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Heavy strength training and plyometric improves running economy. No improvements from high reps/low load. Findings from new systematic review w. meta analysis (Read 155 times)

Half Crazy K 2.0


    Flavio, does the Blagrove book cover "next best" alternatives if you don't have access to a gym? I've found there seems to be a lack of in between. For example, you can purchase the Strength Running plans and that is very gym/barbell/heavy lifting oriented and the alternative is no weight plans. I'm using dumbbells at home, ,so limited by what I can safely hold. I do have a barbell, but am also limited by what I can safely get over my head.

    flavio80


    Intl. correspondent

      Cyberic - thanks for the info. It sounds to me like you are ON topic then 😁
      Cause the study mentioned in the OP states that strength training with lower weights and lots of repetitions was not ideal for improving running economy.

      I honestly find that anything that will make your core stronger is helpful for general life, not just running.
      I also don't lift to help the running, I lift because it makes me feel alive and better.
      The one hour I'm there at the gym my anxiety vanishes and my mood improves.
      I also lift cause it feels really good to lift something that is heavy to me.
      So whichever running economy gains will be extra.

       

      HCK - The book does specify many exercises that can be done with lower weights, like all the single leg combinations (single leg squat, Bulgarian squat, single leg deadlift, box step ups).

      One trick one former gym coach taught me though is that if you only have a lower weight, you can make do with slower, more controlled repetitions.

      Like if usually you'd do the Bulgarian squat 1s down, 1 second up, with a lower weight you can do instead 3 seconds down, 3 seconds up.

      The slower more controlled version of the exercise is way more taxing and difficult and then you can sort of "emulate" a heavier weight.

      One other thing the book mentions is the plyos, the author states they're also helpful for strength and running economy, ex: broad jumps, box jumps, single leg hops.

      Oh, and also uphill sprints or strides, like 6-10s sprints if the hill is short and sharp, 15-30s strides if the hill is longer and not as sharp.

      I hope that helped. I'm only relaying what I read, I'm really no expert on the subject.

      PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

      Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

      Tool to generate Strava weekly

      Half Crazy K 2.0


        Flavio, makes sense. The controlled reps is actually something I've been doing for a while. Definitely challenging.

          I like these actual studies turning "conventional" (1950's gym teacher) training thought on it's head. Empirical evidence is king.

           

          Now we don't have to waste time "stretching" anymore, and thankfully ice baths are nearly useless, cuz I don't like them.

           

          Using current findings, which will likely be supplanted in the future by new findings, EZ Interval method and Plyometrics are the preferred methods to increasing performance in distance runners while reducing chances of injuries.

          60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

          ch17


          It's Tuesday every day

            Hey... this reminds me of an Owen-Anderson-recommended exercise I used to do... might be useful here. Behold:

             

            One-Legged Half-Squat SuperSets: start with no weights until you can do it without tipping over (occasional toe-touch is okay):

             

            1. Stand on one leg, other knee bent with foot in air unsupported

            2. Lower into a half-squat, i.e., about 45-deg knee bend, then stand back up. 10 reps. Then, without resting...

            3. Lower into the half-squat and hold 10 sec.

            4. Stand back up, then, without resting, repeat steps 2-3 twice more.

            5. Then do other leg, same as above. This all is one set.

            6. Work up to two or three sets.

             

            No individual movement ever seemed like a lot, but I'd notice some fatigue the next day if I tried to do something difficult. --Christine

             

            Flavio, makes sense. The controlled reps is actually something I've been doing for a while. Definitely challenging.

            Altair5


            Runs in the rain

              This is a quote from a Facebook running group, I just wonder if lifting really could help me improve my pace as much as it did for this poster?  " I will say, the greatest improvement in speed I ever saw was when I started lifting heavy 2-3 times per week. Consistent running is key, but man, I shaved almost 2 minutes off my pace in 3 months of bulking those glutes and quads!!"

              Long distance runner, what you standin' there for?
              Get up, get out, get out of the door!

              mt79


                That sounds highly unlikely for people that are already in shape.  But, there does seem to be a gap where a lot of runners don’t really lift.  I find it strange that people are willing to run a lot and battle injuries and so forth, but just ignore the low hanging fruit of strength training.

                 

                This is a quote from a Facebook running group, I just wonder if lifting really could help me improve my pace as much as it did for this poster?  " I will say, the greatest improvement in speed I ever saw was when I started lifting heavy 2-3 times per week. Consistent running is key, but man, I shaved almost 2 minutes off my pace in 3 months of bulking those glutes and quads!!"

                flavio80


                Intl. correspondent

                  That sounds highly unlikely for people that are already in shape.  But, there does seem to be a gap where a lot of runners don’t really lift.  I find it strange that people are willing to run a lot and battle injuries and so forth, but just ignore the low hanging fruit of strength training.

                   

                   

                  I fully agree!

                  PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                  Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                  Tool to generate Strava weekly

                    LOL, no shit, knew this 20 plus years... kinda common sense...

                    300m- 37 sec.

                    Half Crazy K 2.0


                      This is a quote from a Facebook running group, I just wonder if lifting really could help me improve my pace as much as it did for this poster?  " I will say, the greatest improvement in speed I ever saw was when I started lifting heavy 2-3 times per week. Consistent running is key, but man, I shaved almost 2 minutes off my pace in 3 months of bulking those glutes and quads!!"

                       

                      I wonder how new to running the person was? And if anything else changed? Seems unlikely to me unless we're talking a relatively new runner.

                      Marylander


                        As someone who is not a natural distance runner but leans towards the other end of the athletics spectrum I always wondered if the advice to lift heavy for runners applies to someone like me. I understand it for someone who is not starting out "strong" but what if you kind of have a surplus of strength? For someone who is more naturally a strength athlete would it still be advised to lift heavy to help your distance running? My guess is not.

                         

                        That said, I'm not running for performance at this stage in my life, just trying to keep healthy in a general sense as I get older. So, I run and I do some lifting (albeit much lighter than when I was younger). I still think the discussion is interesting though.

                        flavio80


                        Intl. correspondent

                          Here's another interesting podcast/video about this topic with author Jason Fitzgerald and Physiotherapist + running coach Jimmy Picard.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNLas7pxoLU

                           

                          One interesting tidbit is Jimmy mentions that when we're lifting heavy weights we're preparing the tendons for heavier loads, which is one of the ways strength training helps to avoid injuries.

                          Jimmy also mentions that in an ideal world you'd scheduled it such that you'd do your run workout in the morning and then lift in the afternoon a few hours later.

                          He mentions that 2x a week is alright, with sessions from 30min to 60 min.

                          And he states that ideally you should never do the lifting session after a long run.

                           

                          Another interesting comment regarding diet: If you're thinking of adding lifting to your routine but you're struggling to eat enough and well to keep with with your running, then you shouldn't.

                          On the same topic, he mentions that if a person is extremely busy and then decides to add strength training, but by doing that endup a lot more stressed because the gym is at a very inconvenient location etc that they end up half assing the lifting session, then it's better that they spend more time with the family and sleep more instead.

                          PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                          Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                          Tool to generate Strava weekly

                          Half Crazy K 2.0


                            Flavio, thanks for the podcast link. I found it interesting because it was not just lift heavy stuff. There was also talk about more reps, less weight type workouts, which I haven't done in quite some time.

                            ch17


                            It's Tuesday every day

                              Hi Flavio - it's belated, but thank you for continuing to post these items (as well as e.g., the foot-strength thread)

                               

                              >Another interesting comment regarding diet: If you're thinking of adding lifting to your routine but you're struggling to eat enough and well to keep with with your running, then you shouldn't.

                               

                              I need to go check out this video for this very reason. I started lifting again at the beginning of the year and promptly lost a little weight, which is not what I needed to happen. I almost asked about it here but felt too ridiculous to do so. I've managed to keep lifting and keep from losing more weight, but it's been a challenge. Will be curious to see what Fitzgerald/Picard say.

                               

                              Finally, for those who don't have the Blagrove book, here's a youtube discussion with its author:

                              What are the Best Strength Exercises for Runners? | with Rich Blagrove, PhD

                              https://youtu.be/P56UI6KDcvI?si=Z0Mx4MD79cK6NN4a

                               

                              Here's another interesting podcast/video about this topic with author Jason Fitzgerald and Physiotherapist + running coach Jimmy Picard.

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNLas7pxoLU

                               

                              One interesting tidbit is Jimmy mentions that when we're lifting heavy weights we're preparing the tendons for heavier loads, which is one of the ways strength training helps to avoid injuries.

                              Jimmy also mentions that in an ideal world you'd scheduled it such that you'd do your run workout in the morning and then lift in the afternoon a few hours later.

                              He mentions that 2x a week is alright, with sessions from 30min to 60 min.

                              And he states that ideally you should never do the lifting session after a long run.

                               

                              Another interesting comment regarding diet: If you're thinking of adding lifting to your routine but you're struggling to eat enough and well to keep with with your running, then you shouldn't.

                              On the same topic, he mentions that if a person is extremely busy and then decides to add strength training, but by doing that endup a lot more stressed because the gym is at a very inconvenient location etc that they end up half assing the lifting session, then it's better that they spend more time with the family and sleep more instead.

                              flavio80


                              Intl. correspondent

                                Thanks ch17 for that, it was a very interesting video!

                                PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                                Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                                Tool to generate Strava weekly

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