Strength training is a type of exercise that is completed against resistance. Dependent on your workout goals and fitness, the resistance which you use may be your body weight, resistance bands, or weights. Resistance training is fundamental to maintaining muscle mass, which may improve your metabolic rate, functional capacity, fitness as well as athletic performance.
Strength training for runners is frequently neglected in favour of getting kilometres under your belt. Resistance training has the potential to lower your injury risk through correcting muscle imbalances and developing muscle activation, as well as improving the efficiency of your running biomechanics. This results in enhanced running performance.
So how many strength training sessions should a runner be doing? The length of your runs will be the best way in order to determine this. Middle and shorter distance runners should be aiming for between two and three times per week on low volume training days or rest days. Longer distance runner (for example, ultra-marathon) should do strength blocks, building a solid strength base initially and then decreasing strength training volume as your running volume ramps up.
The Benefits Of Strength Training For Runners
Whether you’re looking to become faster, stronger, or lose weight, doing strength training can assist you with achieving your fitness goals. Here are some ways that strength training could enhance your running programme.
Increased Running Efficiency
If you’ve ever felt your form fall apart as you become fatigued toward the end of a long run or race, strength training can assist. Strengthening your core can assist you to improve and maintain your running form. This translates into improved running efficiency.
This is very crucial for those who are training for a long-distance event such as a half or full marathon because small improvements in efficiency can make a massive difference over all those kilometres.
Including more lean muscle mass will boost your metabolism. This means that you’ll burn more calories both at rest as well as during workouts. A lot of runners find that adding strength training to their training regimen boosts their weight-loss effort and assists them to bust through a weight-loss plateau.
Improved Endurance And Reduced Fatigue
Strength training assists your body better deal with the stresses of running. Your muscles can perform longer before becoming fatigued, which will assist you with maintaining your proper running form. Boosting your strength will assist you to fight off hitting the wall or cramping up during the late stages of a long-distance race.
How Can You Add Strength Training Into Your Routine?
It can be slightly intimidating to work out at a gym if you’re not used to it. However, it’s a great way to access to all the equipment as well as space you need. If you’re not sure about how to strength train on your own, taking a group class such as CrossFit, Barre, TRX, yoga, or Pilates are all fantastic options.
If you would rather be outside, take your weights with you and do bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, lunges, and planks. Alternatively, use equipment such as benches for tricep dips and bars on a playground for inverted rows.
In addition, you can integrate cross-training, such as cycling or swimming, into your workout routine in order to build strength and flexibility in muscles that running doesn’t utilise and to help prevent injury.
Concentrating on different body parts on different days is another very effective way to organise your strength training each week. That way, you are able to strategically schedule lower-body or leg day a few days after a long run so that you can give your body proper time to fully recover.
Would you like to become an expert personal trainer? If you do then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to find out more.