Back when I was running high school cross country, Coach would take us to the weight room occasionally, especially on rainy days. At that point the connection between running and strength training wasn't clear to me; in fact I might have even bought into the myth that lifting weights would bulk me up and slow me down. (Have you heard that one too?)

Now that I'm older and a bit wiser, I realize the important link between success as a runner and a consistent program of weight training. Strength training done with proper form is like insurance against injury; of particular concern to runners, it will build up the body's natural muscular reinforcement system around the knee. Strength training also helps keep the body in balance, by both addressing disproportionally developed muscles and by developing strength in multiple planes of motion. As if that weren't enough, strength training allows runners to become more powerful and faster runners. Think about that: without strength training, you are leaving unclaimed seconds towards your personal best on the table untouched.

If running is your thing, ideally you have already incorporated a consistent program of strength training into your workout routine. It doesn't need to be complicated to be effective, and it can be done at home with body weight training. If not, I would love to help you train this winter so your spring racing season can be even more successful than your fall season.

On a similar note, I hope to see you at the SPAN 5K Turkey Trot on 14 November. I'll have a table set up and class passes in the race bags. You can register through www.active.com or by downloading this form.

Resources for reading more: http://breakingmuscle.com/running/why-runners-need-strength-training-and-how-to-get-started

Posted 15 October 2015

Strength training = durability and speed

Strength Training for Runners