Resistance to Run?

If you want to be a better runner start running, a better swimmer start swimming. However one of the biggest set backs for any beginner or elite runner is picking up a frustrating overuse injury caused by too much running. Sports Medicine Australia shows that 70% of recreational and competitive runners experience overuse injuries in a 12-month period.

Resistance training is not only a fantastic way to decrease your risk of overuse injuries but can be one of the greatest performance enhancers for any endurance athlete whether you are just starting out or a seasoned veteran.

A recent study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology looked at the effects of resistance training on 10km running time. They found that with 8 weeks of resistance training with running training, performance was increased by 2.5% compared to running training alone. Most interestingly was that the improvements in time occurred mainly in the last 2.8km.

When it comes to using resistance training and running performance

  1. Replicate the running motion as close as possible. You want to recreate similar movements to running; lunges are the perfect running exercise. Don’t forget to lunge in all 3 planes to guarantee well-rounded leg muscles and function.
  2. You don’t need heavy weight (but it doesn’t hurt). You want to increase your ability to withstand fatigue the higher the volume the more fatigue you can create. However there is some proof suggest low repetition, high weight training can offer very similar benefits as it is more of a neurological adaptation not just muscular.
  3. Aim for 2 sessions a week, as a guide two resistance training session will help to supplement your training. However it is still important to remember to be a better runner you must run at least once a week.
  4. Warm up and cool down with a short run in order to condition your body and mind to be able to perform under fatigue.

The key to running preparation is all about training smarter not harder and doing less is often better than doing more.

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