you still need your body to be light but powerful so it is advised to just be cautious of the amount of exercise you add. Here are two exercises you should add if you are considering lifting weights:
- Dead Lifts
When this exercise is done with proper form, your glutes and hamstrings will be engaged and can really make them powerful overtime.
2. Chest Press
Everybody knows that a sprinters form is crucial throughout any race, we need the 15 degree lean in order to maintain strong and proper form. When you have a strong chest and core, you are able to obtain that lean as you can hold yourself forward, but like I have mentioned, balance out the amount of gym you add to your regime to not destroy your form in your race.
This is phase one of my “Exercise for Track Runners 101” as it is quite meaty. Let me know your thoughts and whether you would like to see more and also how much weight lifting do you think a runner needs? Let me know in the comments. Let’s have a conversation about this!