Strength training for endurance runners: improving performance and reducing injury risk
This lecture covers how strength training exercise can be used to enhance performance and lower the risk of overuse injury in endurance runners. The session explores the physiological basis for endurance running performance and how resistance training and plyometrics can be used to enhance running economy and anaerobic qualities to improve performance. The lecture also explains the factors that might predispose a runner to an overuse injury and describes training approaches to improving the structural integrity of tissues that might be vulnerable to injury.
- Endurance running performance is primarily limited by physiological factors including running economy, which is partly underpinned by neuromuscular qualities
- Strength training added to the programme of endurance runners is likely to improve running economy and several anaerobic qualities, which translates to enhancements in performance
- Overuse injuries are common in endurance runners and there is widely held belief that strength and conditioning exercises can reduce the risk of developing injuries
- Strength and conditioning activities may play an important role in improving structural integrity that offsets the likelihood of overuse injury
- It is recommended strength training is performed 2-3 times per week (or micro-dosed through a training week) and includes heavy resistance exercises, plyometrics, and specific conditioning for structures vulnerable to injury