5 Ways Strength Training Could Make You Faster

Spoiler alert: there does not really seem to be a consensus on whether or not strength training will actually improve your speed as a runner. That being said, there are possible benefits to strength training for runners. Read on to find out what they are!

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 reasons strength training might help you become speedier. Keep in mind I am not a researcher, doctor, or personal trainer.

1: It makes you powerful
Building the right muscles will help you to get explosive — aka fast. This can help you start strong — and stay strong — and ultimately run faster. If this is what you’re after, try plyometric exercises.

2: It can help prevent injuries
Think about what happens when you run: you are essentially hopping from one single legged squat to another. If you’re legs aren’t strong enough to perform these movements, or fatigue quickly, what do you suppose your chance of injury might be? 

If you dig online, you will of course find those that say strength training really won’t help you as a runner, but you will also find many, many reputable experts that insist that it does. I say try it for yourself and see what you think. IOW, don’t knock it til you try it!

3: It improves running economy
Running economy means you use less oxygen to maintain your pace. 

Can strength training improve my running form? | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

4: It can improve your running form
Every notice how your shoulders creep up towards your ears by the end of a race? Yeah, that’s poor running form. When our running form falls apart, we’re usually tensing up somewhere — and that can use up the energy we want to use for running.

If form is important to you, make sure you do those core exercises — everything moves from our core. A weak core can mean your running form will fall apart sooner rather than later.

5: It may help you hold off fatigue
This comes back to point #4 — strong muscles will not fatigue as quickly as weak ones, allowing you to hold a better running form longer. This means your run will feel easier. You’ve run hard and easy runs — which feel better to you?

Final Thoughts
I personally do think that strength training is important for everyone, but in my research I also came across an interesting article (to read it click here) that claims strength training won’t improve your running, and may even hinder it. The author makes some interesting points, and hey, if you don’t want to strength train, you’re gonna love this article! 

The jury is still out on whether strength training will make you faster, but I believe that the benefits of strength training are important for everyone:

  • Helps you in your functional fitness in your day to day life
  • Helps improve bone strength
  • Maintain or build muscle, which we tend to lose as we age
  • May help increase your cognitive ability
  • May help you sleep better
  • Helps improve blood sugar control

This list is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of strength training. I don’t know about you, but these all sound like really good things to me!

You do not have to spend hours at home or at the gym,, either. Just 10 – 15 minutes a day could make a huge difference in your life. Check out these workouts from Confessions of a Mother Runner here, or from Coach Debbie Runs here.

Share with me a story about strength training & how it’s helped your runs

How do you find the time to fit in strength training?

What types of strength training do you enjoy?

23 thoughts on “5 Ways Strength Training Could Make You Faster

  1. I do strength training once or twice a week. I have several full-body workout videos with free weights, and I also like Bodyfit by Amy on You Tube. She has a huge variety of workouts, and they really make me sweat. I’m sure my regular weight training helps me with stability and injury prevention.

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  2. I don’t disagree that it could be beneficial.

    But sometimes you have priorities and for me it takes a back seat.

    I used to enjoy tennis and even the machines at the gym.

    Now I feel that even without strength training I can still be a better and faster runner. IMO.

    As Jenny recently said to me. If it ain’t broke …

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    1. I do think the jury is out on whether or not strength training can make you a better runner, but now is the time to think about what’s coming. For many that may be loss of muscle & even potentially broken bones. Of course accidents can happen, but use it or lose it is very real.

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      1. Which is why I run or walk everyday and my hubby plays tennis (exercise is just as important for men!)

        But there is just so many hours in a day with work, family and friend obligations (and sleep). You can’t do it all.

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    1. I think it’s just great for everybody! Although it does irk me that my husband still has more upper body strength without doing anything. Still moving those treadmills wasn’t easy so it’s a good thing I try to keep up my strength!

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  3. I think strength training is great for everyone. If you’re a younger runner you can probably get away with not doing it, but for us older runners, it’s crucial! I still don’t enjoy it- but I’ve accepted that it’s a necessity for me.

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  4. I agree with you. My personal experience began with core work. When I went from doing zero core work to just a few minutes of focused core work a few times a week, I was able to run up hills easier. I was sure if just this little bit helped me be a stronger runner, doing more overall strength training would also help. I started doing more strength training a couple of days a week and definitely saw it helping me be a stronger overall runner.

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  5. Interesting post. My strength training is very limited for the problem I have on my right shoulder however I do what … I can do. In the past, before the incident, I followed a program of cross and strength training.

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  6. You know I’m a huge advocate for strength training for runners. I’ve never heard that strength training can make you faster, tho. What it does is make you stronger and helps prevent injuries. I gues that indirectly could make you faster, tho, because you won’t have to take time off from training for injuries, lol

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  7. I really think strength training is why I had my first injury free year the same year I ran by far my highest mileage. It might not be a one to one, but I really do think it helps

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