Coach Carola is back to remind us about the importance of strength training! Many runners prefer to only run and not do any other kind of workout, but there are amazing benefits to integrating strength training into your fitness schedule.
Benefits of strength training for runners include the following:
#1: Helps Prevent Overuse Injuries
One of the key benefits of strength training for runners is that it can help prevent overuse injuries by fortifying your body to better tolerate the impact and musculoskeletal demands of running.
Strength training develops the ability of your muscles and connective tissues to handle higher loads, which offsets undue stress on your cartilage, joints, and bones.
Engaging in unilateral exercises can also help correct the muscle imbalances that often lead to injuries.
#2: Improves Running Economy and Efficiency
When your muscles are strong, they don’t need to expend as much energy to hit faster paces. This leads to your form staying intact throughout the entirety of a race, allowing you to hold onto that faster pace instead of braking & slowing down! SMALL improvements in your running economy lead to BIG differences, especially over the course of longer races like half and full marathons.
#3: Can Improve Your Running Form
Strength training can improve your running form and stride by increasing stability in your core and supporting muscles.
- Stronger core = a more upright posture
- Stronger glutes and hips = less work on the hamstrings AND more power when you run uphill
#4: Can Improve Your Finishing Kick:
Have you ever seen a runner who has a fast kick at the end of a marathon and is able to push the limits in the later miles? They are strong and can handle running fast when they are tired.
#5: Improves Balance
When running, you’re either in the air or on one leg. There is potential for landing wrong and hurting ourselves. Our legs have many small stabilizing muscles that can help us navigate uneven terrain when they are strong. Building strength in those stabilizing muscles is particularly helpful for trail runners.
#6: Increases Bone Density
Having strong bones is vital to our longevity in the sport, especially as we age.
Research shows that strength training increases bone density because bones adapt to the stresses that strength workouts place on them by building back stronger.
Additionally, as your muscles get stronger, they are able to pull more forcefully on the bones when they contract. This stress also signals your body to deposit more minerals and strengthen the structure of your bones.
How do you currently incorporate strength training into your schedule?
Need some help or motivation to get started or stay consistent? Come join us at ZOOMA Run Club as we encourage and celebrate each other!