Do runners need to do strength training?
There’s an ongoing debate in the running community about strength training. Do I need to do it? Is it a waste of time? Are there benefits or is it just a trend? The answer is a definite yes – you do need to incorporate strength training if you want to see improved results on the clock. Let’s take a look at some reasons why strength training is great for runners.
Improves whole body systems Running increases your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Every time you train you work your heart and lungs, which increases their capability over time. You will see increased speed and results if you also strengthen your muscles, and this is where deliberate strength exercises come in.
Reduce injury Some running injuries occur when too much running is taken on too quickly, overtiring leg muscles. This can lead to a reduced range of movement, hampering stride. When leg and hip flexor muscle groups are targeted, range of motion is increased. This will translate to longer distances, less pain and a more efficient stride.
Do it right Don’t schedule your strength training for your rest days. Follow up a run with a short weights session, as your muscles will be warm and ready for more action. This will also make sure your rest days really are for recovery.
You only need to incorporate a strength routine once or twice a week. Keep your reps low and slow. If you try to lift quickly, you’ll put stress on your joints. Slower lifts means increased muscle work, which will translate to better results. Train to fatigue but not to total muscle failure.
Make it work for you Bodyweight exercises are fantastic as they can be done anywhere. Push ups, squats and sit-ups are flexible and they work. But don’t feel like that’s all you can do. Working on isolated muscle groups is smart, and sometimes this is best done at the gym. The specialised equipment can help focus your effort, gaining efficient results. Do what works for you.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site