Coronovirus update: Click here to access our new "Telehealth" service, face to face health consultations over the internet.

Running: Improving Performance And Reducing Injury With Strengthening

Running Improving Performance And Reducing Injury

One of the most common suggestions I give to runners who want more out of their training program is to do more strengthening. At this point I usually get asked why, due to a belief that if they want to get better at running surely it should be by doing more running.

Perhaps surprisingly this is not necessarily the case.

Usually the runners I see are already running a lot and although they are fit and healthy they are getting physio for some reason and usually it is due to a strength deficit.

The reason runners can benefit from strengthening is largely due to improvements in tendon strength. By having stronger tendons, runners can be better at absorbing the force through their joints (which can be up to 6 times body weight) and by better dealing with that repeated load, runners are less likely to get injured. Not only that, but strength training improves your power, coordination and efficiency.

But won’t strength training make me too bulky and heavy? A good question and why having some guidance, particularly in the early stages is important. My recommendation would be to perform relatively low reps (4-6 reps) for 3-4 sets with plenty of recovery time (2-3 minutes in between sets). Try to perform the reps at a slow but comfortable pace to increase time under tension. The heavy load, low reps, will stimulate the neuromuscular benefits of strength training and improve tendon strength and will have less of a hypertrophy (muscle building) effect.

Not only does the research say this type of training is beneficial for reducing injury rates but is also likely to improve your performance in long distance events. Next week I’ll have a blog for you highlighting some recommended exercises and which particular muscle groups benefit most from strength training for runners.

This blog was written by David our physiotherapist at Health Space Clinics. You can find him at our Rozelle and Burwood clinics and if you would like to make an appointment please call us at 9810 8769.

Author: David Kwong

David Kwong is our Physiotherapist at Health Space Rozelle and Burwood. If you'd like to make an appointment please call us at 02) 9810 8769

FREE DOWNLOAD: practitioner-approved guides to move better, sleep better, feel better

FREE DOWNLOAD: practitioner-approved guides to move better, sleep better, feel better

Get our top 3 resources to improving your upper and lower body mobility, plus our sleep essentials guide from our integrated team of health practitioners.

  • Hidden
Not sure what treatment you need?
Click here to ask a health practitioner

Not sure what treatment you need?

Do you have particular pain or symptoms but are not sure which health treatment or practitioner is right for you? Please get in touch and one of our practitioner team will respond to you with personalised assistance.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.