With so many marathons and a variety of races happening throughout the year, more and more people are motivated to get out there and start running. Most runners would agree that training for a race or simply becoming a stronger runner requires more than just running. Running is a great way to get your cardio in, but if you want to build strong muscles and become a stronger runner, then you have to pick up some weights.
Finding time for strength-training exercises can be difficult for runners with busy schedules. Luckily, lifting weights doesn’t have to be time-consuming and runners can follow workout routines that take less than 20 minutes to complete.
Chris Kolba, a physical therapist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says the results are well worth the time.
“Lifting weights can make a big difference for runners,” says Kolba.
In a nutshell, the weight training will give your running muscles more strength, which improves athletic performance and reduces your risk of injury.
How does lifting reduce your chance of injury?
It’s all about the forces your feet and legs experience while you are running.
“Your foot is on the ground for maybe a tenth of a second, but during that time it’s handling five to eight times your body weight,” Kolba explains.
Strength training can increase your body’s ability to both absorb shock and control motion. This improves your athletic performance while also significantly reducing the risk of injury.
So, what exercises should runners do?
Runners should focus on working glutes, core muscles, and hips.
Kolba says patients can experience a weakness in the glute muscle that causes his or her knee, ankles and hips to work “a little harder than they would like to” to compensate.