Other Episodes and Articles

343: How Your Daily Movement Affects Your Running

Jan 25, 2024


The Impact of Your Everyday Movement on Your Running Performance

Running often seems to take center stage when we look at our fitness routines. Whether we're training for a marathon, aiming for a personal best at a local 5K, or just using running as our main form of cardio, we frequently focus exclusively on our training related to running.

However, this tunnel vision might actually be limiting our overall progress and affecting our running performance more than we realize. Alongside our focused running efforts, our everyday movements known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure (T.D.E.E) also play a significant role in our running performance and well-being. 


Your Everyday Movement Matters

What we do when we're not running can have a significant impact on our running performance. This includes our daily movement outside running like the obligations, chores and tasks we complete, and how we handle stress. As it turns out, your movements outside your runs truly matter. Understanding how our daily routines, lifestyles, and physical tasks outside running affect us as runners can not only help us to improve our health in all areas, but also shape our running performance.

For those of us with active, labor-intensive jobs or daily activities, too much movement can lead to tiredness, soreness, and even potential injury if not balanced with adequate rest and the right nutrition.

However, for those of us with sedentary jobs or simply less active routines, not enough movement can lead to reduced power and the weakening of critical muscles. finding the right balance key is to ensure we are optimizing our body function for both our lifestyle and our running goals.


Finding the Right Balance

If you relate more to the sedentary group, there are steps you can take to improve your daily movement and therefore, your running performance. One simple way to incorporate more mobility into your day is to take relaxed walks outside your running routine. Even walking your dog can benefit you, promoting body movement that, though different from running, is still beneficial.

Another solution can be to spend more time lying on your stomach or side when not standing or sitting. This can help prevent your hip flexors from shortening - a common issue among those who sit for extended periods. Alternatively, gentle mobility exercises and even adopting a standing desk can help incorporate more movement into your day, further improving your overall health and running feats.

For those representing the more active group, prioritizing ample recovery time, including planned rests, is essential. Scheduling rest days after high-intensity activities and ensuring you’re properly fueling your body can all contribute to preserving your running performance and overall well-being.


Seeing the Whole Picture

Too often, we compartmentalize our running — viewing it as a separate part of our lives. However, we forget our legs don't stop working once we leave the track or trail; they're still required for the rest of our day-to-day routines. Understanding how these activities impact our running capabilities and how we can leverage them can go a long way in improving not only our running performance but our overall fitness.

Remember, running is only one part of our lives - albeit an important one. In order to truly be the best runners we can be, it's crucial to consider our whole lifestyle. By embracing the impact of our daily movement along with our dedicated running efforts, we can boost our running performance and overall health in ways we never thought possible. Next time you lace up your running shoes, remember to account for the rest of your daily movement, too. It may just be the key to unlocking your next running breakthrough.

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