Run Faster by Adding Strength Training to Your Routine

If you want to beat your best time in the race, this will help you pass your time at the gym. Outside’s Alex Hutchinson reports on recent research that shows strength-training runners turn faster.

It is unclear whether the results are related to enhancement or other benefits of strength training, such as tendon stiffness and improved neuromuscular wiring between the brain and body. One study was a meta-analysis of 24 high quality trials of trained runners. They ruled out amateur runners (like me and most likely you) just because beginners tend to improve with any kind of workout.

In these studies, runners who trained with weights or plyometrics improved their running economy, time trial performance, and sprint speed, but did not increase muscle. This can be a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it: elite runners don’t want to carry more weight than they need to, but most of us would like some muscles to show our efforts.

So how should you train to take advantage of this strength training benefit? Hutchinson notes that two strength training sessions a week can be a good start, and summarizes the exercises as follows:

Common strength training exercises used in studies have been barbell squats, deadlifts, lifts, and lunges. In terms of plyometrics, the studies used box jumps ranging from 20 to 30 cm high, jumping and bouncing.

For practical purposes, the authors propose to include different types of strength training at different times of the year, switching between different training blocks. So you throw new stimuli into your muscles from time to time instead of getting used to the same thing.

Fortunately, two strength training sessions per week plus a few days of running fit into the guidelines for how much exercise you need to be healthy.

How Strength Training Makes You Faster | outside


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