A lot of amateur runners think that if they just run further or more often that they will improve their mile time. Unfortunately, they eventually hit a plateau, and no matter how hard they train, they can’t break through it and continue improving. The problem with this state of affairs is that it can sap motivation and lead to despair.
The good news is that you can improve your mile time. You just need to stop running and try something else. Here are some non-running exercises that’ll help you run faster.
Up Your Game With Rowing
To get better, our bodies need to be challenged in new and unusual ways. The problem for most runners is that they don’t challenge their cardiovascular system and instead run at the same pace during all their training sessions.
One way to mix up cardiovascular training is to try something different. According to https://bodygearguide.com/best-rowing-machine-reviews/ rowing machines are a great way to prepare for a triathlon. Why? Because they help to tax the cardiovascular system in different ways to regular jogging. While your body is trained to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your legs, it’s less used to providing the same level of service to your back muscles and arms. Forcing your body to adapt to rowing will help when you next go out for a run. Don’t be surprised if you find your mile time coming down.
When you think about it, running is actually a series of single-legged jumps, one after the other. These jumps put tremendous strain on your knee joints and leg muscles. But despite this, many runners never bother to train their legs. In so doing, they put themselves at risk of injury and cause themselves to have slower mile times.
Single-legged squats are a great way to train for running says http://www.runnersworld.com. Not only do they improve the strength of the knee joint and leg muscles, but they also help the body balance itself biomechanically. Runners who aren’t biomechanically balanced or strong enough often run in a sub-optimal way to compensate. Strengthening the legs can help prevent suboptimal gaits and make your mile times faster.
Foam Roller Pectoral Stretch
The upper body is one of the most overlooked regions of the body for runners. But it turns out that the trunk region, as well as the upper chest, are critical when stabilizing a runner in motion.
The upper body is important for another reason too: breathing. A stiff upper body that lacks strength can lead to reduced muscle function, low lung capacity and slouching. All these issues can then result in further running issues down the road.
Doing a pectoral stretch on the foam roller can help to reverse these problems and expand the chest area. Opening up the chest helps to stretch out the chest muscle, reducing the amount of rounding in the upper back.
Stretching out the thoracic is helpful too. To do this, lie with your back on the floor and put the foam roller under your lower back. You’ll notice a stretch in your core muscles.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.