Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Running Tip: Lift Heavy Weights

Believe it or not, lifting heavy weights can help bring down your run times. Heavy weight lifting:

  • Improves your resistance to fatigue, allowing you to run at a faster pace for longer time. (1)
  • Increases the number of blood vessels supplying oxygen to and removing carbon dioxide and lactic acid from your skeletal muscles. (2)
  • It improves vascularization (enlarging blood vessels), which also helps your skeletal muscles get additional oxygen and dispose of more carbon dioxide and lactic acid. (2)
  • Increases your ATP, phosphocreatine, and glycogen levels, all of which improves power (aka, speed) in shorter distances. (2) 

Best Exercises
Traditional powerlifting exercises are the best exercises to use to decrease your run times. They are simple, involve a lot of different muscle groups, and have proven to be effective at building strength and power. I have found excellent tutorials on the following exercises:

Compound vs Isolation Exercises
Compound (multi-joint) exercises are more effective at providing power and strength than isolation (single-joint) exercises. (1) So:

1. Rippetoe, Mark and Kilgore, Lon. Practical Programming for Strength Training. Wichita Falls, TX : The Aasgaard Company, 2006.
2. Newsholme, Eric, Leech, Tony and Duester, Glenda. Keep on Running. New York : John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

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