Resistance Training is critical for Running Performance
Many runners are scared or completely turned off by the thought of strength training. One would rather run an extra 5 miles than do a strength workout.
To start off I want to acknowledge those lingering feelings that may be associated with resistance training.
Yes, it is scary to add something that may decrease your performance, especially if you’ve heard the myth “lifting weights makes you bulky”
And yes, it can feel super overwhelming to add another thing to your program especially if you are unfamiliar with programming and strength training.
But in this post I hope you can see the critical importance of strength training for runners. So let’s cover why you should RT.
1- works out muscular imbalances - this can be one of the easiest ways to mitigate aches and pains as a runner. Tight hamstrings? Strength train. Low back pain? Strength train. Achey calves? Strength train.
2- improves running economy - when you have all muscles working smoothly together you can start to improve the way the movement occurs. Think of it like a bike wheel. If you have all muscles strong the wheel is circular. If there is a weak muscle then the wheel will be pulled towards the stronger side, leaving one side flat. Now try to bike with a floppy wheel, not so great. Therefore, we want our body to work together (like the circular wheel) in order to perform the movement faster and stronger than ever.
3- reduces likelihood of injury - when your muscles are strong they are able to withstand greater forces than when weak. It can help your body be resilient to the repetitive mechanics of running. If muscles are weak they can still allow you to run but sooner or later they will need to give way as they physically cannot keep up.
Our bodies are resilient in nature. They can endure many things for long periods of time. Yea, you could squeak by without the strength training. However, sooner or later the negative effects will catch up.
To improve your running performance, workout muscular imbalances, and reduce likelihood of injuries to occur you will need to add strength training to your training program.
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