Running requires exact coordination of all the muscles in your body. The muscles in ones upper body hold to work in an optimal running position that is head up, chest open, elbows bent, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging. While the muscles in ones lower body and abdominal core constantly works during a run. It stabilizes ones trunk so it can efficiently move the legs and arms. Long-distance running requires a balance in energy, as it is very energy consuming. It requires mental determination and conditioning exercises.
What is conditioning exercise?
Conditioning exercises are exercises that increase athletic skill and physical fitness but at the same time decreasing the chance of sports injuries. Several programs are formulated and these include weight training, aerobic exercise, plyometrics, calithenics, and exercises based n real-life motions. These vary depending on fitness goals and athletes adaptability level to fitness and athletes level (beginners versus experienced).
The principle behind conditioning exercises is based on the fact that the body must be challenged in such a way that it adapts to the stress of exercise. To achieve excellent athletic performance, athletes use targeted, specific movements that mimic the moves used in the field or court.
There are two kind of conditioning exercises: aerobic condition and anaerobic conditioning. Aerobic conditioning uses oxygen t produce energy and it increases cardiovascular endurance and lung capacity. It includes any activity that increases heart rate and challenges heart and lung capacity. On the other hand, anaerobic conditioning does not use oxygen when producing energy. It is appropriate for sports that call for intense, sudden burst of strength or speed that are difficult to do for an extended period of time. Example of this kind of exercise includes sprinting and weight training.
Here is a list for best conditioning exercises for long distance runners:
a. Core conditioning exercise. Abdominal core muscles are very important to condition for any runner. These muscles constantly work during a run as it stabilizes one’s trunk to efficiently move the legs and arm. Some of the exercises for the core muscles include abdominal crunch, which is performed in sets of 20 or more to be done in a slow, controlled, repetition until muscular fatigue is reached. One may do abdominal crunch variations such as hands on ears or arms above the head, the squirm performed in 16020 repetitions per set, Leg push away, the prone plank and other prone plank variations, the staff, side hover and body weight high bridge.
b. Cardio-respiratory Endurance Training makes the heart and lungs to gradually and consistently work without strain. These two organs must be in good condition if running long distances. It includes jogging, dynamic warm up and timed 2-mile run or 16-minute run, or even the simple climbing up and down the stairs.
c. Sprint Work out/Interval Workout/Form Running Drills increases one’s capacity to run hard and fast over a long period of time. It includes light jog, stretch, dynamic warm-up, form running skills, sprints, and agility drills/plyometrics.
d. Dynamic Warm-up Routine is a superior way to prepare for any physical activity. It does not take any more time yet is more focused, effective and productive. Moreover, it maintains warmth in the body and muscles since it involves continuous movement. It also enhances coordination, motor ability as well as nervous system and prepares one’s mind for the run ahead. Proper mental preparation is equally important to an athlete. Some of the routines include half- mile light jog together with static stretching. Dynamic movements to be performed each of the following for 30 yards are as follows: saxon side bends, torso twists, lean backs, high knees, butt kicks, walking lunges, walking leg kick/toe touch, carioca, explosive skips for height, long striders, donkey kicks, windmill twists, push-ups, mountain climbers, mountain jumpers, burpees, elbow or knee touches, lunge with knee raise, elbow/knee touches, lunge with knee raise, body weight squats, body weight squat jumps, hip crossover, scorpion, backward lunge twist and jumping jacks.
e. Form-Running Skills is as important as stamina and endurance. For any competition, a runner should be equipped with the required skills. To enhance one’s capacity, he or she may do the following: focus and pull, rotate and pull, hammer and squeeze, drive and hang, snap and extend and three-fourths stride
f. Sprint Routine is important to ready a runner for the race.
Conditioning exercises improves the ability of one’s leg to push against the ground, increase the frequency of strides and enhance the endurance of ones core and body muscles. It also augments the capacity of cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular system to transport and utilize energy. So before hitting the ground, make sure to do conditioning exercises, especially if one is running in long distance.