With the Olympics coming to a close, have you been inspired to don the runners?  Are you training for your first running event?  Are you doing any strength training for running?  

Malvern East Physiotherapy sees a range of runners.  These runner range from the occasional shuffler around the block through to marathon and ultra-marathon runners.  Surprisingly, very few runners do running specific strength training to compliment their training.

running

Why is strength training for runners so important?

Regardless of distance or speed, running is a repetitive action that involves absorbing large amounts of ground reaction force and explosive power pushing off.  Poor strength has been shown to result in poor technique, inefficiency and an increased likelihood of overuse injuries.  Running conditions including runners knee, patellofemoral pain syndrome or achilles tendinopathy are commonly associated with poor strength.

A recent study examined the benefits of strength training in a group of elite 10 km runners.  One group performed running specific strength training whilst the alternate group didn’t undergo any strength work.  Following an eight week program, the study identified an improved ability to prevent fatigue in the strength training group over 10 km.  This study confirmed that strength training could delay the onset of muscular fatigue.

What exercises should I do as a runner?

Runners need to develop strength and endurance through their core and gluts.  These muscle groups assist to provide stability and ensure correct alignment on foot strike.  Clinical pilates is a great adjunct to any running program and can be tailored with a range of running specific exercises.

Bridges, squats and lunges can be great exercises to be performed at home without equipment.  It is important that exercises are performed correctly to prevent injury.  Regardless of the distance training for, all strength exercises should be performed in the range of 20 – 25 repetitions, repeated for at least two to three.  These strength exercises should be performed at least two times per week.

Our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy can assist to develop an individualised and running specific strength program.  If you are a runner and want to get more out of your running program or rehabilitation, contact us directly on 9571 6888 or book an appointment online.