Depending on your sport you may or may not have dedicated time to your running technique. Even if your goals are focused on lifting heavy, knowing the proper way to run is beneficial and can be incorporated into any training routine. Adjusting the volumes and time domains around running is up to you and your coach but learning this skill is essential.
As humans our bodies have developed both the anatomy and energy systems to make us highly capable runners. It can be a great way to break up your training, provides you a chance to get into nature, and can be a great form of meditation.
“Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.” – Steve Prefontaine
Running and Genetics
In the early evolution of humans we developed several characteristics that lead us to be exceptional long distance runners. The muscles of the legs and glutes grew stronger, our feet got bigger, our ability to cool down via sweating improved, and our brains improved at maintaining homeostasis during rigorous endurance activities. This allowed us to become “persistence hunters,” tracking animals for long distances until they were too worn out to put up a fight.
Fast forward to today. Long distance running and other feats of endurance are primarily recreational as we rarely need to hunt in order to eat. Running now optional, it has become a skill that some use and others lose. Running however, is part of what makes us human. It can only be assumed that having evolved and adapted as runners to optimize our physical health, running would play an important role.
Mental Health Benefits
Not only does running keep our body healthy but it also stimulates brain growth and function as well. Findings at the University of Liverpool found that “Aerobic exercise increases anterior hippocampus size. This expansion is linked to the improvement of memory, which reflects the improvement of learning as a function of running activity in animal studies.” Aerobic activity like running actually helps our brain improve function. Not only that but it can be a great way to sort out thoughts and clear your head when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Plus the release of endorphins provides an instant mood boost!
If you care about squatting, nutrition, and mobility but can’t remember the last time you ran more than a mile it might be time to lace up. If you have questions or you are not sure where to start, talk to one of our trainers that can teach you the proper mechanics for running, sprinting, and other essential skills.