Resistance Training for Runners…….Why Bother??

Treating injured distance runners/joggers is always rewarding and interesting. It is just unfortunate that it is usually injury which causes them to attend the clinic! Many amateur and age group distance runners feel that the only way to improve their times is run longer and train at a quicker pace – not wrong.

BUT THERE ARE OTHER METHODS!!!!! STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING! Why don’t avid runners include strength training in their programmes???

  1. “I don’t have time, I don’t want to miss a run”
  2. “heavy weights – that will slow me down?!”
  3. “I don’t want to get too big and muscle bound”
Strength training won’t turn runners into this…………
Some runners fears of heavy weight training have prevented them from realising the potentially massive gains that can be achieved. From as early as 1988 the benefits of heavy weight training (3 times/week for 10 weeks) had been identified by Hickson et al ( as beneficial to endurance athletes.
More recent studies in 2005 (Chatra et al), 2007 (yamamoto et al) and 2008 (Storen et al) have again contributed to the significant evidence supporting the benefits of including strength training in distance running training. The variables which improved included
  1. Improved running economy – the efficiency of running technique
  2. VO2max
  3. Increased time to exhaustion at max aerobic speed
If you have hit a plateau you may need to consider adding some strength training to your programme.
STRONG RUNNERS ARE LESS INJURY PRONE ………. This will be discussed in a future blog!!! You don’t even need a gym!


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I qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Since graduating I have worked in St. James Hospital Dublin and have worked in all the areas of speciality within the hospital including cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, rheumatology, care of the elderly, neurology, burns and plastic surgery among others . I have also completed a post graduate certificate in acupuncture in UCD 2009. The Physiotherapy Department in SJH has strong links with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students on practice placements and also delivered lectures on the undergraduate academic programme in TCD. I have a keen interest in all sports and currently plays with Cill Dara RFC 1st team squad, and Milltown GAA. I have previously worked as Physiotherapist to Co. Carlow Senior GAA Team, Milltown GAA, Leinster Junior Rugby Team and Cill Dara RFC. I am an experienced runner and competed in the Dublin City Marathon in 2002. I continue to participate in running events and multisport disciplines such as Gaelforce West, Gaelforce North and the Motivate Challenge. I have a particular interest in strength and conditioning. I utilise this knowledge of resistance training in the treatment of his clients. I am committed to continuous learning and development in order to ensure the optimal level of care is offered to my clients, and with this in mind I am currently undertaking a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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