Treating injured distance runners/joggers is always rewarding and interesting. It is just unfortunate that it is usually injury which causes them to attend the clinic! Many amateur and age group distance runners feel that the only way to improve their times is run longer and train at a quicker pace – not wrong.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER METHODS!!!!! STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING! Why don’t avid runners include strength training in their programmes???
- “I don’t have time, I don’t want to miss a run”
- “heavy weights – that will slow me down?!”
- “I don’t want to get too big and muscle bound”
Strength training won’t turn runners into this…………
Some runners fears of heavy weight training have prevented them from realising the potentially massive gains that can be achieved. From as early as 1988 the benefits of heavy weight training (3 times/week for 10 weeks) had been identified by Hickson et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3209573) as beneficial to endurance athletes.
More recent studies in 2005 (Chatra et al), 2007 (yamamoto et al) and 2008 (Storen et al) have again contributed to the significant evidence supporting the benefits of including strength training in distance running training. The variables which improved included
- Improved running economy – the efficiency of running technique
- Increased time to exhaustion at max aerobic speed
If you have hit a plateau you may need to consider adding some strength training to your programme.
STRONG RUNNERS ARE LESS INJURY PRONE ………. This will be discussed in a future blog!!! You don’t even need a gym!