Strength training to become a better runner
If you’re a runner, you may think that the only way to improve your performance is by running more miles or doing more speed work. However, incorporating strength training into your routine can offer significant benefits that will enhance your running performance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of strength training for runners and provide tips for incorporating strength training into your routine.
Increased Running Economy
Running economy refers to how efficiently you use oxygen while running. Improving your running economy means you can run faster and farther without feeling fatigued. Strength training can help improve your running economy by strengthening your muscles and improving your running form. When you have strong, efficient muscles, you can run with less effort and use less oxygen, resulting in improved performance.
Reduced Risk of Injury
One of the most significant benefits of strength training for runners is the reduced risk of injury. Running puts a lot of stress on your muscles, joints, and bones, and strength training can help improve the resilience of these structures. By strengthening your muscles and improving your form, you can reduce the risk of common running injuries like shin splints, IT band syndrome, and plantar fasciitis.
Increased Muscle Endurance
Muscle endurance is the ability of your muscles to keep working over an extended period. Strength training can help increase your muscle endurance, allowing you to run faster and longer. When your muscles are strong, they are less likely to fatigue during a long run or race. Additionally, strength training can help improve the efficiency of your muscles, allowing you to use less energy during your runs.
Improved Power and Speed
Strength training can help improve your power and speed, which are essential for runners looking to set personal records. Plyometric exercises like jump squats, box jumps, and bounding can help improve your explosive power, which is essential for sprinting and short bursts of speed. Additionally, strength training can help improve your stride length and frequency, allowing you to run faster with less effort.
Improved Balance and Stability
Balance and stability are crucial for runners, especially those who run on uneven terrain or trails. Strength training can help improve your balance and stability by strengthening the muscles that support your joints. Exercises like lunges, squats, and single-leg deadlifts can help improve your balance and reduce the risk of falls or ankle sprains.
In conclusion, incorporating strength training into your running routine can offer significant benefits, including increased running economy, reduced risk of injury, increased muscle endurance, improved power and speed, and improved balance and stability. If you don’t really know what exercises you should be doing, how many times etc you can find more information here about my 12-week strength program that I designed specifically for runners.