Q. I’m training for a 10k and have noticed that despite the hours I’ve spent on the pavement, my endurance has not gotten any better. I feel like my legs just aren’t strong enough to keep going. What can I do to keep this from happening so I can go further without tiring?
A. A simple solution is to incorporate a few days of strength training into your running program. Muscle fatigue is caused by a buildup of lactic acid (that burn you’re feeling) in your working muscles. Increasing your leg strength through resistance exercise will make your muscles more efficient at converting lactic acid into energy for your run – not to mention those hills won’t seem as treacherous once you’ve gotten stronger. Better yet, you’ll become less prone to injury since resistance training strengthens the connective tissue around and within the joints, not just the muscles themselves. One other thing you should consider is flexibility training. Tight muscles can fatigue quickly and are also more prone to injury. A personal trainer can design a customized resistance and flexibility program based around your running schedule and individual needs.
Blair Meadows is the manager at Fitness Together, a private personal training studio in Greensboro. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-G and is certified through the American Council on Exercise, Titleist Performance Institute and The American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists.