The importance of strength training for runners
Whether you’re fairly new to running, or you’ve been running for years, you probably already know that strength training is important. What you may be more surprised to hear however, is that all-round strength training is important, not just working on your lower body!
Of course, leg strength training is fundamental. Your legs are powering you along, and the stronger they are, the faster you’ll be – and you’ll be less likely to get injured! Plyometric exercises like burpees and jumping lunges can help to give you power, whilst exercises that target smaller muscle groups, like hip hikes and side leg raises can help prevent injury.
So why is it important to also train your upper body and core? Well, firstly, having very muscular arms isn’t going to aid your running performance, what matters here is having the correct technique. However, other muscles in the upper body, like in your back, shoulders and chest, are going to help power the arm drive that is propelling you forwards. Also, having a strong upper body helps protect your spine from the impact that comes with running!
Having a strong core and upper body is going to help stabilise you, and leads to better efficiency in the energy transfer to your legs. This is not only going to aid in injury prevention, but it will reduce your energy expenditure, making you a more economical runner.
Strength training, especially running specific exercises, can also help improve your neuromuscular coordination. Improving neuromuscular connections will create more power, agility, balance and speed!
So, if you’re not already adding strength workouts into your running training, I hope this post has given you some inspiration to do it! Start with the exercises I shared in my last post, and if you want to train with me online, you can get unlimited access to live and pre-recorded workouts and yoga classes for 7 days by clicking here!
Do you incorporate strength training into your training schedule?
Do you prefer the gym or at home workouts?