resistance training is one of the most overlooked element of most long distance runners, we all know the importance of hitting those long runs, tempos and speed runs, it is also good for you to understand the importance of resistance training for runners. There are three key benefits of resistance training, which is prevention of injuries, improves muscular power and improve running efficiency by improving coordination.
training with weights may come as a challenge for many runners, and one of the most common universal myth “weight training will bulk up muscles” is found to be a common reason why most of the runners stay away from resistance training. With the common myth still in place below are some reasons why a distance runners should be training with and how.
benefits of resistance training for runners
stronger muscles, bones and joints: make no mistake running is a very aggressive impact exercise and it can have consequences on your joints as you age, strength training can make your muscle stronger and it stabilise your joints
decreased risk of injuries: here again we have to understand running can lead to overuse muscle injuries too, there is evidence that stronger muscles can keep you safe from many possible injuries
increase running speed: stride power is directly related to speed, many may think running is not a powerful sport but it is, and the stronger the muscles get the stronger the stride power which can significantly improve your speed.
increase endurance: endurance is the ability to work your muscles efficiently for a long duration, and running being an endurance sports resistance training can significantly aid runners to go that extra mile.
training for strength
weight training for runners should be focused solely on improving strength, runners should avoid strength training activities that elevate your heart rate. The common idea will be it should be a low heart rate focused activity. In short avoid the circuit type or CrossFit type of activities that elevates your heart rate. why? because running those distances already does elevate your heart rate and on the gym session you would require to only focus on building muscular endurance and strength!
if you are a runner and looking to get started in the gym below is an important guide you could follow.
1 – 02 times per week is a reasonably amount of weight training for a long distance runner
2 – look to get help from a trainer to learn your foam and proper technique (weight training is serious business)
3 – master the moves perfectly before adding load (intensity) on to your exercises
4 – ask your trainer to running specific training programs
5 – do not mix the running session with the weight training session
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