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Please be safe, consult with your
physician before beginning any
new fitness plan.
How often should I train with resistance?
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance training 2-3 times per week.
Runners can benefit from including resistance training 2-3 times per week during their off-season or base training phase. Resistance training can then be reduced to twice per week during the pre-season, when runners are spending more time doing speed work. Finally, reduce resistance training to 1-2 times per week for maintenance, during the racing season.
What exercises should I do?
Runners can benefit from including exercises for all the major muscle groups. Most runners will want to work on muscular endurance, using higher repetitions of specific exercises that relate to their sport. Keeping the number of repetitions at 12-15 or higher will work on muscular endurance.
Exercise: Major Muscle Groups Involved
- Step Ups: Quadraceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Calves
- Lunges: Quadraceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Calves
- Seated Calf Raises: Calves (Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Anterior
- Abdominal Crunches: Rectus Abdominus, Obliques
- Back Extensions: Erector Spinae
- Hip Abduction: Gluteus Medius
What is resistance training?
Resistance training involves conditioning the body using weights or resistance to help increase muscular strength, endurance, power or size.
Benefits of resistance training:
- Decreases body fat
- Increases lean body mass
- Increases bone density
- Increases metabolism
How can resistance training help my running?
Running is a cardiovascular exercise. Running will improve your body’s ability to transport oxygen to the working muscles. Running will increase your VO2MAX, and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Your heart won’t have to work as hard as you become more fit.
Adding resistance training to your running program will decrease body fat. You will have less non-working weight to carry on your runs. Your muscles will feel fresher. Tensile strength (tendons and ligaments) will increase. Your connective tissues will become stronger, and take stress away from the joints and muscle attachment sites. Resistance training if done correctly through a full range of motion can actually increase flexibility. Resistance training can help to balance muscular strength, thus helping to avoid injuries. Developing a strong core makes any movement easier and more efficient. Working the core muscles of the abs, gluteals, low back and hip flexors will help to improve running economy.