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Dr. Lorenzo Lotti, Running Coach

Gait, leaps, hops, free body exercises and muscle strengthening exercises, with or without load: they are all excellent exercises for improving the neuromuscular characteristics most important for running.

As far as strengthening is concerned, there are two types of exercise:

  • free body muscle strengthening exercises, which can be performed at home without equipment (except with the help of a mat and possibly some elastic bands)
  • weight-bearing strengthening exercises, to be carried out in the gym (unless you have the equipment at home!) and intended for more advanced athletes.

Muscle strengthening – circuit at home

25-30 minutes are enough to complete a circuit dedicated to running. If it's difficult for you to do it every day, try to include it in your training routine at least four times a week.

The circuit that I propose to my students consists of functional and isometric exercises for the whole body: lower limbs, core and also the upper part of the body.

With these exercises we are able to strengthen the muscles that we use most during running, but also those that are used indirectly and which however serve to stabilize our posture.

Muscle strengthening can be carried out throughout the preparation, even in the specific or maintenance phase. In fact, the body loses its muscular trophism very quickly, and for this reason it is good to be constant. These exercises can only be suspended in the last two or three days before the race.

Weight-bearing strengthening – in the gym

The more advanced we become runners, the more strengthening can be expanded with specific exercises, even personalized ones. We are not all the same, each of us has weaknesses, pathologies and problems.

For beginners, circuit exercises to do at home may be enough. While for the advanced runner, instead, alongside the free body strengthening circuit, it is a good idea to include some weight-bearing exercises in the gym. You can use weights, barbells or dedicated machines, such as the press or the leg-extension machine.

Strength exercises in the gym should be included when some speed exercises have already been included. This is the best time to improve your empowerment too.

Instead, advanced athletes will be able to do strength exercises twice a week; for intermediate athletes, one session every seven days is sufficient.

However, lifting weights during the week of the competition should be avoided.

Maximum loads should be avoided: we must become stronger but we must not put on too much volume! Otherwise we risk the extra weight penalizing us, especially over long distances such as the half marathon or marathon.

Here are the best strength exercises in the gym that I recommend to my students:

* Lunges

* Weighted squats (if you're doing it for the first time, get guidance from a fitness instructor)

* Deadlift (straight-legged push-ups)

* Deadlift on step (which allows you to bend "below" the level of your feet)

* Raise on your toes with weights to strengthen the Achilles tendons

* Press leg

* Leg extension

* Deadlift recommended only for the advanced runner, who has the possibility of carrying out the exercise under the supervision of a trainer. If this exercise is done incorrectly, you risk injury.

It's important to train but recovery is equally fundamental! Especially in this phase where we are going to include exercises and workouts that inevitably cause fatigue and additional work on our muscles.

I use after every challenging session:

  • Idrobagno iu Fill the bathtub with hot water, pour the contents of a bottle and immerse yourself. In a few moments a pleasant sensation of psycho-physical well-being will envelop the body. In the shower: pour the contents of the bottle onto the damp sponge and massage all over the body to obtain the same anti-fatigue and refreshing effect after sporting activity.
  • Olio Strongful it is a mixture of essential oils that acts on muscle stiffness and the reabsorption of lactic acid, promoting recovery after effort, making it perfect for activity and sports massage. Anti-fatigue and decontracting.
  • Balsamo BeC it is particularly suitable and effective after training and for sports massage.

It reduces stiffness and muscle and joint contractures thanks to black cumin oil and soothing and calming essential oils. Furthermore, it relieves localized painful states, even of a traumatic nature.

My final advice in running is to always operate gradually, both in volume and intensity, and to combine the right products for recovery, improvement and consolidation, to run longer, better and faster.

According to my philosophy, to run for a long time, better and much faster it is important to also include strengthening exercises in the training program, so dedicating your training only to running is not enough!

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