It’s a fact. Strength training improves a runners performance.
There aren’t many things we can definitively say, but we can confidently assure you of that. Systematic reviews are the strongest form of evidence we have. Yamamoto et al 2008 concluded that in their systematic review.
Now most runners I know when faced between either a weight session over a run are 11 times out of 10 going to chose a run (unless their foot is in a boot).
What if you could reduce your overuse injury risk by 50%?
What if it improved running performance and economy? Would you consider it?
How you might ask, does it do this?
It improves our muscular strength and anaerobic (explosive) power which has been shown to improve running endurance. It does this by increasing our ability to produce force and improve our motor unit recruitment. More force and more recruitment of muscle cells means more endurance. It also means less impact impact on your joints!
Ok so how do I start:
Make sure you focus on all the muscle groups involved with running – Quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings.
The peak contributors are your quads (loading phase) and your calves (propulsion phase) (Hamner 2010).Start with 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps with the last 2 or 3 reps a challenge of each exercise. If you are new to strength training you will probably not need weight. If you have done a bit just add more weight to fatigue in that 8 to 15 reps zone which is your strength zone. Rest for 1 minute between sets.How often should I train and when?Ideally I would do do it on the days you aren’t running (lol). Ok if you aren’t into days off running, do it on your easy sessions or recovery run days with a gap where possible. E.g. run morning, strength evening.
Aim for 2 to 4 sessions per week but during running season reduce this to 1-2 sessions per week.Here are some examples to add to your strength program which we think are awesome for running. They target all of the muscles mentioned.
And don’t forget if you’d like a tailored more specific running program, plus your technique looked at then book a running assessment today. Call 93650004.
The above is a wall squat focusing on your quadriceps combined with a calf raise to target your calves. There are some progressions for you to check out. This is a great exercise for those with knee pain also.
The above exercise is one of our favourite gluteus medius and gluteus maximus exercises. It is very specific to runners and you will feel the burn in your backside! Try 6 x 10 to 15 seconds to begin with. You can progress up to 1 minute reps as you get stronger. That would take a few weeks to achieve. Remember form is key. If you are wobbling all over the place you won’t activate the glutes we are trying to target.
The above is another variation to hit your glutes. We have gliding discs available in the clinic if you want to give the above exercises a try. Just swing by and grab a set. I love these exercises especially for any one that has a hip tendon injury. It is a good safe exercise for tendinopathies.
The above is a very advanced glute and calf strengthening exercise. Form is key. Start with less reps and no weights and progress over time to include weights. Enjoy!
Remember if you want a more specific running program and your technique assessed book a running assessment today. Call us 93650004.