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BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING FOR RUNNERS- What I learnt (the hard way)… over a decade of running

In 2005 New York Marathon was the first international road marathon I ran, 10 years later I ran The Athens Classic Marathon & lots in between (10k, halfs, marathons road & trail).

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I trained the traditional way, followed my running plan, got my miles in & ticked the boxes. On the start line of New York, I went in with a knee niggle that I developed during training, strapped up & cracked on. At mile 14 of New York that knee niggle developed into a full-blown issue affecting my running style, biomechanics, overall movement patterns which affected my ankle, foot, ITB & back. I finished under 5 hours… I was naffed off, I knew better! I had the knowledge & I wasn’t fully applying it.

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It was at that point in my career I dived heavily into researching the art & science of running, to optomise every facet of performance in that area.

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Obsessed- I tested out current science research, theories, interviewed people who excelled in their field, worked with clients with full knowledge of the undertaking & kept refining the outcomes.

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A decade later I ran The Athens Classic Marathon in the blistering Greek midday sunshine, finishing over an hour faster (& 10 years older), no problems physically or mentally & with astonishing recovery. I felt like I’d glided over the road with every stride.

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WHAT I KNEW & APPLIED TRAINING FOR ATHENS MARATHON

  •   Structured effective cross training for aerobic stamina with indoor cycling. All the cardiovascular benefits without the high impact of running.

  • I designed a nutritional plan that got me to my ideal weight, retained muscle mass & optomised endurance, performance & recovery.

  •  I kept testing my kit so it worked for me; trainers, materials, tops, shorts, under garments, drinks holders etc

  • Specific running training plan that combined all cross training facets

  • Active recovery during training & post race phase including; foam rolling, pilates, deep stretching, swimming, cold water immersion

 

 

WHAT I LEARNT THAT MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE

That strength training had multiple benefits; reduced my run time, no injuries & quicker recovery.

I designed my own progressive strength resistance training plan that allowed me to get stronger without compromising my running training.

  • I had more power in my stride which stopped other muscles compensating & imbalances occurring. I focused on strengthening my hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings & quads, which helped stability, balance & my running ability.

  •  I improved my core strength by doing compound exercises with heavy weight, which improved my running form & posture, reducing the risk of injury.

  • Strength training improved my running speed & economy. I was stronger, had more power & therefore longer strides, more pace to drive up hills, speed on the flat & downhill control.

 

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

If you have never lifted weights before, please follow a plan & get advice on correct technique & form for all exercises.

Start light & aim to progressively increase your weight every 4 to 6 sessions.

Aim for 2 sessions a week & then move to 3.

 

WANT MORE?

Click the 🔗 here to see all my strength resistance training classes that you can do whilst running training for any event or off season to build a phenomenal foundation.

 

Thank you for reading

Any questions about running & strength please ask me.

 

Love Tracy x  

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