By: Anthony Campo
5ks and “Runs”
Running seems to be a sport that has really risen in popularity over the past couple of decades. In fact, it has become so popular that it seems as if every weekend there is a new run out there to participate in. These runs can be a great way to bring people together with something active, and raise money and awareness for various causes. With that being said, there is much about these “runs” that can be very detrimental when not done properly,
Running is an extremely complex movement that should be trained properly. It should be viewed like any other sport, however because just about anybody can go out jogging no matter how atrocious the form, it is a popular choice amongst individuals looking to exercise. The majority of individuals that participate in these runs or start running for exercise do not spend the necessary time training to improve their mechanics. Running is a highly repetitive movement which means that if your mechanics are not proper, it is only a matter of time before you suffer an injury. Jumping right into running for exercise or competition without any preparatory training is the equivalent of someone that has never been trained in martial arts jumping into an octagon to fight because they want to lose a couple pounds… not smart.
As soon as the weather gets nice you will see hordes of individuals venture out jogging down the road trying to shed excess winter poundage. These individuals go from doing nothing all winter to prioritizing running as their primary source of exercise. Not only is this a great way to breed pain and dysfunction, it is also an extremely inefficient way to try and lose weight and improve your body composition over the long run. In fact, if jogging is your primary source of exercise over time your body will actually become more efficient at storing fat and burning muscle. This is the exact opposite of what most people want, and lack of proper education in this matter is leading to a progressively fatter and injured society. Even if you do experience some weight loss initially by running, understand that you are most likely losing a high percentage of muscle, and training to be a fat storage machine. If jogging is your primary source of exercise, weight loss success will be short lived, and your body is highly likely to put the weight right back on as soon as there is some off time. In fact, advanced endurance athletes must work extensively to try and slow down the damage the body incurs from participating in endurance sports such as biking, running, or cross-country skiing.
Resistance training on the other hand is superior for building muscle and turning the body into a fat burning machine. Individuals who prioritize resistance training along with higher intensity training methods will continue to improve their body composition for both the short and the long term, and are far less likely to put the fat back on even during time off.