Are you Running or Training?

I’ve been curious for years about this, ever since I was an 8 year old kid running laps around the soccer field for practice.

Can anyone honestly tell me, since when did running become ‘working out?’

Why do we relate running, swimming, rowing or cycling to ‘working out?’

I hate to point out the obvious here but it’s a sport, like any other. Yet, somewhere along the line we’ve twisted its meaning to be synonymous with ‘working out’.

It’s running, it’s an athletic endeavour, just like playing basketball or tennis is. In the same way a basketball player plays basketball to get better at basketball you run to get better at running. It may be slightly less complicated a sport than many, but there are many simple sports out there.

You may also participate in it for fun, but if you’re training then the objective should be to get better; no?

We don’t say we’re going for a workout, time to throw the javelin around,  or its time we went to the gym to do some triple jump. Do we?

Yet I’ve met incredibly fit individuals who play both of those sports.

I want clear up this misconception.

Training (AKA Working Out) is actually the complement, training has a plan, a progression that makes you stronger, more powerful, leaner, capable of lasting longer, faster, more agile, more accurate, more stable, more mobile, or better at other ‘skills,’ like those that I just listed. This includes lifting weights and using your body-weight, in manipulated fashion to achieve the desired outcome. Which is typically performance, weight-loss, or weight maintenance.

Working out (Training) should be the 2-6 times a week — with some weeks off here and there — you spend in the gym or on the field working on movement skills and fundamentals, not the sport itself. It is how we make ourselves better at our sport. Developing those skills is an effort to make you a better runner, or a better football player, or a better tennis player, or etc…etc…

In other words get ‘fit’ so you can run, jog, cycle or row more effectively and not the other way around.

So please, if you’re heading to the gym today for a run, if you want that run to yield results, aim to improve something, anything, just a little bit each time.

 

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