For those individuals, who run miles daily to stay in shape, ‘training’ literally means “Running”. And with all those miles completed each week, and all those period of long runs, it is crystal clear that strength training isn’t your priority.But luckily, today runners have finally realized the fact that they are in need to do more than just running miles every day.
This need arises because of a recent study concluding that the injury rate in runners is as high as 80%.Therefore, runners from all over the world, admit that strength training is a basic need, not just another way to get into shape.Experts suggest including only 20 minutes of strength training, a few times a week. This will then help runners to prevent injuries, facilitate quick recovery and enable them to reach their full athletic potential.
Strength training is a physical activity that is designed to improve muscle health by performing particular movements that are specific to certain muscle or muscle group. These movements are performed against external resistance that may include free weights, dumbbells, resistance bands, weight machines, or you may use your body weight too.
Why Should One Indulge In ‘Strength Training’?
Strength training comes with its own countless physical and mental benefits. And if you are a habitual runner and start strength training, even 3 or 4 times a week, then you will be surprised by the advantages you achieve in a very short time. Some of the strong reasons why you should start strength training right now are:
- Strength training may improve your quality of life.
- It may maximize your capability to do daily life activities.
- Strength training greatly contributes towards building your muscle.
- This type of training may also improve your balance.
- Greatly minimize the risk of falls.
- In return, you will become more independent and strong.
- Strength training also aids in managing chronic conditions.
3 Top Reasons For Runners To Strength Train
- Below are the Top Most Reasons Why Runners Should Strength Train Themselves.
1. Strength Training Enables You To Run Faster
Whether you run for marathons or just to stay fit, you should consider strength train yourself so you may run faster and better. Strength training workouts put stress on your body in the shape of weights and resistance, which consequently enable your body to adapt to the changes which, in return, increasesthe ability of your body to withstand stresses. Further, these adaptations can dramatically enhance your running speed and capabilities.
Therefore, you should enroll yourself in programsthat are specific to improveyour running performance and are far better than random strength training exercises.
Strength training upgrades your musculoskeletal system by increasing your bone and muscle mass simultaneously causing a decline in your body fats. Also, it ameliorates the forcesthat your muscles exert into the ground with each step during your running. This helps to make each step even more powerful, maximizing your optimum speed, and helps to maintain your maximal speed for longer durations.
2. Prevent Chances Of An Injury During Long Runs
- Being a runner, you may be familiar with the injuries like Shin splints, IT band damages, Plantar fasciitis, Back pain, Tendonitis, or other injuries that may force you to skip a run. To avoid such injuries, a well-designed strength training plan is established for runners that will help them to strengthen their muscles especially around the joints that are prone to injuries, such as, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and ankle making you more durable and less vulnerable to getting injured. Thus, when you become stronger, your running mechanics automatically improves.
When you begin to strength train yourself at greater intensity, you will reach new levels of performance. In short, higher and intense training is directly proportional to better performance and eventually, yields awesome results. And the best part is when you finally run and train without injuries, you will relish the game!
3. Better Performance
The ultimate goal of strength training for runners is to give their best, no matter if they are running for competition or just to maintain health. Mostly, runners want to achieve their target faster and efficiently hence, for this reason, strength training is an essential ingredient for better performance.
Strength training, importantly movements like lifting heavy weights or explosive activities, will make youa more powerful, efficient runner. Explosive strength training combines strength and speed to yield maximum power outputs and is essentially beneficial for runners. Recent researchindicates thatexplosive strength training makes you much faster by improving your stamina and muscle power. It will then allows you to develop your speed and obtain a strong finishing kick, both are crucial for faster racing.
So now you know the 3 important reasons to start strength training so that you can perform well while running and give your overall best. Before getting into strength training, you need to set your goal first. Try to be specific to your training and don’t demotivate or tire yourself out with unrealistic goals.
Start your training slowly. If you hurry then you are bound to encounter serious injuries. So, be patient and steady on your designed plan. You must know that you can’t achieve success overnight! It usually takes three to four weeks to see outcomes and when you notice them, be firm to your training routine to get long-lasting benefits.
By now you must have started appreciating as to how much strength training is important for your running games. Whether you are preparing for big games, participating in marathons, or just planning to hit some miles to enhance your mental and physical health, you must simultaneously consider strength training. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes of training with lighter and slower movements and once you become well equipped for them, increase the duration to 30 to 45 minutes as approved by health professionals and also increase the intensity and difficulty level of your training.