There's no question that training programs for runners have greatly evolved in the past few decades, or for that matter, even in the past several years. Gone are the days when a runner's daily workout routine consisted of running, and nothing but running. However, runners need to do more than just run. They need to get stronger, not only to become a better runner, but also to avoid injury.
Avoiding injuries is very important when you consider that some studies have shown that runners are being injured at a greater rate than professional football players are. The good news is how far training programs for runners have come. Myths about how lifting weights will create bulk that will slow you down have not only been dispelled, but also wiped clean from the slate. What follows is not only some myth busting, but also training trips for runners who want to get stronger, faster, and less injury-prone.
Overcoming weight training myths
The notion of weight training not being a benefit to runners has been disproven repeatedly. Here are four myths to reconsider:
Staying strong and injury free
It has already been established that runners need to do more than just run to become stronger and better runners. But there's more to that than just getting stronger; it's also exercising to help prevent injuries.
In his book "Running Strong," Dr. Jordan Metzl discusses the importance of strengthening muscles in ways that use your whole body and mimic movements runners actually do in real life. Consider some of Metzl’s suggestions:
Exercises that help make you a stronger runner
It's clear that building muscles and overall body strength will help make you a stronger and faster runner. Here are some exercises you can do to help improve all facets of running:
It is important to note that it's possible to run too fast during speedwork, especially as a beginner. You should run a 400-meter sprint at a slower speed than as if you were running a 400-meter race. It is more important to run every interval at the same speed.
So do as the experts advise, don’t stick to just running if you are looking to become a better runner. Adding strength training to your workout will undoubtedly improve your running as your muscles become stronger and your body becomes less prone to injury.