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The Runner’s High

The Runner’s High

My running coach from high school used to always tell my field hockey team, “There’s no high, like a runner’s high.” Looking back, it’s never how I truly felt about running (even when I was younger and had an infinite amount of speed and endurance). But since I started strength and condition training, I’ve noticed all the benefits when I run. Here’s why…

You’re Less Prone to Injury

When you strength train you increase your balance as well as muscle and joint stability, thus reducing the risk of injury. A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that incorporating moves such as squats, single-leg hops, and ab work into a workout not only prevents lower-body injuries, but improves performance as well (active.com). Good news for those of us getting older.

Increase Your Endurance and Speed

“Runners should concentrate on building power—how fast you can use the force you’ve built up,” says Jay Dicharry, director of the Speed Clinic at the University of Virginia. “Explosive movements help you activate your muscle power quickly during push-off.” Box jumps, deadlifts and lunges are just a few of the many strength exercises that will help you achieve this. Lower body strength training helps give you faster initial and final kicks during your run as well. Strength training also helps your body use your oxygen intake and energy efficiently. In doing so, you gain more endurance during your runs and helps you to maintain a faster past for a longer amount of time.

Overall Better Body Composition 

Countless studies have shown that strength training builds lean muscle mass. By building lean muscle mass, you are also lowering your body fat. When you add more muscle mass to your body your metabolism will increase as well and help you burn more calories during your runs.

This summer I ran more races than I had in previous years. I may not have made the best times on all of them but I ran smart and really listened to my body. Thanks to all my training at Blackburn Training Center I’m starting to finally see what my high school coach meant all those years ago. Check out the upcoming races for November in NJ and give a race a try! (Head to Jersey Shore Running Club for more information and sign-ups!)

November 22, 2014:

South Amboy YMCA 5K Run & Family Fun 1 Mile Run/Walk         South Amboy, NJ

Manasquan Turkey Trot         Manasquan, NJ

ICS Bulldogs 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run         Spotswood, NJ

November 27, 2014

Hoboken Turkey Trot         Hoboken, NJ

Avon Pond Turkey Trot         Avon, NJ

Morris Township Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot         Morris Township, NJ

November 28, 2014:

Diller Blind Home Turkey Trot         Avalon, NJ

29th Annual Born to Run         Freehold, NJ

November 29, 2014:

Westfield 5 Mile Turkey Trot & Practice Hard Mile         Westfield, NJ

Matawan Borough 5K Turkey Trot & Fitness Walk         Matawan, NJ

First Annual Evan K. Billig Memorial 5K         Ocean, NJ

November 30, 2014:

Navesink Challenge 5K & 15K         Middletown, NJ

Passaic Valley Rotary River Run         Little Falls, NJ