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 change in muscle mass quantity or VO2max. Essentially, strength training can help improve how well you use what you already have.


HOW ? 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! 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


If you need help, reach out to our caring and friendly team at our Chatswood or North Sydney Physiotherapy Clinic. You’ll be glad you did.

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