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6 Benefits of Strength Training for Runners

Add strength training for running improvements

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Updated April 09, 2014

Whether you're new to running or you've been running for years, you can benefit from strength-training. Some runners are hesitant to strength-train because they think it will make them bulky and slower. But strength-training is extremely beneficial for runners. Here are several reasons why:

1. You'll be a more efficient runner.

runnerontrack.jpg
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If you've ever had a long run or race when your form fell apart as you get fatigued towards the end, you'll definitely benefit from strength-training. Strengthening your core can help improve and maintain your running form, which translates into greater running efficiency.

2. You'll burn more calories.

Adding more muscle will increase your metabolism, which means you'll burn more calories at rest and during workouts.
More: Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

3. You'll increase your endurance and reduce fatigue.

Strength training helps your body better deal with the stresses of running. Your muscles will be able to perform longer before getting fatigued, which will help you maintain your proper running form.

4. You'll run faster.

Trail running
Improving your form and endurance also translates into faster overall pace, so strength training is an excellent way to get faster. Runners usually see improvements in their race times fairly soon after they add strength training to their regimens. All it takes is two or three 15- to 20-minute strength-training sessions a week to build more muscle mass.
More: How to Run Faster

5. You'll reduce your risk of injuries.

Lower body and core exercises are particularly important when it comes to reducing injury. Many running injuries, especially knee and hip-related issues, are a result of muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

More: How to Prevent Running Injuries

6. Running will feel easier.

Running downhill
Mike Harrington/Getty Images

New runners frequently ask, "When will it start to feel easier?" The answer is different for everyone, but adding strength training to your routine can definitely speed up the process. Strengthening your leg muscles will help increase your endurance, meaning you can run longer without feeling fatigued.
More: When Does Running Get Easier?

Also see:  Strengthening Workouts for Runners

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