The Science Behind Why Runners Should Lift Heavy Weights

The Science Behind Why Runners Should Lift Heavy Weights

Runners already understand the importance of cardiovascular training for improving endurance and performance. However, an exciting study proves that heavy resistance training trumps plyometrics when it comes to running performance. You can read the study HERE, but we’ve also broken it down for you below.

A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information explored the benefits of resistance training, specifically heavy lifting, for endurance athletes like runners. Contrary to common misconceptions, lifting heavy weights doesn't just build muscle mass—it also enhances muscular strength, power, and efficiency.

Here's how heavy weightlifting can benefit runners:

Improved Running Economy: Running economy refers to the energy cost of running at a given pace. By increasing muscular strength through heavy lifting, runners can improve their running economy, allowing them to maintain faster speeds with less effort.

Injury Prevention: Strong muscles act as shock absorbers, reducing the impact forces on joints and tissues during running. This can help prevent common running injuries such as shin splints, IT band syndrome, and knee pain.

Enhanced Performance: Building strength and power through heavy lifting can translate to better performance on the track or road. Stronger leg muscles generate more force with each stride, leading to faster race times and improved overall performance.

Cross-Training Benefits: Incorporating weightlifting into your training routine provides a valuable form of cross-training, which can prevent overuse injuries and break up the monotony of running. Additionally, strength training helps maintain overall muscular balance and symmetry, reducing the risk of imbalances and overuse injuries.

Long-Term Health: Beyond performance benefits, resistance training has numerous long-term health benefits, including increased bone density, improved metabolic health, and enhanced mobility and flexibility.

Incorporating heavy weightlifting into your training routine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your running goals. Instead, it complements your running workouts, helping you become a stronger, more efficient, and injury-resistant athlete.

Not sure where to start? Check out our training templates, specifically Power Building. If you are a running specialist, you can stick to two strength workouts per week to see the benefits.

By embracing the science-backed benefits of heavy lifting, you can take your running to new heights and unlock your full athletic potential.

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