Unlocking the Magic of Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Strength 🡪 Posture 🡪 Running form 🡪 Energy expenditure = Performance!

There it is.  Everything you need to know about becoming a better runner and setting a PR on April 30th!

If only life were that simple, and running were that easy…tisk tisk tisk.

So, let’s unpack a few things and explain all the hard work behind those simple arrows in our equation.  This is where the magic lies.

Strength training has mad value, even to aerobic endurance athletes like runners and cyclists.

Precision and Muscular Engagement

One of the most essential qualities of strength training is the improved ability to isolate and fully engage specific muscles and muscle groupings.  For instance, being able to anteriorly or posteriorly tilt our pelvis and the accompanying muscles.  Being able to pivot and maintain this position actively can make all the difference in which muscles are doing the work and, consequently, which muscles are fatiguing during our prolonged exercise activity.

For more information on what Anterior and Posterior pelvic tilting check the blog post: https://smartstrengthprogram.com/anterior-and-posterior-tilt-the-most-important-exercise-we-do-at-smart-strength/

**Short and simple version- better strength = using the “right” muscles for specific exercises.  

Posture as the Foundation

Our posture is the framework for which our running form is created. I have rarely seen someone who demonstrates poor posture and body control but can whip up a fantastic running form when they hit the starting line… 

Strength training is an effective tool for slowly changing someone’s posture.  With increased strength and body awareness, people can self-correct and practice better posture daily. 

Striving for Strength and Resilience

Increased Smart strength and better posture allow a person to train/ run with a “stronger” form.  I advocate that there is no “perfect” running posture, but there are qualities that are heavily associated with better running performance, less fatigue, and much more resilient to injury.  

**Short and simple version- Bad posture = bad running form. 

The Hidden Impact of Running Form

I think most of us would acknowledge that bad running form will have adverse effects on our overall running performance.  But I do not think many realize just how much impact form has on performance.  Consider the double negative effect of sloppy or loose running form- it detracts energy, oxygen, and blood flow away from essential muscles. Instead, it diverts these resources to muscles that counteract our desired movement.  Ouch!  

Not to mention, repetitive, constant stress on structures and tissues that are not anatomically designed for that will often lead to an injury… a catastrophic blow to your running performance.  

**Short and simple version- Bad running form decreased performance/ increased injury risk.