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2256 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2012 12:42 AM by Runnerdude77
Qalbi Rookie 4 posts since
Mar 27, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

May 24, 2012 2:51 AM

Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

Hey guys, I'm just wondering, is upper-body strength vital for running long distance? this worries me cause I don't work out on my upper-body and my lower-body but at least I get that from running. I haven't been doing lifts or anything like that so can I still run long distance even if there's not that much upper body strength?

 

On a side note, how do you reduce the tension before running a marathon?

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 24, 2012 6:01 AM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    I'm not a PT or MD, but have been running and reading about running a lot over the last couple years.  I think that the majority of folks will tell you that you don't need to be bulky strong in the upper body to be a strong runner.  What is very important, though, is balance and core strength.  You can develop these using some excercises which I don't have a list of, but are widely documented on the web and in books about running.  Whatever you do, though, be careful about ramping up.  You should be in no hurry to change your routine, but should get some good advice, read up, make your plans and take it slowly.

     

    Here's 2 other thoughts for you to consider:

     

    1. Try trail running.  If you always run smooth paths and roads, you don't challenge your body much and are using the same muscle groups most of the time.  Trail running is a whole different kind of game, with dynamic changes in pace, balance and grade coming at you every step of the way.  It can be a lot of fun, too.

     

    2. Invest in a couple hours of time with a Physical Trainer specializing in running, who can look at you and your style of running and make customized recommendations.  This is something I'm planning to do for the first time in my running life.  I found one I think I'll hire through my local YMCA.

    Good luck!





    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • EMTTrix Pro 60 posts since
    May 20, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 24, 2012 7:21 AM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    I agree whole hearted with JosephTree, I have been told to strengthen my core and upper body for balance, not "bulk."  I also heard that trail running is great for training because of the change up in terrain.  I myself have been sticking to the shoulders by my house.  I make sure my course has hills too, it has helped my pace dramaticly.  A trainer told me to jog with dumbbells in my hands for a few minutes at a time...its supposed to make your arms feel lighter when you actually run your race. 





    Weight Loss 32 lbs loss to date (since 01/2012)

    5k Races 2011

    Chicago Monster Dash 10/29/2011 - 53:10

    5k Races 2012

    Chicago Polar Dash 1/21/2012 - 49:00

    Hartland Healthy Life 5/19/2012 - 43:08

    Summerfest Rock 'n Sole 6/23/2012 - 39:56 PR

    Run with Wolfes 9/16/2012 -

    Susan G. Komen 9/23/2012 -

    Chicago Monster Dash 10/21/2012 -

    7k-10k Races 2012

    Chicago Get Lucky 3/18/2012 - 1:01:36

    Obstacles/Mud Runs 2012

    Dirty Girl Mud Run (WI) - 8/19/2012

    Keep on keepin' on!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 24, 2012 7:42 AM (in response to EMTTrix)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    Core and lower back are very important!  You will also benifit from a strong upper body, not body building but just a strong body overall.  You shoulders will hurt if not strong when you run for 2, 3,4,5 hours!

  • ALatteCrazy Pro 105 posts since
    Feb 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 24, 2012 11:34 AM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    Core strength is very important. I used to not cross train at all because I could never find something I liked enough to stick with it. I do jazzercise to cross train now and I like it - enough that I've been going for almost a year. It's made more of a difference than anything else, including boot camp, yoga, pilates, and trying different workouts on my own at the gym. I hate spin bikes and I'm not really into weight lifting as a way of life. The stronger your core is and the better your balance, the better you can run with less effort and the more kick you can have when you really need it, since your stronger body will compensate for your legs when you start burning out.

     

    I know that's what's responsible for my PR's this year . Find something you enjoy for cross training, it makes it easier to keep up with it! Hill training helps too, as well as running on more uneven surfaces, such as trails, dirt and grass at the park or kids' school, etc.





    ALatteCrazy


    Ontario Mills 10K Jan 21st 2012 - 49:32 3rd place women (PR)

    ARMC 5K March 10th 2012 - 23:02 1st place AG women (PR)

    SoCal Ragnar April 19-20 2012 Huntington Beach to Coronado Island - 24.5 miles total, 8:30 avg

    RoC Race Del Mar May 19th 2012 38:28 8th for div

    Fontana Days Half Marathon - June 2nd 2012 - 1:37 PR!!!! (1:48 in 2011)

    Wasastchback Ragnar June 15-16th 2012 Logan to Park City UT - TBA!

    Mojave Narrows Half - June 30th 2012 - TBA!

    Rockin the Desert Mud run - August 25th 2012 - TBA!

    Red Rock Relay - Sept 7-8th 2012 - Brian's Head to Zion UT - TBA!

    St George Marathon - Oct 6th 2012

    Las Vegas Ragnar - Nov 9-10th 2012


  • MarcusB092 Amateur 75 posts since
    Jul 28, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 10, 2012 8:33 PM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    Upper body doesn't affect lower body. DOn't listen to these people If my arms are strong or week it doesnt effect my legs. ANd stomach doesnt affect your legs either!

  • freerun Rookie 10 posts since
    Jul 3, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 13, 2012 3:07 PM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    Go to any marathon and watch in the later miles people slumped over from the waist struggling along. Could be a lack of training...could be a lack of core strength because they just focused on putting in the miles and didn't worry about their upper body.

     

    Unfortunately, when you're so tired, you can't run in a proper, upright position, you also are not getting enough oxygen in, thus making what is a tough effort even tougher. So, yes, upper body (core) strength is vital to distance running.

  • skypilot77 Legend 1,077 posts since
    Dec 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 13, 2012 4:55 PM (in response to MarcusB092)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    MarcusB092 wrote:

     

    Upper body doesn't affect lower body. DOn't listen to these people If my arms are strong or week it doesnt effect my legs. ANd stomach doesnt affect your legs either!


    The body is a system -- head to toe -- a weakness in one part of the body will affect the whole body. Thus, a strong core helps the entire body to function well -- including the legs.





  • Runnerdude77 Amateur 7 posts since
    Jul 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 23, 2012 12:42 AM (in response to Qalbi)
    Is upper body a vital part of running long distance?

    I would say your core and legs are important to work...upper body will come as the others do. But you sure don't need to be bulky to run good.

     

    http://runnerdude77.blogspot.com

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