Being strong will almost always help rather than hinder your athletic performance. Running is absolutely no exception to this, because a strong body means longer and faster runs. If you aren’t already complimenting your runs with strength training, here are a few reasons why you should start to!
Your core is connected to your entire body. Your legs (and arms) stem from your core, so to ignore the core when running is to ignore a key part of your body that keeps you moving. A strengthened core will help you run smoothly and give you better balance.
One study had runners train their cores for six weeks, after that period of consistent core strength training, all the runners had faster run times for their 5000 meter runs. This demonstrates that training your core is an efficient method to lower running times and improve performance in runners.
Runkeep also mentions that a strong core will keep you stabilized during your runs. Your pelvis, hips, and lower back will wobble less when you have a strong core. You’re also less likely to trip during your runs, because your center of gravity will be strong enough to help you quickly recover from any “missteps”.
It should come to no surprise that leg strength is incredibly important when improving running time and speed. The stronger your legs are, the more power they have to push you through your run. Even if you don’t care how fast you run, having stronger legs will
There have been several studies on leg strength and running which have found that stronger legs improve a runner’s speed and stamina. It also makes runners more powerful so they are able to increase their force and stride, which means they can save energy on their runs without compromising their performance.
Are you prone to injuring yourself during your runs? Chances are you aren’t doing enough strength training!
Stronger muscles have been shown to prevent runners from hurting themselves. By training your tissues to be more resilient to more work, you will lower the amount of wear and tear you put your body under.
Strength training also helps your running economy, which means you use less oxygen (3 to 4 percent less!) when exerting the same amount of power. When you use less oxygen while exercising, you’re able to go longer and faster, and are less likely to hurt yourself from sheer exhaustion.
Experts recommend you do ten to twenty minutes of strength training after every run to keep up your strength. So make sure to save a bit of energy in the bank for some crunches, squats, and pushups after a great run.
Running is awesome. In movies, it’s often shown as one of the main exercises that characters do to lose weight and tone up. But when it comes to aesthetics, pairing strength training with cardio is the way to go. Running generally does not build muscle, so running along will not likely help you build the strong or sculpted look you are aiming for.
Strength training not only sculps muscle, but it also helps to burn fat through increased metabolism. But don’t worry, it is very difficult to become ‘bulky’ when weight lifting, so if you’re concerned about that -- don’t be!
Muscle mass doesn’t just make you stronger. It also burns calories! This means the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate is going to be. While running burns a lot of calories quickly, strength training provides a long term caloric burn.
Don’t Skip the Strength Training!
Consider making strength training a key component of your weekly routine. While it may be tempting to just focus on your running, the benefits of a little strength training will only make you love your running more!
Stronger muscles mean faster times, longer distances, and better running economy. The science to back up the awesome strength training-running combo is as strong as you’re going to be once you pick up those dumbbells!