If you’re serious about running and getting better then strength training should form part of your training programme. A personal trainer can help you reach your race potential and reduce the chance of injury by selecting the most appropriate exercises to include in your training programme.
So why do we need to include strength training within our running training programme? Before I get started and explain the benefits of strength training for runners, let me just say… If done correctly it will not have the same effect as if you were training like a bodybuilder. The sheer volume of training that a runner would experience in their training programme is far less than that of a bodybuilder so an increase in muscle mass is unlikely.
Okay so the benefits: –
Simply the stronger your body is the more resilient it will be. Running is a highly repetitive movement and the constant pounding of roads will take its toll at some point in your running career.
Strength training will clearly target the muscles being used but will also target the connective tissues surrounding the muscles and joints. By strengthening these tissues you’ll have a better chance of staying injury free and being able to enjoy your running for longer.
Improved running economy and performance
Resistance training, including training to develop strength and power has been shown to improve running economy in many studies over the years. Strength training can increase your maximum force at which your foot pushes you off the ground. This means that you’ll use a lower percentage of your maximum force with every step; therefore you’ll be able to run faster for a longer duration.
Here’s an example of a basic kettlebell workout that you can complete in around 20 mins. Remember just like running its about commitment. To see any long term gains you’ll need to commit to a 2 to 3 times weekly programme to reap the benefits.
Warm up – 2-3 min jog
- Squat and two-handed shoulder press 3 x 8
- Front lunge 3 x 8 each leg
- Renegade rows 3 x 10
- Sumo squats 3 x 8
- Reverse lunges 3 x 8 each leg
Aim to increase the resistance each week as you become stronger.