Strength Training & Running
There are still a lot of misconceptions about running and how runners can best train to minimise injury and enhance performance.
One of the issues is that there's a low barrier to participation in running. All you need to do is start running and you're a runner. No gym membership, no equipment, no vetting and most are guilty of not even warming up before a run!
For amateur runners, running also tends to be a fitness choice. Many people pick a way to get in shape and then feeling like they can't deviate away from this option.
Competitive runners are not without fault either. Many believe that strength training will make you bulky, less flexible and even slow you down. This mind set leads to an avoidance of strength training, the one thing that could be enhancing their performance whilst reducing injury risk simultaneously.
There is no doubt that running requires cardiovascular endurance but we shouldn’t ignore how the rest of the body is bio-mechanically involved. Essentially, running is a series of little single leg hops. The rear leg propels the body forward. The stride leg absorbs and distributes the forces.
The key to efficiency in both of these aspects, is strength! Not more running. We can build tissue capacity to handle these two demands, especially if we utilise and running specific strength training program.
As a physiotherapist who commonly encounters injured runner, it's almost certain that some part of their rehabilitation will be strength and conditioning. In almost all circumstances, I'll advise continuation of strength and conditioning after the injury has resolved. So if you're a runner, at any level, head over to our facebook or youtube channel for tips, videos and more information.