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Strength Training for runners and triathletes (Read 203 times)

EndorphinTherapy


    Evidence shows that strength training is extremely important in avoiding injury and should be our favoured form of cross training. As runners we have many muscle imbalances which leads to injuries. Injury is everyone's biggest setback to improvement and its important to stay on top of this.
    Even 2x30min sessions a week of strength training have shown to reduce running related injures (big 3: patella femoral join pain, achilles tendinopathy and hamstring strains).
    Squats and Calf raises are key, (high weight low reps is the way to go). And as a bonus, weight training has also shown to improve your running economy. 
    I made a youtube video with some insight into strength training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jf_Qk1MHRo

    MJeffery


      Very nice video. I do strength train, but it's a struggle because I try to stick with the "Hard days hard, easy days easy" rule and do my strength training on speed work day and long run day. The issue is that I've already invested a lot of time and energy on running on those days and I just have a hard time fitting it in. I usually manage to do a few planks and mess around with some light weights at home but very rarely do I actually make a special trip to a gym to lift heavy. I never thought to include calf raises though. Thanks.

       

      Mariah

      Marky_Mark_17


        I came into running off a background of field hockey and strength training.  I've kept the strength training up (albeit at reduced frequency) and honestly think it is very important for running in terms of maintaining form while tired and hopefully preventing injury too.

         

        The low weight / high rep advice is definitely sound, otherwise you will really feel it the next time you go running.  Squats, deadlifts, calf raises, lunges are all good for lower body.  For upper body, I do bench press, chin-ups, standing shoulder press, and also core is very important - both abs and the often-neglected lower back.

        PRs:

        5km: 16:43 (Auckland Corporate Challenge, Nov-17) | 10km: 34:44 (Albany Lakes Summer Series, Race 2, Feb-17)

        HM: 1:18:20 (Auckland Half Marathon, Oct-16) | FM: 2:57:36 (Auckland Marathon, Oct-17)

        Up next:  Orewa Beach Half Marathon, 11 Feb 2018

        strambo


          I came here to learn about endurance running...but strength training is my forte!

           

          First; no gym needed (I've never had a gym membership in my life.)  You can just use body weight to develop any level of strength you want, up to world class elite levels.  Until you can knock out multiple sets/reps of one arm pull ups, one arm push ups, handstand push ups, one leg (pistol) squats etc. you haven't even begun to explore the limits of body weight as resistance.  You just need a pull up bar.

           

          Next: forget low weight, high reps. That is what you are already doing when running!  You want strength without added bulk.  The formula for that is; heavy weights, low reps, low volume.  So, it could be a simple as 2 sets of 5 pistol squats, 2x5 one-arm push ups, 2x5 pull ups. (or obviously whatever variation difficulty where 5 reps is about your limit.)  You won't get sore with such low volume...you will get strong!

          Marky_Mark_17


            Strambo, I was initially skeptical when I read your post but did a bit more digging and there is actually a lot of logic and research to support a low-reps, high-weight approach, so I'm going to give it a go.

             

            My one challenge is with chin-ups where I would generally do 4x12 wide-grip pull-ups.  I'm guessing I'm gonna need to use a weight as well, or switch to one-arm which I haven't done in a while.

            PRs:

            5km: 16:43 (Auckland Corporate Challenge, Nov-17) | 10km: 34:44 (Albany Lakes Summer Series, Race 2, Feb-17)

            HM: 1:18:20 (Auckland Half Marathon, Oct-16) | FM: 2:57:36 (Auckland Marathon, Oct-17)

            Up next:  Orewa Beach Half Marathon, 11 Feb 2018

            strambo


              Check out Archer pullups. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikKG260TMwU

               

              Regarding your skepticism...I'm struggling with training for endurance events for the opposite reasons.  Things you do like lots of "easy miles" for endurance...make no sense for strength.  You could never do "lots of easy reps," "high lbs per week" and get stronger or build mass (beyond a brief initial adaptation).

               

              I worked up to a 2.5x body weight (450lb) deadlift on just 2 sets of 5 reps a few times per week.  High weight plus low reps=strength.  High weight plus medium reps (8-12) plus lot of sets (volume) equals strength and mass...provided you also eat and sleep a bunch.

               

              So, for time challenged runners (who don't want mass anyway), a couple sets of 5 reps of a few challenging bodyweight exercises at home seems perfect.  Of course it can be augmented with higher volume bodyweight workouts as well.  A circuit super-setting push ups, squats, pull ups and bridges with minimal rest would be a great strength-endurance and anaerobic workout.

              Marky_Mark_17


                That'd be the classic anaerobic vs. aerobic distinction there.  Training the aerobic system for running is, to a significant extent, a volume game where more miles = better results.  Totally different to anaerobic exercise like weightlifting!

                 

                I structure my training around 5 run days a week and 2 weights days (generally an upper / lower body split with core both days).  I find this helps me get the best out of the workout runs as I'm not running 7 days a week so often I'll be hitting them fresh.

                 

                That deadlift is impressive.  I could 1-rep 200kg (450lb) but that was before I got into running in a big way.  It'll be interesting to see if I can build it back up again.  If the DOMS is a lot less under a low-rep/higher weight scenario I can see that being worthwhile as well - at the moment I tend to have an easy run after legs day for that reason.

                PRs:

                5km: 16:43 (Auckland Corporate Challenge, Nov-17) | 10km: 34:44 (Albany Lakes Summer Series, Race 2, Feb-17)

                HM: 1:18:20 (Auckland Half Marathon, Oct-16) | FM: 2:57:36 (Auckland Marathon, Oct-17)

                Up next:  Orewa Beach Half Marathon, 11 Feb 2018

                strambo


                   

                  ... 

                  If the DOMS is a lot less under a low-rep/higher weight scenario I can see that being worthwhile as well - at the moment I tend to have an easy run after legs day for that reason.

                   

                  It's not that the DOMS is lower...it's non-existent!  At least for a 2x5 type volume scenario.

                   

                  I'm coming at this from a tactical background, being sore really wasn't an option for me, I want to be able to perform on demand.  Heavy weights for low reps plus anaerobic training gave me that.


                  Laura

                    I guess I do a bit of a combo between what a lot of you are saying.

                     

                    I frequently do Loop Band exercises, core, and body weight training, and then TRY 1-2x a week to do a little heavier lifting at the gym though I'm not as consistent about that as I am the other things.

                     

                    I think I have felt/seen a bigger difference from the consistent work on the "little things" with core work and loop bands. The bands are so helpful and effective and for busy people it really removes the "I don't have time" notion. Even a few minutes before bed each night makes a difference. I have also remained mostly healthy with years of training and racing by putting a bit more emphasis on these things. Obviously we will never know if it was JUST that or other things combined but I'd wager it has been a big factor.

                     

                    That said though, I would like to be more consistent about 1-3 solid gym strength sessions this year. What are everyone's favorite lifting exercises? I'm open to the notion of low reps higher weight for this purpose (basically the opposite of my method for core, bodyweight and loop bands where I focus on higher rep)

                    Pre-Baby PR's (all from 2015): 5k: 18:46  10k: 38:37 HM: 1:24:51 FM: 2:58:13

                    Postpartum PR's (all from 2017): 5k: 19:44 (6 mo PP), HM: 1:33:34 (4.5 mo PP)

                     

                    strambo


                      The deadlift is the king of all weighted exercise.  It covers 80% of your body.   The other 20% is an upper body press.  I like standing one arm barbell or dumbell presses.

                       

                      If you can deadlift heavy, you don't need any ancillary "core" work.  Oh, don't use straps either, your grip will naturally develop without them.

                       

                      https://www.dragondoor.com/b10/   Outstanding book on strength.

                       

                      A field-stripped program could be a simple as your running plus 3x per week 2 sets of 5 reps deadlift, 2 sets 5 reps press.  Takes 10-20 mins max.