Running Doesn't Improve Running
My Training History:
6 years of strength hypertrophy training
~1872 Training Sessions
Programmed Cardio: 0 sessions
No. of Runs all-time: 2 runs (in 25 years)
3 Mile (~5km) time: 22:27
You may be thinking, how can someone get a decent (if I do say so myself) 3 miles run time without any running training their whole life? I don’t run.
Running does not make you a better runner. Yes if I did a few of these over the next few weeks I may be able to shave some time off in the form of 20-30s, purely down to tolerance. What I want to explain is how doing something over and over does not mean you improve that activity. If you want to improve your sleep, sleeping alone will not help. If you wanted to improve your muscle mass, hypertrophy training alone will not be sufficient. If you wanted to improve your vocabulary, speaking alone will not improve your vocab. You get the picture? To improve sleep, you must do countless things outside of sleep to better the quality. If you wanted to build muscle tissue, you could train for hypertrophy for 20 years and still not build muscle if other factors were not installed alongside training for the 20 years. If you wanted to improve your vocabulary, you need to read, study and learn, not just speak. Running, will not improve running. Hence why many ‘runners’ will probably have 3 mile times longer than mine.
This is similar to Personal Training, something I heard the other day. Some people may have 20 years experience in training people, but if 20 of those years that trainer has delivered the same sessions, with the same approach and the same beliefs. That is not 20 years experience, that’s equal to 1 year experience. In 20 years excessive new findings, studies, beliefs and methodologies are proven and disproven, so over the 20 years experience, your training service would look totally different from year 1. In my 6-7 years experience, I have challenged beliefs, studied every topic, applied multiple methods and found the correct formula - for now - which I imagine will change in the next 5 years, its evolution.
Just like anything, in the world of physics, to produce movement when must produce force. For faster movement, more force. Simple. You want a decent run time? Put two and two together. Runners still prioritising running and not force production will be forever missing a trick. Your training should not be ‘strength maintenance and recovery’ while nailing the miles on the road. Your training should be strength and hypertrophy focused, and sprinkling in a few runs as a performance indicator, while building that tolerance (as previously mentioned). Moral: 20 years experience doesn’t make you better. It’s how you’ve approached those 20 years.
Those that continuously post better run times, in time and distance will the the ones that can squat 1.5x their bodyweight and more, deadlift 2x their bodyweight...and more, and generally are exceptionally strong. Stop focusing on running, and focus on every other component that improves your running exponentially.
A huge point people really underestimate is mental state. I firmly believe, as I discovered this morning on my 2nd ever run, that your time will represent how willing you are to become comfortable, extremely far outside your comfort zone. My heart had nothing left, my lungs were bursting, but my brain wanted more, so I did more. So many people struggle to stay outside of comfortable, thus struggle to perform well.
On a side note, numerous studies indicate anything between 30-50 miles of running and more, has extremely detrimental effects to your long term health.
P.S I am no running coach, and don't intent to be, because I won't tell someone to run, run, and run.
As always, any questions drop me a message. If, not, go and get STRONG.
Luke French | Health & Physique Coach
Tunbridge Wells, Personal Trainer, Personal Training, Fitness, Health, Performance, Body Composition, Fat Loss, Kent