Strength Training for Distance Runners – Get Faster!Posted on by HWestbrock
Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program. It should also be the foundational component of a distance running training program. A properly designed strength training program is important because the benefits of strength training are not achieved through running or cross-training alone. In fact, peer reviewed scientific research supports the inclusion of strength training with the distance training program.
The question is now how can your running performance improve by incorporating strength training into your running program? Here’s how…….
Burn More Calories by Adding Muscle
Fat burns almost nothing at rest whereas muscle uses oxygen. If you increase lean muscle mass, you’ll increase the body’s ability to use oxygen and burn more calories. Your body typically uses about 4.5 to seven calories per pound of muscle every day. For example – if a 160-pound runner with 20 percent body fat increases his muscle mass and lowers his body fat to 15 percent, he’ll burn an extra 36 to 56 calories a day at rest—simply by adding muscle.
Overall, You’ll be More Efficient
Strength training can help you run faster, longer, and more efficiently. A study published last year in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that runners who add three days of resistance training exercises to their weekly program increase their leg strength and enhance their endurance. Obviously, runners with better endurance can run longer—and burn more calories. You’ll also be able to recover faster from those long runs because strength training makes your body more efficient at converting metabolic waste into energy.
You’ll Be Less Injury Prone
If you increase your strength, you’ll also increase your joint stability, reducing your risk of repetitive stress injuries. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, showed that incorporating moves such as squats, single-leg hops, and ab work into a workout can not only prevent lower-body injuries, but improve performance as well. Leg exercises are particularly important when it comes to reducing injury because they strengthen muscles around the knees and hips—two areas that often cause problems for runners.
Did you know…..After age 30, inactive adults will lose three to five percent of their muscle mass per decade. One more reason to add strength training to your weekly routine!
Strength training is a very expansive topic and can be intimidating at times but with some small simple changes to your routine you can make drastic improvements in your running game and improve your health at the same time. For more information or if you have any questions about starting a strength training program the sports chiropractic physicians at our clinic would be more than happy to address any of your needs. Call today to set up an appointment!