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There are countless reasons why a large number of runners do not strength train: don’t like it, worried about it slowing them down, no time, don’t want to bulk up, hate the gym etc. Regardless the reason, strength training needs to be a part of your weekly training regimen.
I love what Jason Fitzgerald has said,
“There are two types of runners: those who just run and those who are well-balanced athletes.”
As Scott Jones (Mastermind behind this awesome Becoming Ultra Project) told me prior to beginning my training regimen with him as my coach, “We need to make you an athlete first, then you can run.” When you just run, you open up the door for injury and plateau’s, even decreases, in performance. The well-balanced athlete incorporates cross training and strength training into their regimen and continues to increase their level of performance and are far less prone to injury.
Strength training is one of the most researched areas of fitness. Time after time, the benefits have been demonstrated across the board, regardless what type of athlete you are. Contrary to what most of you may be thinking, you can reap all the rewards of strength training by adding in just a couple 20-minute sessions per week.
Incorporating strength training will allow you to generate more force when you kick off of the ground. This combined with better running economy and better ability to utilize oxygen and energy, you’ll have a better final kick. All of these benefits will be experienced in less than 2 months of consistent strength training. Body weight exercises can be incorporated in on run days. If you’re adding in heavier resistance training, add these exercises in on your off days when possible. Simply put, strength training will make you be able to run faster, go longer, feel stronger and decrease potentials for injury. The benefits of strength training reach far beyond improving your running capabilities. Check out this blog for more details.
Watch the videos of Dr. Kelly and Lauren Jones demonstrating a short circuit of essential exercises you should be doing daily to prevent injury and run stronger, longer!