Whether you’re getting into running for your New Year’s resolution, or prepping for your 26th marathon, strength training should be an integral part of your training routine. Excel Hoboken Clinic Director and race enthusiast, Samantha Marri, PT, DPT, give some insight into the reasons why strength training is so important for runners of all ability levels.
1. Injury Prevention
Building strength in muscles, tendons and ligaments helps reduce the risk of injuries. Stronger muscles can provide better support to joints and bones, preventing overuse injuries common in running.
2. Improved Running Economy
Strength training can enhance running efficiency by improving muscle coordination and reducing unnecessary movements. This can lead to better running economy, allowing runners to cover more distance with less energy expenditure.
3. Enhanced Power and Speed
Strength training contributed to increased power and speed. Stronger leg muscles generate more force, allowing runners to push off the ground more forcefully and cover ground faster.
4. Maintaining Proper Form
As a runner fatigues, maintaining proper running form becomes more challenging. Strength training helps improve overall body awareness and posture, enabling runners to sustain proper form even during longer runs.
5. Increase Endurance
Strength training can improve muscular endurance, allowing runners to maintain their pace for longer periods of time without experiencing fatigue.
6. Balance and Stability
Running involves repetitive motions in one direction, which may lead to muscle imbalances. Strength training helps address these imbalances, enhancing overall balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls or injuries.
7. Bone Health
Weight-bearing exercises, such as strength training, contribute to bone density. This is particularly important for runners, as the impact of running can put stress on bones. Stronger bones are more resistant to stress fractures and other bone-related issues.
8. Cross Training Benefits
Incorporating strength training into a runner’s routine provides a well-rounded approach to fitness. It allows for a break from the repetitive nature of running and engages different muscle groups, promoting overall fitness.
It’s important for runners to design a well-balanced strength training program that targets key muscle groups, including the core, legs, and upper body. This should complement their running routine and be tailored to their specific goals and needs.
A physical therapist can help you determine any weaknesses or deficiencies in your strength and help tailor a training regimen to your individualized needs. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Sam or any of our gait analysis experts, request an appointment here.
Meet the Expert
After completing a B.S. in Exercise Science, Samantha went on to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton. A former Division III soccer player, Samantha is passionate about working with athletes, runners, and individuals suffering from orthopedic injuries. She is a Certified Running Gait Analyst and also holds certifications in Blood Flow Restriction therapy and vestibular/concussion rehabilitation. Learn more about Sam here.