4 Critical Reasons Endurance Athletes Must Strength Train

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March 4, 2014 by peoriaadventurebootcamp

It seems lately, I have quite a few boot camp athletes becoming endurance athletes. Therefore, they have inspired this blog.  When you are training for an endurance event, it can become easy to ignore the strength training component.  Logically, you think, I’ll be running a half marathon so I need to run more.  There is truth to that.  you should increase your mileage as you progress through your training program.  However, it’s so critical to continue to include strength training into your training program.  I’ve highlighted some key reasons for this.  Keep in mind, these are not the only reasons for endurance athletes to strength train.  There are more, however, I’ve chosen to highlight some that I feel are important.
 
1. Injury Prevention – Strength training helps improve structural balance.  A well balanced strength training program will help strengthen any weakness and imbalances you have. Therefore, you will be protecting yourself from knee, hip, and back pain.  Stronger, balanced muscles around these joints helps prevent injury.

2. More Efficient Running Form – Fixing these muscle imbalances and strengthening your core will help improve your overall running form.  This, in turn, will lead to a greater efficiency in running.  Running will just feel easier.

3. Core Strength – The core strength you will develop from performing traditional strength training exercises, such as, squats, push ups, lunges, deadlifts, pull ups, and planks will also help running feel easier.  It will help prevent back pain and improve the transfer of power from your arms to your legs.

4. Decrease Body Fat – Strength training will help you salvage muscle that is being burned off in an endurance program.  Therefore, you will have more lean mass, which leads to a higher metabolism, then leads to less body fat.  This will make you lighter on your feet and add to your speed.

Remember, always incorporate strength training into your endurance training program.  It is not a part of your training that you want to neglect.  This will lead to an even happier, healthier, life long endurance athlete!

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