I used to skimp on lower body strength training because legs get enough of a workout during weekly runs, right?
It’s a common misconception that strength training for the lower body is not necessary for people who do a great deal of cardiovascular exercise. But simply moving your lower body is VERY different than strengthening the muscles there.
Regular lower-body exercise not only increases bone strength, improves balance and stamina and decreases injuries to knees and hips, but it also helps slow the physical weakness that is part of the aging process and maintains balance, stamina and confidence.
I learned this the hard way during my last round of marathon training, so this time I’m not taking any chances. Here’s a fun four-miler that incorporates bouts of leg exercises between five-minute run segments on the treadmill:
For even more of a challenge, feel free to play with the incline. Aim to maintain at least a one percent grade throughout the workout to help prevent shinsplints, but if that’s too easy, adjust it up a few percentage points for a great way to increase the intensity of your workout without having to increase speed or impact on your body.