Whether you have just signed up for your first 10k run or if you’re a seasoned triathlete, it’s obviously important to be putting in those miles. However, it’s arguably as important to make strength work a key part of your training too. There are several reasons for this so let’s look a little further.
The first and very important benefit of adding resistance work to your training is injury prevention with annual injury rate for runners at an average of 85%. When your goal is to run a long distance then clearly the bulk of your training will be running. However, this repetitive style training comes with serious injury risk to knees, hips, shins and Achilles. Adding in some functional resistance work using big compound moves where you are using more than one joint will be super beneficial. So think about squats, deadlifts, press ups and lunges which will work on those big leg and glute muscles and work the core too. These moves will strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons so that they become more able to stand the wear and tear of your running and cycling and prevent those frustrating injuries that will scupper your training.
The second benefit is performance. Strength training will massively enhance your overall performance, making it easier to run and cycle for longer and help give you that added burst during those sprint finishes. It can help you improve your time to exhaustion at maximum speed, running economy, leg strength and speed. Who doesn’t want to see these fantastic improvements? It just might give you that crucial edge over your competitors!
For optimal results, try to add two sessions per week to your training. They don’t have to be long workouts so aim for around thirty minutes which can be added to your shorter run/cycle days if needed to save time. Choose a combination of body weight and weighted exercises focusing on squats, deadlifts, lunges and core work. Remember that consistency is key so keep at it and enjoy the results that strength training can bring.
Happy training! 🙂