'Be the Strongest Runner you can be' - by Nathan Montague
We are not talking about brute strength. We are not talking about building a rugby player or heavyweight boxer strength. We are not even talking directly about lifting super heavy weights. Look at some of the best distance runners in the world: Eluid Kipchoge, Killian Jornet, Laura Muir and Courtney Dauwalter. They are machines. They are strong as oxes. Yes, they lift weights and no you don’t necessarily need to lift weights. Your body weight will do for starters. Additionally, they do this under the guide of experienced professional coaches. It would be best to go to a relevant coach or physical trainer for safe advice on this.
Strength for endurance encompasses power, muscular endurance, proprioception, isometric activities, plyometrics, balance, dynamic and static stretches and strength against resistance (using an external source, weight, ball, or band).
Wow, mind blown! What? You may be asking.
All this. ‘How can I fit all this in and, anyhow, I'll be like a weight-lifter after’. Simply no! These are activities which replicate and extend the running movement, isolate underused or weak muscles and areas, and strengthen the main areas used in endurance. Why? To make you fatigue resistant, help reduce the likelihood of injuries and be able to cope with the training load you need for your target race. It will lengthen your running life. You will become a stronger, more fluent and economic runner. You will waste less energy and therefore get faster and go for longer. So strength training is vital for us endurance runners. Don’t be misconceived by the word or sacred of the process. It's vital. It is often very different to what we think. We want bombproof runners!