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Strength training for running?

by Daniel Diamond

Can strength training improve your running?

In a word, YES!

I am 34 and have been running since I was a child. I enjoy various other sports on and off, such as Judo, Football, even Rugby (though I’m only little!) but running is always there.  During the last 15 years, I have also taken to weight training and weightlifting (which are topics for an entirely different article). I work as a PE Instructor for the Civil Service. I have gained many qualifications within a gym based environment. 

In my experience, weight training or resistance training is invaluable to runners if done correctly and in combination with your running.

What is Strength Training?

Most people will think of body builders or powerlifters; however there are different types of strength training. Heavy weights and low numbers of repetitions (reps) will improve the maximum weight you can lift. Lower weights and lots of reps will help improve muscular strength for endurance.

Weight training or resistance training is invaluable to runners if done correctly

Daniel Diamond

What are the benefits of Strength Training?

Injury prevention

Strength training can help prevent injury. When strength training, muscles pull over the joints of bones of which they are attached. These movements help improve the ability of the ligaments which go over the joints and also the tendons which are attached to the muscles. The stronger they are, the less likelihood of injury.

Improve performance

2-3 strength training sessions a week can help maintain and improve your running performance. The exercise choice is key help this improvement. Choose compound strength exercises such as Squats / Lunges / Pull ups / Press ups / Shoulder press / Plank Try starting off with 1 session a week and build up the number of sessions over time. Always run before weights, if the goal is to improve running. Complete 12 or more repetitions of each exercise, at least 3 times (sets). Make sure you rest for 2 minutes in between each set. As a beginner, start with your own body weight and then built up the resistance with bands and then add weights. The main goal of your training should be running, so if you find that strength training is taking precedence over running then main goal will detract from improving your running.

Give it a go

If you want to know any more about any weight training or resistance training for running or just to improve your overall health, please do not hesitate to contact me through the running group… I’m the one on the left.

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