“Are you a runner?  When is the last time you strength trained?  If you can’t remember…what is holding you back?”

strength training for runners

“To be a better runner just run.”  Yes, you do need to run if you want to become a better, faster runner however, that is only one piece of the puzzle.  Strength training will not only help make you a faster and stronger runner, it is a critical part in helping prevent injury as well.  Putting in your miles as well as 2 days of strength training will give you optimal running results.  Here are just some of the benefits of strength training for runners:

Leg strength:  Many back, hip and knee issues are contributed to a leg imbalance…strong quads and weak hamstrings.  During strength training you are able to work on building up hamstring strength and help keep many of these common runner issues at bay.

Gluteus strength:  While running, there is an automatic system in which the muscles are supposed to “fire” (or engage).  The glutes are supposed to fire first, then the quads, calves, etc.  Again, because most runners have very strong quads, the order in which the muscles fire is thrown off…this is the number one cause of one of the most common runner issues – ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) or IT issues.  Strengthen the glutes, reduce the risk of ITBS.

Upper body strength: Having a strong upper body helps runners with posture as well as having a strong arm swing which helps propel the body forward (especially uphill).

Core strength: Enough said – one of the most crucial set of muscles in your body are your core muscles.  Most people, runners included, think abdominals when they think core.  Yes, the abs are part of the core muscles but it is more than that, it includes all of the muscles that are located to keep the body stable and balanced (hips, back, oblique’s).  Doing a few ab crunches a couple of times a week is not enough to keep your core strong and healthy. Whether you are just walking in daily life, carrying a big bag or running a marathon, your core is at work to keep you aligned and protected so strength training is a must.

So when you are writing out your weekly running schedule, be sure to pencil in some time to get in your strength training as well – two days is best but one is better than none.  If you need help with a runner’s strength training program, we can help – contact us at: 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 /  Also, check out this article for more info on the importance of strength training for runners:

Paula Jamieson

Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutritionist

Bodyrich Fitness Company


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