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Importance of Strength Training: Runners!

If you are not doing strength training as a runner, you a negatively affecting your performance…. And here’s why!

Strength training ➡ improvements in running performance without any significant change in muscle mass quantity or VO2max. Essentially, strength training can help improve how well you use what you already have.

How does Strength training improve running performance?

Improvements in running performance after implementing strength training is due to changes to neuromuscular function. This is why! 1) Motor unit RECRUITMENT: larger motor units are recruited in response to greater loads or velocity. This threshold is lowered with strength training and causes an ⬆ in rate of force development. 2) Motor unit RATE CODING: Strength training improves the firing rate (coding) of motor units thereby ⬆ our ability to produce force rapidly! 3) Motor unit SYNCHRONISATION: Strength training improves the simultaneous activation of multiple motor units at a single time point thereby ⬆ our rate of force development. 4) NEUROMUSCULAR INHIBITION: neural feedback from both muscle and joint receptors can reduce force output (as a protective mechanism from unknown or ‘new’ stress). Strength training ⬇ regulation of this neural feedback, inhibiting antagonistic muscle groups thereby ⬆ force production. Hopefully you’ve gotten this far….in our next educational post we will be going through some strength training paradigms!

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References: Beattie, K., Et al (2016). The Effect of Strength Training on Performance Indicators in Distance Runners ➕ Denadai, B., Et al (2016). Explosive Training and Heavy Weight Training are Effective for Improving Running Economy in Endurance Athletes: A Systematic review, 1-10 ➕ Yamamoto, L., et al (2008). The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: A systematic review, 22(6), 2036-2044

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