Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Are you into running? Had someone ever told you to perform strength training so as to improve your efficiency in running? Does strength training help with running? To know about it, read the following sections of the article.

Does Strength Training Help With Running?

Now, coming straight to the question, “Does strength training help with running?”, we must say that Yes! Strength training helps with running in several ways. Let us take a look on few of them.

It Makes You A More Efficient Runner:

If you ever have had a long run when you lost your form as you get fatigued towards the finish line then you will surely be benefited from strength training. Strengthening your core can assist you in improving and maintaining the form of your running, which improves your running efficiency. Strength training is especially very important for those who are training for a long-distance event such as marathon.

You Are Less Prone To Injury:

Strength training also makes you less prone to injury. With such a kind of training you can increase the stability of your joints and thus can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries. Moreover it also improves the overall performance while running. Especially leg exercises are important when we talk about reducing injury. They strengthen muscles around your hips and knees; the two areas which usually cause problems if you are a runner.

It Increases Your Endurance And Reduce Fatigue:

Strength training also helps your body to deal with the stresses associated with running in a better way. With strength training, your muscles will be able to perform for a longer time before getting fatigued, which in turn will aid you in maintaining your proper form in running.

Apart from this, by strength training you can improve your strength which will help you cramping up during the late stages of a full marathon or other long-distance races.

Strength Training Enhances Your Body’s Metabolism To Lose Body Weight:

Your body’s metabolism will increase if you add more of lean mass, which means that you will be able to burn more amounts of calories, both at rest as well as during workouts. Adding strength training to the training regimen of many runners enhances their weight-loss effort and also helps them get over a weight loss plateau.

Strength Training Helps You Run Faster:

By improving your form and also endurance, you will increase your overall pace. So, by strength training you can actually run faster. Runners usually experience significant improvements in their race times soon after they include strength training in their fitness regimens. You do not require spending hours in doing strengthening exercises. Even by doing two to three 20 minutes of strength training sessions per week you can build more of lean muscle mass.

Running Feels Easier For You With Strength Training:

If you are new to running, you must be wondering, “when does running become easier?” Well, the answer to this would be different for everyone. However, adding strength training to your routine can surely speed up the process. By strengthening the leg muscles you will be able to increase your endurance, which means that you can run longer without feeling or being fatigued. New runners must alternate their days of running and strength training so that they are not doing both of them on the same day.

Runners can include strength training exercises such as the lower body exercises, like Lunges, donkey kicks, squats, and wall squats; core strengthening exercises, like crunches, planks, bridges, and back extension; and upper body exercises, like Tricep dip, overhead shoulder press, and pushups.

Studies That Prove The Effectiveness Of Strength Training For Runners:

Research supports the fact that strength training helps with running. A study that was conducted during the year 1988 at the University of Illinois, Chicago included the cyclists and runners who were put on a resistance-training program for 10 weeks, 3 times every week. The results showed that their leg strength improved by about 30%.

However what actually was surprising to see was, though the VO2 max was not really affected, the quick bouts of the running time increased by 13% and the runners and cyclists were able to perform their sport (i.e. running and cycling) an average of 85 minutes to exhaustion instead of the 71 minutes, they could do before the strength training program.

In one more study that was published in the year 2008, well trained runners were assigned to either a control group or an intervention group; and both the groups performed a series of half-squats, 3 times per week for 8 weeks in a row. Both the groups continued their running regimen regularly. While the VO2 max and the body weight was constant, the group that performed strength training improved their time to exhaustion at a maximum aerobic speed by 21.3%.

So it can be concluded that there were many studies that confirmed the positive effects of strength training for running.

Conclusion:

So, from the above we are now known to the fact that whether you are new to running or have been running since past several years, you can be surely be benefited from strength training. So, it is essential for every runner to perform strength training, but under the supervision of an expert fitness trainer.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 6, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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