Monday, December 26, 2011

Strength Matters

Okay, I can't deny it any longer.

I've been blinded. Blinded by my love for Running. I mean, we've been flirting for years, but I've always managed to keep it casual. Involve other sports in my life.

Swimming I had been seeing before I even met Running. Even after I had found my match I would regularly spend afternoons with Dance or Yoga just to keep things interesting. And then there were the trips to the gym. Not my favorite, but I couldn't avoid an occasional rendezvous.

But in the past couple months, I've been overcome by my passion for Running. It seems that now I'm more of a one-sport girl, and we just can't have that.

But why, you may ask? What's wrong with being loyal to Running?

The answer: Running isn't everything. A routine of running alone puts an athlete at risk of both serious injury and serious monotony. That's why strength matters.

When we run, we are primarily working the muscles in our legs. That's why runners have kickass calves, hamstrings, quads, and gluts. Of course, running works out other parts of the body as well, but not nearly to the same degree as it works the legs.

Working muscles groups in your core, arms, and back with not only improve total body health, but also make you a better runner with fewer injuries.

That's why today, I did strength exercises for 30 minutes. Crunches, pushups, planks, calf raises. You name it, I did it. It didn't look pretty, and it wasn't as fun as hitting the pavement. Not even close. But if I want to maintain a healthy relationship with running I need to include other activities in my life. That is why, from now on I'm going to make a point of including more swimming, dancing, yoga, and rock climbing in my life.

I am not going to be a one-sport girl any longer.

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