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Become a STRONG runner, to be a good runner!

Long distance runners

When it comes to long-distance running, most people envision lean, slender athletes gracefully gliding across the finish line. While it's true that endurance and cardiovascular fitness are crucial for success in this sport, many runners underestimate the significance of having weights based exercise in their training regimen. In this blog post, we'll explore why resistance training and building muscle mass are essential for long-distance runners, debunking the myth that strength training is reserved solely for bodybuilders.

1. Enhancing Running Economy:

One of the primary benefits of increasing muscle mass through resistance training is improved running economy. Running economy refers to the energy expenditure required to maintain a given pace. By developing stronger muscles, you can enhance your efficiency, allowing you to cover longer distances with less effort. Strengthening your legs, core, and upper body through resistance exercises will provide the necessary power and stability to maintain good form and reduce energy wastage during each stride.

2. Injury Prevention:

Long-distance running can be demanding on the body, often leading to overuse injuries. By incorporating resistance training into your routine, you can strengthen the muscles and connective tissues that support your joints, reducing the risk of injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and runner's knee. Building muscle mass helps to improve overall muscular balance, which is crucial for maintaining proper alignment and form, ultimately protecting your body from the repetitive stress of running.

3. Improved Metabolic Efficiency:

Resistance training not only increases muscle mass but also boosts your metabolism. As you build more lean muscle, your body's resting metabolic rate rises, meaning you burn more calories even at rest. This increase in metabolic efficiency can aid in weight management and body composition, which are factors that significantly impact long-distance running performance. Maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing excess body fat can enhance your speed, endurance, and overall race times.

4. Power and Speed:

While long-distance running is predominantly an aerobic activity, incorporating resistance training can improve your anaerobic capacity and explosive power. Strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and plyometrics help develop the fast-twitch muscle fibres responsible for generating speed and power. This added strength can be particularly beneficial during uphill sections, sprints, and the final kick towards the finish line, giving you a competitive edge.

5. Age-Related Benefits:

As runners age, they naturally experience a decline in muscle mass and strength. However, resistance training can help counteract this process. By engaging in regular strength workouts, older runners can slow down the muscle loss associated with aging, maintain bone density, and improve overall functional capacity. Preserving muscle mass becomes increasingly important for long-distance runners as they strive to maintain their performance and reduce the risk of age-related injuries.

Long-distance runners who overlook the importance of muscle mass in their training routines are missing out on significant benefits. Incorporating resistance training not only improves running economy, prevents injuries, and boosts metabolic efficiency but also enhances power, speed, and overall performance. Remember, a balanced training approach that combines endurance training with strength exercises will help you reach new heights in your long-distance running journey. So, lace up your shoes, hit the gym, and unlock the full potential of your running prowess!


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