The Benefits of Weight Training for Runners

19 02 2015

For most runners, strength training or weight training is not the first thing that comes to mind in order to improve performance. However, picking up some weights and hitting the gym can greatly increase your speed, endurance and help to burn fat and increase energy. Even as little as 10-20 minutes of strength training per day can make a big impact in your training and help you overcome a plateau or reach a new level of fitness.

Reduce Injury

Stronger muscles and joints mean less risk of hurting yourself. By improving structural fitness, or the ability for your body to withstand the impact of running, you’ll position yourself to stay healthy and on the pavement. The stronger your body is, the stronger you’ll be as a runner.

Get faster

No matter if you’re a sprinter or a marathoner, strength training can help you gain speed by improving your body’s efficiency to use energy and oxygen. Using oxygen efficiently is a big component of endurance training. If you can decrease the amount of oxygen needed to run at a specific speed, your pace for a certain distances or even in your overall training will improve.

Decrease body fat

Each pound of additional weight that you carry with you on a run can affect your pace and performance. Strength training and building lean muscle helps the body burn more fat. Muscle and lean tissue improve your metabolism making you lighter and faster. You’ll also be burning more calories during activity and rest, making you leaner and more efficient on the road.

Strengthen your core

One of the most neglected areas of a runner’s body is their core. A stronger core can help prevent back pain and other issues with running. Certain exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and chin-ups will improve core strength and ultimately make you a faster runner.

Avoid the Bulk

Worried about bulking up? Consider doing lighter weights but more reps in order to gain muscle tone but not bulk up.


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