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Why runners should strength train

Strength training is the key to keeping the rubber side down. Running can take a tremendous amount of toll on your body. Strength training is the tool runners should add to stimulate and revitalize their body to handle the constant pedaling. I love to run, that feeling after a nice evening stroll is magical. I did track and field throughout school, my events were the 400M, 800M, and 300M hurdles. I loved it, track was so much fun but I was constantly getting injured. My injuries ranged from plantar fasciitis, anterior knee pain, and low back pain.  It wasn’t until later when I was in PT school that I realized what might have been contributing to my woes, lack of strength training.

Strength training is the catalyst to finishing races and reaching personal records. It doesn’t matter whether you are a marathoner, sprinter, or occasional jogger. When I ran, I frequently became fatigued or experienced muscle tightness causing me to run out of gas during competition. Doing strengthening exercises will prime your muscles for endurance and help you develop power to give you that extra kick. Regaining motor control and added stability will help you keep the form needed to perform your best.

Keys to Remember:

  • Absorb stress of impact by being strong!  Injury risk reduction is the goal for strengthening. Your muscles and joints need to be able to handle the load associated with running. Building some lean muscle will counteract the repetitive stress associated with training.   That will vary based on your running activity
  • Fix muscle imbalances with strength training. When you run, you are one balancing on one leg at a time. It is pretty common for someone to have weaker areas and muscle that tend to work more than others. Training can help you target those problem areas that may get neglected.
  • Strengthen those stabilizing muscles with weight lifting. Lifting weights will allow to target those smaller but very important muscle in hip and feet that help you stabilize your pelvis and keep you more aligned. These stabilizing muscles are the key to form, better form, reduces your energy expenditure allowing you to run faster.

Physical therapists at Rose can help you through injuries and get you back out there doing what you love. We also have physical therapy exercises to help with run efficiency to get everything you can out of your workouts and races. Our running assessments are unique, using protocols that we developed in-house to ensure that you understand what is causing problems and can address those problems. If you are having trouble running, whether for enjoyment or for reaching maximum efficiency, contact us to book an appointment.