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Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been running for years, you can benefit from strength training. Some runners are hesitant to strength train because they think it will make them bulky and slower. But strength-training can make your running more effective and more enjoyable.
Whether you’re looking to get faster, stronger, or lose weight, adding in some structured strength training can help you achieve your goals. Here are some ways that strength training can enhance your running program.
If you’ve ever had your form fell apart as you get fatigued toward the end of a long run or race, strength training can help. Strengthening your core can help you improve and maintain your technique, which means greater efficiency. Learning how to activate and strengthen you glutes (butt) and hamstrings means your stride is stronger and you have more power to use, again creating efficiencies.
This is especially important for those training for a long distance event such as a half or full marathon since small improvements in efficiency can make a huge difference over such long distances. These benefits are also felt for shorter runs as well.
Reducing Risk of Injury & Effects of Fatigue
Strength training helps your body better deal with the stresses of running. Your muscles will be able to perform longer before getting fatigued, which will help you maintain great technique, which in turn reduces the risk of injury due to overuse.. Strengthening the critical stabilising muscles around knees, hips and ankles can keep you pushing through without niggles.
Improving your technique and your endurance also translates into a faster overall pace. Runners usually see improvements in their race times fairly soon after they add strength training to their routine. You don’t need to spend hours doing strengthening exercises. Even just two or three sessions a week can add great value.
Running gets more enjoyable when it starts to feel easier. This happens at different times for different runners, but adding strength training to your routine can definitely speed up the process. Also adding in different elements to your program can decrease boredom with training, which in turn leads to your motivation staying high and more consistency of effort.
As part of our program at CrossFit 4504 we incorporate a combination of bodyweight, free weights and gymnastics movements to ensure we can improve strength, stamina & cardiorespitory endurance for our athletes. We use movements that ensure the large muscles in your body to work together in the same way that they need to during other daily activities, such as running. These exercises improve balance, coordination, and movement efficiency—skills that will improve your stride, power and overall performance. CrossFit movements can aid in the development of explosive power and speed, and are truly functional movements.
Consistency Is Key
Adding in other elements to your training needs to be done in a structured way by following a program, preferably with a Coach watching you to ensure optimal technique but also to modify if needed. Hitting sessions consistently will reap the greatest rewards, necessary to see results.
In addition, most endurance training and functional training exercises help you to increase the range of motion in joints which will enhance the recovery process. So combining your regular run program with a structured strength program will increase the benefits to you. We would not endorse doing endless long runs as that just leads to wear and tear on the body.