5 Reason Distance Runners Should Strength Train


5 Reason Distance Runners Should Strength Train


Distance running isn’t just about running all the time, they also need to strength train to improve their times. Just like many sports, strength training is imperative to helping distance runner get better in their profession. If implemented correctly, meaning when they should be strength train, how many times per week for good balance of running and training, and nutritionally to increase strength and endurance without putting on tons of weight. Here are 5 reasons distance runners should strength train:


1) Muscular Endurance

First is muscular endurance. At Garage Strength, we help this primarily by doing drop sets on a lot of main lifts (squat, bench, cleans, snatches). We will also have days throughout the workouts that focus primarily on muscular endurance, 4 to 6 sets for 8-15 reps.


2) Olympic Weightlifting/Power Output

Olympic weightlifting helps mobility, strength, and your nervous system to fire faster. This helps runners a ton because it increases the amount of force they can output each stride. The greater the force, the longer the stride, less steps taken means less energy used. Less energy output equals longer distances ran at the same amount of effort than before starting weightlifting.


3) Injury Prevention

Maybe the most important part for runners is injury prevention. Strength training doesn’t mean you just get big, it is  also the process of lengthening the muscles to increase strength and power output. Lengthening is strengthening.


4) Body Awareness

Typically from my experience almost all distance runner that come to Garage Strength are super tight and are not very coordinated. Not saying all distance runners are by any means not coordinated. Strength training, when coordinated properly, can help a runner get stronger in muscles they typically don’t use and also activates muscles they ignore while running. For example, when distance runners get fatigued they tend to just try and keep pushing through each stride. What they are neglecting is activating their hamstring by pulling through the ground to stride instead of just pushing through their quad.


5) Change of Training

A change of training can also always benefit athletes. Running hundreds of miles a week can be very time consuming, hard on the body, and just plain get boring. Strength training gives you a change in scenery and challenges you in different ways that you wouldn’t get while just running long distances. You push yourself, while your trainer also pushes you. It is you versus the weights as well.


Distance runners definitely need to run, but I believe strength training is very underestimated in the community. Hopefully these benefits can help you cultivate your power!!!

1 comment

  • More track and cross country coaches need to understand and implement this!! I wished mine had taken this more seriously.

    Ryan

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