RUN: Strength Training For Runners

 🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏼‍♀️ Looking to get an edge or beat your fastest mile?

💡 If you think “Lifting weights will make you bulky” well then my friend if you so happen to gain muscle so quickly that you surpass 97% of the human population in ability to grow muscle. Congrats you don’t have to do as much

Unless you’re that 3% I’m sorry to say, there’s no way you grow muscle fast enough to negatively impact you and secondly strength training will only make you better, faster, & stronger

It ain’t the 70’s no more, take off your waist trainer and let’s discuss why you’re worried about being right over actually getting better #toomuchsauce

The Million Dollar Question and the major reason I’m going over this topic


⁉️Will strength training improve my run time on my (insert goal distance)⁉️


That answer seems to be YES. Why?


💡”Advanced” runners who substituted 32% of their volume (amount of activity measured by mileage or distance) for EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH TRAINING per week


There was OVER A MINUTE DECREASE in their 5km timed run IN JUST 9 WEEKS‼️


🔍 Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power

Leena Paavolainen, Keijo Häkkinen, Ismo Hämäläinen, Ari Nummela, and Heikki Rusko

Journal of Applied Physiology 1999 86:5, 1527-1533

 

▶️ RUNNING ECONOMY

Defined as the amount of energy (usually measured in oxygen consumption and usage aka VO2max) during steady state running exercise.

 

More oxygen consumed AND not “used” = Less efficient running


🔎 In the previous study discussed, advanced runners 5km timed run improve by nearly a minute post explosive strength training. This comes from the “increased” stiffness the musculotendinous units which help to transfer energy more effectively and efficiently


👟 The more energy that is transferred the less force that is lost and therefore that has to be developed again


✅ GREATER ENERGY TRANSFER = LESS GROUND CONTACT TIME = GREATER POWER = FASTER AND EFFICIENT RUNNING aka Improved Running Economy

 

EXERCISE SELECTION 💪🏻

👂🏻 Listen here y’all I’m gonna keep it simple and sweet, let this be a guide for you to further “optimize” your current “workout plan” There’s no fancy detailed study or meta-analysis to show significance. There’s are simply exercises I have found and seen great if not excellent measurable “results” when used appropriately AND are highly individualized and per needs basis


▶️ Here’s an example of a “warm-up and lower body” routine. These shapes and movements can and should be adjusted to meet the needs of the individual.

 

This is designed for a well trained athlete/runner. IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER PLEASE DON’T TRY EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. Start with what you can and move from there


WARM UP: 2-3 rounds of

A1) Deadbugs

A2) Copenhagen Adductor Plank

A3) Single-Leg Bridge w/ MiniBand


MAIN: 3-6 rounds of

B1) Rear Foot Elevated Spilt Squat with DB or KB [5-10 reps each leg GO HEAVY]

B2) Plyometric Single-Leg Exercise such as Jumping Lunges [half of the reps you completed in B1]

B3) Moderately Weighted Step-Ups [6-12 steps each side]

B4) Anti-Roll Spilt Squats/Lunge Variation [I say 8ish on each leg- Visit @dr.joelseedman_ahp to see about one gazillion different exercises you need to try, this comes from him]


WHAT’S BETTER HEAVY OR LIGHT WEIGHTS❓


Oh boy the classic age old debate. Here’s the deal people.

 

1️⃣ IF YOU A TRUE BEGINNER generally, typically, commonly, most novices require a stable environment (controlled/braced/proper form) and some moderate weight and they will grow/adapt. Find the minimal required to get you maximally better. It’s especially important for runners who total 50+ miles a week, you don’t have room for much more volume


2️⃣ I’m not gonna bother looking up the exact “estimated force per individual” but it goes something like YOUR BODY EXPERIENCES AT LEAST 5X YOUR BODY WEIGHT IN FORCE PER STRIDE RUNNING- you be joking if you think you can use the fuzzy pink weights all the time and get better. Big forces means you need practice with big forces aka heavier/challenging weights


3️⃣ BE SPECIFIC maybe this should have been the first point made but my workout from yesterday is MOSTLY single leg exercises because it’s specific to running. Don’t be ridiculous of course things like squats and “two legged” or bilateral movements are essential but don’t forget the goal is running performance


4️⃣ CONTROLLED THEN EXPLOSIVE why I placed plyometrics in my workout or jumping exercises is because we are creating a stiff environment for you to transfer energy well- USING HEAVY WEIGHT then replicating that exercise with a quick pace similar movement produces more force for further sets known as Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP) BUT you can’t move quickly until you move correctly. Remember that


▶️ In short my answer is, at first “lighter weights” may be enough but using more challenging loads THEN combining those with body weight/lighter weight  explosive patterns that replicate the heavy movement may maximize your efforts


POST-ACTIVATION POTENTIATION


🤢Being sick and taking enough medicine I totally forgot to post this one up. Maybe it was a good thing because I had listened to a few good IMO experts, including @myotopia (totally check him out)


▶️ So in summary potentiation is the phenomenon where post activity motor unit recruitment (all the fibers that innervate a muscle fiber) increases in order to produce more efficiently because we are recruiting higher motor units (usually thought to be stronger)


Why? Because with a great warm up or programming this phenomenon leads to long term adaptions that could allow for runners to produce more force with using less energy


In short PAP is the distribution of action(s) to more/stronger motor units, meaning each will be doing less work

Zak BrennanComment