In the past, it was believed that running training consisted only of running the greatest number of kilometers and that this type of training was enough to reach an optimal athletic performance.
Nowadays, however, specialists recognize that it is crucial for running training to include joint mobility, stability and strength training exercises, along with working on specific movements to improve our running form. All of these factors will help runners achieve an enhanced performance and decrease the risk of injury.
It’s not just about adding kilometers
At first glance, running seems to be an easy sport o practice, because not too many implements are required besides a pair of running shoes and motivation. However, your body should be prepared and adapted to receive the type of load generated when running, so that it does not weaken along the way.
Physical conditioning is the part of training whose goal is to enable the athlete to reach his/her best physical condition, optimizing the athlete’s natural aptitudes and developing his/her physical attributes to the fullest, via systematic, gradual and progressive exercises. Physical conditioning will work on qualities such as mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, plyometrics, stamina, endurance, and coordination.
This type of training will therefore allow runners to become stronger, decreasing the risk of injuries; to run faster, by increasing neuromuscular coordination and stamina; and to improve running economy (i.e., how much energy we spend when running), since it will achieve more efficient movements and delay the appearance of running fatigue.
Planning your physical conditioning
Planning your training is a key aspect to take into consideration. How many days a week should we assign for physical conditioning and how many for running?
It is advisable to conduct at least 2 days of physical conditioning, which should include exercises for your lower limbs, your upper limbs, and your core. Core muscles provide stability and enable the generation of strength and movement in your lower limbs, in addition to distributing shock forces and controlling and supplying efficiency to body movements.
The emphasis we place on the training of each section of our body will depend on the individual characteristics of each runner. For this reason, being able to receive help from a specialist who can guide your training is essential, because your training should be guided, supervised and planned, always ensuring that proper control exists of training workloads and intensities.