Strength training is becoming more and more common in training programs for long distance runners. The main reason behind strength training is to add resistance that cannot be gotten from just running. There are several forms of strength training for runners; most common being running both uphill and downhill as well as gym workouts. Strength training will also include specific drills that are mostly based on resistance improvement.
When it comes to adding extra strength, the gym cannot just go ignored. One place that will help you create resistance as far as exercises are concerned is the gym. A gym for runners is not just about running on the treadmill; it should also be about adding strength and resistance.
Why strength Training for runners?
For long distance runners, muscles will need to produce more force to cover longer distances. Strength training works on the primary muscles; which are the hamstrings and the glutes.
These are the muscles which are supposed to produce the propulsive force and should, therefore, be trained for that specific purpose. Well trained muscles translate to efficiency when running as well as the conservation of energy which is crucial for long distance runners.
Reduction of Injuries
When it comes to prevention of injuries, proper strength training is paramount. This is because strength training reduces dependency on other muscles that otherwise compensate for ineffectively trained glutes and hamstrings.
Well trained glutes and hamstrings also mean that the runner will recover more quickly from injuries.
Stiffer Muscle-tendon system
The muscle-tendon stiffness is vital for all long distance runners. The Muscle-tendon stiffness is what helps the runner’s body to store and use elastic energy most effectively. Strength training will help the runner to generate more force without a proportional increase in the metabolic energy requirement.
Hip and core strength and control
Stability while running is an essential aspect for all runners. With strength training, this is significantly improved.
The regularity of strength training sessions
For runners, the strength training sessions need not be too many. With only two sessions in the gym per week, you get the maximum benefits. Strength training in the gym will involve weight training but should be centred on the lower body.
The most important thing about the session is the regularity of the sessions. It is advisable to have a definite work out plan which you rarely deviate from. Workouts may vary from one session to the next, but there are some basic sets of exercises that should be done all the time for maximum benefits.
When you work out in the gym as a runner, it is evident that your lower body should receive a lot of attention. A runner’s resilience will not be so much determined by his upper body as much as the lower body.
As a piece of advice to all runners, it is paramount to hit the gym and do strength work out now and then. The benefits accrued from this kind of training will make an enormous difference once you run the track. Without power and resilience, it is tough to unlock your full potential as a long distance runner