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5 Reasons Runners Should Strength Train

5 Reasons Runners Should Strength Train

When most runners think about training, they refer to running. After running for so many miles each week, it's fairly easy to see why strength training isn't the first priority for most professional runners. Even though most runners believe that strength training may make them bulky and slow, strength and conditioning has been proved to be beneficial to improving performance in sprinters and runners in general (RR).

Here we shall cover the 5 main reasons as to why all runners would need to include strength training to their performance goals and objectives.

Makes You Run Faster

Strength training can indeed help you improve your speed. By placing stress via weights and resistance, strength training can push your body to adapt and change in order to increase to be able to handle that stress. Over the long term, the physiological adaptations positively influence your running speed. This is one of the reasons why a program created specifically for improving running performance is so important.

Athletes Run Fast - Brainsharp

Strength training has great benefits as it can increase your body’s muscle mass while decreasing your body fat percentage in addition to also increasing the amount of force your muscles can apply to the ground whilst running. This further aids in making each step more powerful, improving your maximal speed and maintaining high speeds for longer periods of time. Strength training also improves your muscular endurance and anaerobic power, which can help you give that final push at the very end of the race.

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Makes Your Bones and Connective Tissues Stronger

Running (or hitting the ground) is a repetitive process which may increase the risks of injuries in runners. In addition to improving muscle strength, strength training can help your bones and connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia, and cartilage) to positively adapt to stress placed on them, which can aid in preventing overuse injuries.

Similarly to the muscles’ ability to respond to resistance (by becoming stronger), stronger muscles slightly pull the bones they attach to, which means that bones and the structures around them respond and become stronger, too. Stronger bones and connective tissues (like Achilles tendon) can help runners endure and absorb the shocks from the consistent pavement pounding.

Improves Your Stamina

Running economy or stamina maintenance can be identified by how much energy and oxygen you use to run at a certain pace. The less energy and oxygen you use to run, the better your running economy or stamina. As running economy can indicate the efficiency and effectiveness of your body’s ability to run, strength training can assist in further improving it.

Strength training can make your strides more efficient which in essence refers to the fact that you can run better and longer while sustaining faster paces for long durations. In other words, your running economy or stamina will improved in addition to overall endurance performance.

Health Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Improves Running Form

Most people have a side that is more muscularly developed, which can lead to imbalances in strength or even certain movement patterns being imperfect. This can be one of the reasons as to why we may get aches in one side of the body (for example, left or right knee) but not the other which can impact the way our body moves and behaves. These unexpected movement patterns are created by muscle imbalances and can result in pain and injury over time.

Improve Running Form in Athletes

A strength training program specific to runners can target the correction of these muscular imbalances that are the cause of bad movement patterns. Better running form means less risk of overuse injury from bad movement mechanics, and more effective running.

Prevents the Risk of Injuries

Not only runners but also all athletes wish for fewer injuries and focus on avoiding them. A strength training plan will help runners strengthen the muscle areas surrounding the most frequently injured joints (like ankles, knees, hips and back), while making them stronger and more energy-usage resilient. When you improve your strength, your running mechanics will also improve, helping you avoid injury that may be caused by poor running form.

Improved durability will also help you run further and harder where intense training will help you achieve new levels of athletic performance and strength. In conclusion, strength training will result in getting the most out of your runs, both at physical and mental levels.

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