If running is your passion, your biggest challenge may not be finding time to run. After all, running for you is like eating and sleeping. How could you not find time to do these things? Instead, your biggest challenge as a runner may be finding the time to do the supplemental work needed to support that running.
I understand. If I had my druthers, I’d rather be out for a run—every day, rain or shine. And that’s just the weekdays where the runs are short, scheduled to fit around life’s many commitments. Then the weekend comes and opens up a large block of time for that long run. Like Pavlov’s dog, I start salivating in advance, anticipating the freedom I’ll have to run and do nothing else for a few uninterrupted hours as the worries of the work week recede into the distance. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful day than to be outside running. And, then, if the weather is good and time permits, get up the next day and do it again.
But if we run all the time and neglect mobility, flexibility and strength work—thinking we’ll do it later if we can find some extra time—we end up doing our running a disservice. In truth, the more we run, the more we need to set aside time for mobility, flexibility and strength work. We may not immediately notice the impact of neglecting these supplemental activities, but over time the impact adds up.
The bottom line is this: the more we run, the more important it is to consistently set aside time to do the supplemental work that supports that running. With that in mind, below are five strength building exercises and five yoga poses to help you stay healthy and injury-free so you can run more.
The key is to consistently work these into your training routine. I recommend hitting at least three of the strength exercises as part of your pre-run warmup and at least three of the yoga poses as part of your post-run warmdown. In addition, just as you schedule a longer run once a week, schedule a longer strength/flexibility session once a week—perhaps on your recovery day.
Be consistent and be patient. If you have a hard time staying motivated for the supplemental work, remind yourself you’re doing this to support your ability to run more!