Why Gym Rats run Faster!
It seems to me that runners are notorious for skipping the weights in the gym to get their miles in.
I think they believe that time spent with weights it will either slow them down by adding muscle mass or waste exercise time because it is the opposite of running.
But here's the truth - runners need strength training!
Why Strength Train?
#1 REASON.... strength training helps prevent injury.
At the clinic, the most common complaint I have from runners is knee pain.
Our patella "knee cap" has a specific pattern of movement that it follows when we move all day long. This pattern is disrupted when muscles become weaker or fatigued in a long run and that can easily lead too pain or injury.
#2 REASON... strength training can help improve your running.
Lifting weights improves the neuro firing patterns to your muscles. This allows your body to make more effective use of existing muscle mass, making you stronger. When your muscles are firing at a more efficient rate, your stride in the run will also be more efficient.
So what muscles to train?
The most important muscle groups include the Core muscles, Hips and Ankle complex.
These three groups take the brunt of the force when running. And, when all three groups are working together well, they help protect your body and the risk for injury dramatically decreases.
So what exercises to start with? The Plank (for the core), and squats/lunges (for the hip & ankle complex).
Next time your knee starts to hurt, maybe think adding some strength training too.
Dr. Joseph D. Gomez, DC