Does Running Makes You Less Fit?

April 27 | Posted by The Staff | Training

Training For a 5k or Half Marathon The majority of people who run or have considered taking up running are motivated by the goal of improving their health and overall fitness. Many people choose to take up running over other exercise options because it doesn’t require expensive equipment and there are no restrictions on where and when you can run. Embarking on a running program can easily begin once the decision is made. Investing in a good pair of running shoes is the only necessary equipment you will need to get started, and your running course lies on the other side your front door. Running provides the perfect exercise solution for anyone who may have to work around a hectic schedule and a tight budget.

Decades of research and studies have provided a wealth of information on the numerous health benefits that come with regular vigorous exercise. It is the core of physical education in the schools, which accounts for the most sedentary people being knowledgeable on the subject of the physical and psychological benefits of maintaining a regular exercise routine. Fitness training and exercise are essential for living a long and healthy life. and running provides the most efficient means to achieving maximum fitness. Running for thirty minutes just three days a week will increase bone density, lower blood pressure, promote weight loss and relieve stress among other benefits.

Running to improve and maintain overall health has been widely acclaimed as one of the most effective measures you can take towards reaching optimum fitness. Studies are now shedding light on the fact that running can actually make you less fit. It may seem ridiculous, but tests that measure various levels of fitness indicate that although endurance training has many benefits it also depletes power.

Fitness assessments are calculated based on the results of a simple test that measures a persons’ anaerobic capacity or power output. Measuring a persons’ anaerobic capacity is simply evaluating the capacity that a person can sustain high levels of power output. The test consists of intensive pedaling on a stationary bike for thirty seconds. The resistance remains fixed throughout the test and results are measured and recorded at five second intervals. The average of the five second intervals for the entire thirty second test is regarded as a reliable indicator of a persons anaerobic capacity.

Test subjects invariably produced the highest output levels in the first five second interval. Subsequent intervals showed decreased output levels throughout the remainder of the test which is indicative of fatigue. A common misconception is that fitness improves while training when in fact it improves while resting. When a trained athlete who is at their peak fitness level and a person who is considered to be fairly inactive take the same test, the athlete will invariably produce lower output levels than their inactive counterpart. Based on these facts, if you were to compare the test results taken during a runners’ peak race training period and then again after a few weeks of no running at all, the runner will have a higher power output score after the non-training period.

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