Metabolism is one of those things that’s often talked about in the discussion of exercise and health, but do we really know what it’s all about? Most people think that metabolism is a by-product of running which is partially true but the fact remains that building metabolism is the very first chapter of your running story.
For those that don’t quite see the difference – the faster your metabolism builds, the faster you reach the finish line. In short, it takes place within your cells to produce energy required to keep you going.
Building your metabolism is a standalone skill that requires you to religiously follow a set regime and exercise routine. And that’s why we’ve compiled the perfect checklist to help you speed up in no time.
If you’re an amateur runner then the ‘hamstring pull’ should be no news to you – it happens to the best of us. The hamstrings are one of the core muscle groups that you will need to train hard, especially if you’re planning to run a marathon.
About 15-20 minutes of the infamous Hamstring Curl will boost your metabolism and get you right on track. To perform the perfect Hamstring Curl, lie on your back with your heels elevated on an exercise ball. Raise your hips and create a straight line between your shoulders, knees and ankles. Bend your knees rolling the ball towards you and straighten them by rolling back to the starting position.
Ever wondered why most of us experience shin pains or lower back pain while running? That’s because one of the strongest muscle groups (the glutes) are actually quite weak. Athletes Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and every pro runner will have iron glutes to support, stabilise and strengthen the body’s posture while running.
Alternate kettlebell swings and squats will tone your glutes and create a fast, dynamic impulse so that you can adjust to smooth transitions and spontaneous accelerations.
Maintaining a firm posture is top priority for Olympic runners. This is where the quadriceps muscle group comes in. Comprising of four different muscles, activating the quads will give you the strength and stability you need to finish your lap without feeling any strain.
The Leg Press is a great way to tone your quads. You can choose from a closer foot position to target the outer quads and use a wider stance for the inner thighs. A great tip to pump up your metabolism is by starting with a decreasing order of weights for your rep to mix up your weight variations.
Basic core exercises can prep you for sprints, long distances and even triathlons. The core comprises of the main muscle groups that stabilise and balance your torso, not to mention stabilising the spine which is essential during exercise. Some of the simplest exercises like planking and side planking, crunches and the Russian twist can shape your abdominal muscles and strengthen your core, all leading to an acceleration of your metabolism.
The thing about the calves is that they always get worked up even if you’re jogging on-the-spot, which is why stretching is super important if you want to avoid cramps. Simple leg raises with 5 reps on each side should keep your calves nice and strong, and ready to take on a workout.
A few simple stretching exercises will keep your calves relaxed, keeping you focused on your game, leaving you to run like there’s no tomorrow.