Strength Training for Runners

The Role of Strength Training for Injury Prevention in Long Distance Runners

Strength training plays a vital role in both injury prevention and performance enhancement. When considering long distance running, strength training can be more difficult to fit into a weekly training routine, but is well worth making time for. 

Strength training for runners should include a variety of exercises, some examples are given below:

Eccentric & Concentric (i.e. moving under load) exercises allow runners to:

  • Develop strength and power, which is essential for injury prevention
  • Equally distribute force through the body, instead of unevenly placing load on weak or deficient areas
  • Improve running economy

Isometric (i.e. static holds) exercises are perfect for runners, as they:

  • Relieve tendon pain
  • Strengthen and stiffen tendon tissue
  • Organise the collagen within tendon to re-generate tendon health
  • Have a lower stress on muscles, which results in less training soreness; thus, reducing the impact of exercises on run specific training and fatigue

Core exercises are essential for long distance runners, as they: 

  • Improve stability of the pelvis and spine; and allow for balanced force absorption through the lower body
  • Allow hips, pelvis and posterior chain to work efficiently together and expend less energy while running

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