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Why and when strength training is best for runners

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Strength Training for runners

The speed and endurance of runners always come down to the strength of their bodies. How strong are you? How much stronger can you become to improve your running time and endurance? We delve into proven strength training tips for runners below:

Why runners need strength training

The stronger you are, the faster you become

In a previous article, we mentioned the benefit of strength training for speed as confirmed by Stuart McDade of Stuart McDade Biokineticists. McDade likened the performance of a novice runner to a dial-up connection while an elite runner who had practised recruiting muscles to produce force was likened to a fibre connection. In other words, the more your muscles become accustomed to your training, less effort than before will be required to get you moving.

Coordination improves

Good coordination refers to your ability to move various body parts together with ease. Coordination directly impacts runners since the strength of certain body parts affects sequencing, which is using muscle power to increase speed and exert the least amount of energy. In addition to improved coordination, one’s risk of injury can also be reduced by consistent strength training to avoid clumsy missteps.

When should runners do strength training?

Provided that you allow some recovery time, it’s best to schedule a strength session after your speed training.

Run coach and Founder of Lift Run Perform, Mary Johnson, recommends keeping ‘hard days hard and easy days easy’, suggesting that runners complete same-day speed and strength training. Research by the National Library of Medicine also found that runners need at least 24 – 48 hours of recovery time after strength training before engaging in a high-intensity running session, so it’s best to run first and then do strength training before taking a recovery break.

How often should runners do strength training?

20 minutes per week is all you’ll need if you’re booking a full-body EMS training session at BODYTEC. Some of our members include top running athletes, who are all well acquainted with the benefits of building speed with strength training.

Training for a race or a new personal best? We can help you work towards your goal. Get started by booking a trial at your nearest BODYTEC studio.

You may also want to read:

Why runners need strength training

How to become a runner when you hate running

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