How strength training benefits runners

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A runner with strong legs but a weak core and arms will always be slower than a runner with total-body fitness. fit20 is a smart supplement for runners because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and reduce injury risk.

You see strength training used in most professional sports.

But how many amateur runners forego regular strength training? There is no other type of “extra” workout that is backed by more academic literature. Peer-reviewed research suggests again and again that strength training improves running performance, whether it's your running economy or time to exhaustion.

Studies prove effectiveness of strength training.

A University of Illinois, Chicago study put runners and cyclists on a resistance-training program for 10 weeks three times per week. Results showed that leg strength improved by 30 percent. No surprise there. What was astonishing though: while VO2 max was not affected, quick bouts of running time improved by 13 percent and the athletes were able to ride an average of 85 minutes to exhaustion rather than the 71 minutes they could do before the training program.

In another study published in 2005, researchers assigned participants different training schedules to be performed twice a week for 12 weeks. The groups included running endurance training on its own, strength circuit training on its own, endurance and strength training together and a control group. Guess what...the group that combined endurance and strength training improved an average of 8.6 percent in a 4K time trial, increased their V02 max by an average of 10.4 percent and ran to exhaustion 13.7 percent longer than the other groups. This study emphasises the importance of concurrent strength and endurance training.

In 2008, another study was published that assigned well-trained runners to either a control group or an intervention group — both groups performed a series of half-squats three times a week for eight weeks. Both groups continued their regular running regimen. While V02 max and body weight remained constant, the strength training group’s time to exhaustion at maximal aerobic speed improved by an impressive 21.3 percent.

Put together, a systematic review of the published literature through the spring of 2007 confirmed the positive effects of concurrent resistance and endurance training. Physiologically speaking, the studies measured a collective 4.6 percent improvement in running economy. Of more interest to runners looking for lower times, however, is the fact that they identified a 2.9 percent improvement in 3K/5K performances. That’s like going from a 13:30 5K to a 13:06.5.

fit20 | Fit in just 20 minutes a week | always with a Personal Trainer | Guaranteed results Article content sourced from Runners World