Should you do strengthening to run better?

Should you do strengthening to run better?

More and more runners are using indoor training to prepare for their season and stay in shape during it. The benefits of strengthening are far from negligible. Whether it is having more powerful legs to provide more intense effort or strengthening tendons and ligaments to reduce the risk of injury, the positive points of strength training are numerous for running.

 Muscle strengthening improves performance.

Stronger muscles will be able to be more effective with each impact on the ground. They will therefore tire less quickly and allow you to run longer with a good stride. When the stride begins to sag because the muscles are tired and are no longer capable of fulfilling their role 100%... It's too late. We therefore want to make them stronger to postpone this moment as far as possible (ideally after the finish! :))

Muscle strengthening acts on running economy. Running economy is a central factor in achieving good results during long rides. It is closely linked to cardiovascular capacities.

Resistance or plyometric training mainly affects running economy. The following mechanisms are:

Intermuscular coordination: different muscle groups work better together allowing smoother and more efficient movements.

Motor unit recruitment: With regular training, the nervous system learns to recruit muscle fibers more efficiently, which can lead to better performance.

Muscle Contraction Speed: Helps increase the speed at which muscles can contract. This dynamic is desirable to reduce the duration of ground contact.

Muscle strengthening reduces the risk of injury

Muscle strengthening while running is therefore very important for performance. But it’s also important for injury prevention! Depending on the case, being too weak muscularly can force the body to compensate for this weakness. Especially by overusing a tendon or a joint! In this type of case, the breaking point is close, so you might as well anticipate by doing effective muscle strengthening. Appropriate musculature will stabilize the biomechanical joints important for running, and therefore protect against injuries such as strains or tears.

The best muscle building method: yours

Some methods are effective but require equipment and time and are not necessarily very fun for the runner who mainly wants to run. Perhaps not ideal when the objective is to regularly practice muscle strengthening. The best method is the one that you like and that you will use in the long term because the best method in the world if used once or twice will have no beneficial effect on your running in the long term.

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