Why Strength Training is Important for Endurance Runners

Endurance runners are prone to injury due to overuse of the same muscles and the repetitive motion that comes with running. It can often lead to one giving up running since the pain is too great, or because being injured all the time just isn’t worth it.

With a well-developed training program that addresses strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability these injuries can be maintained or avoided. Strength training is the most overlooked program by endurance athletes. These athletes train 5-7 days a week for their event while battling IT band strains and tight muscles. This dedication leaves little time for strength training. An endurance athlete that follows a bulletproof strength and conditioning program can expect to minimize injury and increase performance. Here are some ways an endurance athlete can incorporate strength training into their routine.

Engage Your Core

Considering the amount of time spent on your sport, training sessions should not last too long. A 30-45 minute session should be sufficient. You want to make sure you incorporate enough core work to support your body for long periods of time. To work your core, you can venture towards 8-12 repetitions of movements like stability ball knee tucks, chops, and lifts.


Lift Heavier weights

Endurance athletes should be lifting a minimum of twice a week to gain the benefits of strength training. The main focus should be multi-joint exercises such as squats, glute hip thrusts, bench press, and or chin-ups. During your main lifts (hip thrusts, squats, bench press) you want to keep your repetitions lower, between 5 and 7 reps. Also, don’t be afraid to pause at the bottom of repetitions for added stability.


Add Plyometrics

When running, you want to spend as little time on the ground as possible with each stride. You are also repeatedly accelerating and decelerating your body every time you hit the pavement. Increasing efficiency in both of these areas will help you to minimize your ground contact time. Jumping, leaping, and bounding can all help to better your acceleration and deceleration. With these explosive movements, you only want them to last a maximum of 5 reps or up to 5-10 seconds with 60 seconds or more rest.


Wade Haras

FAST Facility Manager | Old Town Scottsdale

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).