Strength Training Important for Runners

Running is sport specific; you must run to run. But contrary to popular belief, running doesn't necessarily increase strength. The body if very good at compensating for weaknesses and taking the path of least resistance in order to accomplish what you ask it to do. To run efficiently with good technique and help avoid injury, runners should add functional strength training to their regimen.

Exercises performed on traditional machines at the gym such as the leg press, do not stress the muscles in a way that is running specific. Functional strength training exercises focus on:
  • balance and coordination
  • core strength
  • eccentric and concentric contractions (contracting muscles while lengthening and shortening)
  • flexibility
  • specificity to activity
A good functional training program for runners should include a variety of high repetition, low resistance exercises for both upper and lower extremity as well as core work. Exercises should focus on flexibility and strength of the hip complex as well as a good balance between quadricep and hamstring strength.

Check your local gym for group classes or look for a personal trainer that offers functional strength training.

Personal Best's StudioPB classes offer functional strength training classes three times per week that are specifically designed for runners and taught by a licensed physical therapist and certified running coach. Click on the logo below for more details.