Rac­ing snakes step aside – lean, mus­cu­lar ath­letes are tak­ing to the fore, bring­ing their av­o­cado and selfie sticks with them

Trail Running (UK) - - Contents -

Train­ing and nu­tri­tion for a lean, mus­cu­lar, real body

Work­ing as a per­sonal trainer back in the early noughties, I fought an uphill bat­tle try­ing to con­vince clients that it was bet­ter to be fit and carry a few ex­tra pounds than skinny but barely able to squat your own body­weight. For­tu­nately, we now live in more en­light­ened times and there’s been a move away from model skin­ni­ness in favour of a more achiev­able, real body.

So, how does #strong­not­skinny ap­ply to you as a run­ner? Stick­ing solely to dis­tance run­ning cer­tainly isn’t the way to go. It’s catabolic – mean­ing it breaks down body tis­sue, in­clud­ing valu­able lean mus­cle mass – works through a lim­ited range of move­ment, and barely touches your up­per body. In­cor­po­rat­ing some re­sis­tance work into your train­ing, how­ever, will build strength, in­crease re­silience to in­jury and im­prove your speed and power.

You don’t need to hit the gym; ; find a park with a fit­ness trail or throw in some ex­er­cises dur­ing a run. Or tryry some new ac­tiv­i­ties to chal­lenge your body, such as rock climb­ing or Ash­tanga yoga. The take-home mes­sage? Chal­leng­ing your body in new ways will reap mass ben­e­fits when you re­turn to the trails. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some sug­ges­tions…

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