Updated: May 18
When people decide to take running up, the first thing they usually consider is how much time they can commit to running, both in terms of time per day and days per week or per month.
Setting a plan to schedule this is important, but little or no time is set aside for other activities that may lead to better running.
Examples of these include Yoga, stretching, resistance training, massage, ice baths and cross training.
These things all cost money and time.
One type of supplementary training is resistance training, which has shown great results in better running performance and something I encourage all runners to add in to your training regime.
Running is associated with more minor injuries that most other sports, and in fact a research study conducted found that the sport associated with the most injuries among High school students was girls cross country.
The next questions is do you do prefer exercises at home or at the gym. Either way strength training can be done with or without equipment and is easily accessible to all runners worldwide.
Strength training can improve Running Economy (RE) (which means lessen the energy demand during running). A straight training program consisting of resistance exercises as well as plyometrics over a 8 - 12 week period is a safe strategy to improve RE.
If you haven't done strength training before, careful increase in the amount and speed you add to is is crucial. This is to to manage the amount of stress added in the program.
Start with doing the same exercises for 4 weeks for adaptation to occur and the same level of stress is placed on the soft tissue structures (i.e. tendons, ligaments and muscles) used for running. Sometimes in this case it is better to under-train than overtrain.
Getting stronger will allow more confidence in training, improve RE and and help ward of those minor injuries that plague runners on a daily basis and at different levels.
Click on the slide show for the exercise session:
Attempt this 2 x a week for the next 4 weeks and gives us some feedback on the training and how the body feels with it.
Remember there is so much research out there - talk to people, ask questions and find what works for you. What works for you might not work for the person next to you, but attempt to add combinations of exercises to focus on running specifics and adaptation.
1. The effects of strength training on running economy in highly trained runners: a systematic review with meta-analysis of controlled trials - Balsalobre-Fernández C, Santos-Concejero J, Grivas GV.
2. The Effects of Running Cadence Manipulation on Plantar Loading in Healthy Runners - J. Wellenkotter , T. W. Kernozek , S. Meardon , T. Suchomel