It's crucial to do more than just run when you're a runner. It's crucial to support your body's ability to do this regularly if you want your workouts to be productive. In this article we will look at the reasons why strength training is so important for runners, as well as will give examples of exercises you can do at home or at the gym.
Strength training for runners and marathon athletes which is also known as weight lifting consists of specific methods, drills and techniques with some form of resistance to increase total body muscular strength, power, speed, endurance, agility, coordination and prevent injuries.
What's Strength Training for Runners
Not only gym rats and competitive weightlifters engage in strength training. Regular weightlifting and strength training can also help runners improve significantly. There is an excellent lifting program for runners that will allow you smash personal records or simply run more easily, regardless of whether you have a fully equipped lifting gym or you're performing bodyweight exercises in your garage or living room. Strength training benefits your running in a variety of ways, including: speed, power, stamina, coordination, injury prevention. Running enthusiasts worry that weight lifting will result in an increase in body weight and muscular mass. But, by adding lean muscle with the right strength and resistance training for runners, may increase performance without adding bulk. This lifting routine for runners focuses on the key muscle groups which will increase your strength and speed rather than cranking out heavy rounds of biceps curls or bench presses. Running engages a variety of muscles that must cooperate in order to move you ahead. Running also doesn't work individual muscles in isolation.
Benefits of Strength Training For Runners
Your ability to give enough oxygen to your body muscles and heart will largely determine how well you perform as a runner. The characteristic of aerobic exercise is that. Weight lifting is an anaerobic kind of exercise, which means it uses no oxygen to convert carbohydrates into energy. Hence, adding weight to your routine won't help you boost the amount of oxygen getting to your muscles from your lungs. You shouldn't suppose that's the sole factor affecting running performance. For enhancing your results, running strength training plan offers numerous important advantages. Let's take a look at them now.
Lifting Makes You Faster
You get quicker when you lift weights. According to studies, strength training for marathon runners improves VO2 max, running economy and efficiency through enhancing power and muscular coordination. In particular, it has been discovered that lifting weights reduces the amount of energy and oxygen that runners consume when running by 2–8%, boosting time trial efficiency by 2–5%.
You might not think that your sprinting speed is essential to your success if you are a distance runner. It is true that the single most crucial indicator of your ability and potential to run is likely your peak oxygen consumption. The highest level at which your muscles can use oxygen is known as VO2 max. You run a specific distance quicker the higher VO2 max. Yet, there are other factors that affect your running performance in addition to aerobic capacity. Also, you gain from improved anaerobic ability and a faster maximum running speed over shorter distances. Competitive runners are likely familiar with mid-race sprints and abrupt accelerations. You best be ready to move more quickly when they do so or you'll fall behind. Also, a dash to the finish line decides the outcome of many races. After a long run, your ability to sprint with all you might can be the difference between winning and losing a race. Gaining the ability to run as quickly as you can at the beginning of a race is the third advantage of increasing your sprinting speed. You may not only set up your body in the way you like, but you can also run better overall, especially in shorter events. Performance over a longer range improves as maximal sprinting speed rises. While that primarily applies to running for distances up to 1,500 m, other studies indicate advantages for distances of 10 m or more. Early studies showed that short-distance runners' sprinting performance is enhanced by strength training. Strength training plan for runners enhances your ability to sprint 20–30 m as quickly as possible throughout longer races, according to a more recent study.
Strength and power training help runners avoid injuries since it strengthens their bones, muscles, and connective tissues. For several reasons, strength training is an extremely useful technique for preventing injuries. Muscles, tendons, even ligaments and bones get stronger with strength exercise. A body with stronger ligaments and muscles is better able to maintain alignment when moving.
Better Overall Health
Lifting helps runners' overall health. Strength training program for runners improve your self-assurance, mental toughness, and health indicators including blood sugar, BMI, cholesterol, and fat-burning capacity.
The quantity of energy and oxygen your body requires to keep up your running speed is known as the running economy. Addition of weight training to running programs can increase running economy by up to 8%, according to several reviews and meta-analyses. On the track or road, in a real-world scenario, greater running economy should enable you to run at a substantially lower effort, resulting in appreciable performance gains throughout a training or a race. You should expect to increase your performance and running economy by lifting in addition to running, regardless of your level of training, whether you are a moderate or well-trained athlete.
Strength Training Exercises for Runners
There are many excellent weight training programs for runners to do to build strength, but these ten drills are the most optimal. They will serve as the ideal starting point for moving on to more complex variants and new moves. An Olympic barbell, cable machine or rubber band, mat and some space - all you need. You can perform 2-4 sets of each exercise, with 8 to 12 reps each exercise, depending on how you're feeling and your fitness objectives.
Your knees should be slightly bent while you take position with feet hips width apart and most of your weight on your heels.
Move hips back and lean forward while maintaining a straight & tight lower back and chest open.
Lift the bar up to standing after lowering it to around knee height. Keep your knees soft and your hips motionless.
One of the finest movements for the glutes is the single-leg deadlift. You acquire balance and strength, allowing you to always advance to components of power.
Place your feet hip-width apart as you stand. Raise the left leg off the ground while flexing the foot and bending the knee to 90 º. Keep your left toes just barely contacting the ground to adjust.
To drop the body towards the floor, slightly flex the right knee and then bend at the hips. Keep your core tight and your chest high.
Drive through the right foot to swing back to the initial position after continuing to hinge until the torso is virtually parallel to the floor.
A reverse lunge exercise is a fantastic solution for improving single-leg stability and lower body strength. Dumbbells or kettlebells are the most popular to load a back lunge, but there are other options.
Place your hands in front of your chest and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your left foot while putting most of your weight on your right leg. Step back with your left foot, bend at the hips, and lean forward as necessary while maintaining a tall posture.
In order to barely skim the floor, lower your left knee towards it. The right heel remains firmly planted. To get back up to standing, drive through the right leg.
Single-Arm Standing Cable Machine Row
Single-Arm Standing Cable Machine Horizontal Press
Key Factors in Runners Strength Training Routine
When Should a Runner Begin Weight Lifting?
How Frequently Ought Runners to Lift?
How Much Time Should Be Spent Lifting Weights?
How Much Load Should Runners Lift?
- lift weights with low and average rep range;
- max out at 6-10 rep range;
- mostly work with weights around 75% of your 1 RM;
- perform strength training at least 2 times a week.
How Can You Incorporate Weightlifting Into Your Running Routine?
- lift weights on intensive running days;
- exercise with weights after running;
- wait around three hours before lifting after an intensive running
- never lift weights before a high intensity running workout;
- not lift on light running days unless in a basic period phase;
Runners Strength Training Programming
Basic Equipment You Need
How Often Should I Run?
Depending on a number of variables, including fitness level, running objectives, experience, general health, and age, the appropriate running frequency will differ greatly from runner to runner. More experienced athletes can run between 5 and 6 days a week, planning at least 1 rest day to ensure that the body recovers properly. Beginners who are more oriented on goals, such as finishing their first 5k, should begin with 2-3 days of run/walk intervals.
Should Runners Do Strength Training?
Without a doubt, sure. Two times each week, runners must strength train with total-body exercises. For runners, strength training provides a plethora of advantages, including minimizing overuse injuries and enhancing form, efficiency, and performance in general. Incorporate complex movements in your workouts, including deadlifts, lunges, glute bridges, planks, step-ups, rows, and push-ups.
How Can I Treat Sore Body Muscles?
There are a few techniques you may do to treat these bothersome muscle pains if you are sore from strength training or running, such as engaging in active recovery activities, such as, stretching, yoga, swimming, rowing or walking, foam rolling, sauna applying ice to the afflicted muscles for a short period of time, or massaging them.
By giving strength exercise priority, you should become more robust and improve your bone density, tendon health, and muscle health. And this is before you even consider the performance advantage that strength training also provides. The last benefit of strength training is that it may help you identify any areas of imbalance in your body that need treatment if you want to avoid becoming injured.
Sergii is a professional weightlifter and National team member in the past. Competed in 94 kg w/c, won multiple medals on national competitions.
Nowadays Sergii is responsible for designing training programs, writing blog articles, doing live commentary of international weightlifting competitions, running different sport & fitness educational seminars, including Olympic weightlifting together with Oleksiy Torokhtiy all around the globe.