Strength Training Paradigms for Runners

Recently we reviewed the physiological benefits from strength training for runners. But before you get into it, here are some strength training paradigms that you should follow to ensure you do it safely and effectively!


1) EARN the right to LIFT - As lifting heavy carries risks, it is important that you spend sufficient time to improve your technique and form before loading up. This can take months.

2) Build a strong FOUNDATION - ensure adequate joint range, muscle recruitment, motor control, balance and skill before loading.

3) FUNCTIONAL TRAINING - train the skills and functional movement you will use in running. Avoid isolation exercises apart from rehabilitation purposes. 4) More often than not, focus on SPLIT and SINGLE LEG stance exercises - in running, every time our leg lands it is in isolation, requiring single leg strength, balance and contralateral core strength. These traits can be enhanced through single leg and split stance strength exercises. 5) Increase LOAD gradually - don't get overzealous. Aim to increase load no more than 5-10% from one session to the next. 6) Complement with POWER exercises - this can transfer improvements in strength from slow controlled movement into the rapid demands of running. 7) LOW REP, high load focus - here’s why: 1) unlikely to result in hypertrophy (slows you down), 2) less likelihood of DOMS (get back to training quicker), 3) time efficient! 4) moreso about activating neuromuscular system to highest capacity than damaging muscle. We recommend 3 sets of 3-5 reps (5-6RM). Our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions.

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