Footcare – Runners world – Orthotics and Orthopedic information
lift weights to run better

Getting Older Runners to Feel Young Once More



Strength Training is a simple strategy that will inject more youth into anyone body. Runner or otherwise.

A few samples of some of the scientifically proven benefits and how they impact an aging runner:

  • Lifting weights triggers higher levels of testosterone and growth hormone (anabolic hormones that build muscle)
  • Successful running for seniors depends on maintaining muscle strength and proper range of motion (what this is saying is never stop a training regime for extended periods)
  • Lifting creates denser mitochondria, the “energy factories” of the cells, which disallows them from shrinking, which otherwise accelerates as we age.

There is an element of hormonal function that requires some further explanation.

Running breaks down muscle, this is known as Catabolic. Typically this isn’t an issue because the recovery process rebuilds that muscle quickly and effectively. At least it does so in our youth.

As we age, however, that recovery process slows down. With less hormones assisting to get it done (strength training produces a surge of anabolic hormones which running doesn’t do).

Keep in mind that testosterone will reduce the impact of catabolic hormones, making other hormones (like IGF-1) more anabolic as well.

After a hard run your body isn’t flushed with muscle building hormones but it sure is after a heavy weight lifting session!

Coach Jay Johnson is quoted as saying:

“When you do strength work you get a hormonal stimulus that is different than you get running. Specifically, you up-regulate testosterone and human growth hormone, both anabolic hormones.

Anabolic simply means “building up.” Running is a catabolic, “breaking down,” activity.

When you view running the through the anabolic/catabolic lens, it makes sense that you would want to do some strength training to complement your running.”

What should you take from all this??? Lift weights and you will run much better into your older age – injury-free and with some semblance of our youth still intact. keep at and foot ailments as well as other conditions of negative health will be easier to ward off.

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