Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Whole fitness for Runners

When I design exercise routines for runners, I tend to focus on the muscle groups that are either under developed in runners or will help to stabilize the joints which are common issues for runners. Most runners out there pounding the pavements tend to only run and as a result have excellent cardiovascular fitness but lack balance in the muscle groups and are only one misplaced step away from an acute injury.

By focusing on strengthening and stabilizing the ankle, knee, hip and sacroiliac joints you can significantly reduce your chance of acute injury and by creating balance you can reduce the odds of chronic injury so a well designed fitness routine will have you doing more than running distance, speed, hills and drills.

Most runners would be much faster and more comfortable taking one of their runs per week and focusing on strengthening and stretching. Don't forget that the primary measures of fitness go beyond just cardiovascular ability and include muscular ability, flexibility and body composition. Unless you have all these components covered you are not reaping the benefits of good fitness that will affect your quality of life for years to come.

Of course there are also secondary components of fitness measurement but unless you have all the primary ones covered you should not worry too much about these.

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