No matter if you are a newbie marathoner or a seasoned race veteran, the addition of a strength training program can be beneficial to your current running program. Did you know that you can enhance your marathon training efforts with a stability/strength/power program as little as 2-3 times a week?
The first phase of training focuses on establishing proper neuromuscular control of the body. This is accomplished by introducing higher repetition, lower weight movements designed to enhance stability of the trunk and limbs. Increased stability will help the runner to maintain proper technique for longer periods of time, and may reduce your risk for injury.
The second phase of training then works to increase force production on top of a stable base by introducing lower repetition of exercise at higher weights. By producing more force, the runner may see an increase in running economy, which will make your runs feel easier over time.
The third phase of training then focuses on maximizing power, or how quickly you can produce high levels of force. This is accomplished by introducing plyometric (or jumping) exercises into the program. These movements also increase limb stiffness which increases a return on energy with each step during your run.
The final phase of training focuses on recovery. In the weeks leading up to the marathon, many runners will taper their effort on the road. This is also the case with a strength training program. With a decrease in volume but maintenance of intensity, the body recharges and optimizes itself for race day while allowing you to keep the benefits gained from your training.
Runners are acutely aware that changes in body composition affect the ability to run. Strength training carries the stigma of causing an increase in muscle mass and “bulkiness.” Studies have shown that strength training in addition to running does not negatively impact body composition and should not be a concern for any running athlete.
As you begin your journey of marathon training, consider adding strength training to your program. At Excelsior Orthopaedics, we are offering a complete Buffalo Marathon Runner Assessment and Strength Training program to complement your current running program. Please contact us today at (716) 250-6500 to find out more!