Why Strength Training and Weight Lifting Is Important for Runners

Why Strength Training and Weight Lifting Is Important for Runners


Adopting a combination of strength training and weight lifting helps runners in many ways. If you want to prevent injuries, improve your performance, and more, read on.

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Why Strength Training Is Important for Runners


Strength training involves exercising against resistance. Depending on your individual fitness level and skills, you can use things like weights, resistance bands, and even the weight of your own body. Strength training is important for runners because it helps to maintain muscle mass. In turn, that can improve things like your metabolic rate and functional capacity as well as your overall athletic fitness and performance.


Lifting Weights Can Burn More Fat


While it is true that cardio workouts are one of the best ways of burning fat, lifting weights can sometimes actually be a more effective fat-burning method than cardio alone. When you adopt strength-based stop-start resistance weight training, you burn through muscular glycogen quickly and then refill those glycogen levels with food after your workout. Over time, your insulin sensitivity will improve, enabling your body to use sugar for energy in muscles instead of converting it into fat. So, lifting weights to burn calories can indeed work well when you use the right training methods. In turn, with less fat, you will have better athletic performance when it comes to running.


Strength Training and Weight Lifting Improve Your Biomechanics for Greater Efficiency


The term “biomechanics” refers to how your body produces movement. When you strengthen the muscles that support your body via strength training and weight lifting to help ideal alignment as you run, you will use your energy more efficiently. That means you will be able to run faster.


Strength Training and Weight Lifting Can Help Prevent Injuries


According to different sources, between 35% and 80% of runners are injured every single year. But many of those injuries are preventable when runners use strength training and weight lifting to improve injury resilience by toughening their connective tissue and strengthening their muscles. Weight lifting is one of the most effective methods of preventing injuries. However, you need to ensure you do the right type of weight training to maximize results. When you do so, you can improve your durability, meaning you can withstand running injury-free, enhance the ability to produce a lot of force quickly, and improve your ability to lift heavier weights.


How often should you train?


It should now be clear why combining weight lifting and strength training is important for runners. But you still need to know how often to train. The answer is: it depends. Most non-competitive runners incorporate strength and weight training into their schedules twice a week. But if you are dealing with an injury for which you are advised to continue working out, you should aim for three to four days a week. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer as to how much you should do strength / weight training each week. But it is important that you set a regular weekly schedule and stick to it. As you progress, you can always increase or decrease your sessions later on.


In Conclusion


Quite simply, when your body is stable, strong, and coordinated, it will not break down as much. In general, when runners incorporate strength training and weight lifting into their workout routines, they become more resilient, burn more fat, and have better running form. Also, when you strength train and lift weights, you gain more muscle, which can help to lessen the impact that running has on your bones. If you suffer from something like stress fractures, strength and weight training can particularly help.

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