Why is strength training for runners so important?

Why strength training for runners is essential for achieving PBs!

If you’re a runner training JUST cardio, you’re missing out on:

  • Strengthening muscles and building their efficiency
  • Preventing injury
  • Improving the power and efficiency of your strides
  • Boosting the effectiveness of your co-ordination

Cardio training is naturally the first instinct for runners training for races or just for overall fitness. However, whether your goal is running your first 5k or your first marathon, a two-pronged approach of cardio and strength is your most powerful tool for hitting and exceeding your cardio goals.

Strength training for runners is often overlooked, but by using strength-based gym exercises for runners as part of your training, you’re strengthening muscles and connective tissues. This is vital to improving the endurance of your runs and the power behind your sprints. Without strength training, you’re more vulnerable to injury and your stamina takes a hit.

What strength exercises for runners are most effective?

If you’re new to strength training, start off small and build up to a regular routine. Begin with just one session per week, mixed into your cardio training. The key is consistency. However, make sure these are evenly spaced out, so you’re not running on exhausted legs!

Research has shown that “running-specific strength training enhances maximum and explosive strength and RE (relative effort)”. This can include bodyweight exercises such as squats and lunges, the leg press, or hip abduction.

You can also incorporate strength training into your cardio workouts, especially by using cardio machines that allow you to tweak resistance, such as exercise bikes, cross trainers, and rowing machines. This can be a great cost-saving measure, by investing in a machine that does it all.

The best equipment for runner strength training

As previously mentioned, the leg press is key for increasing the power and strength in your legs. This not only enables you to run faster but also makes tackling hills easier by ensuring your muscles are working effectively.

Specialist equipment has also been produced that elevates the outcomes of runners, such as the A300 Runner. This simulates the acceleration phase of a sprint, allowing users to train for power and speed.

Can I use cardio machines to do my strength exercises for runners?

However, it’s not just traditional strength-based equipment that provides the best strength training for runners. In fact, if you use the right cardio equipment, you can improve strength and your cardiovascular capabilities at the same time.

Take our Keiser Studio Display Bike, with 72 gears you can tweak your resistance and customise the exertion that your muscles are under. Indeed, our M5i Elliptical cross-trainer has infinite resistance adjustments and provides a total body workout. To strengthen your legs, loosen your grip on the handles- and to strengthen your arms, use them to drive you. Strength training for runners, revolving around building arm muscle, is important for ensuring you maintain a good running rhythm, as well as efficiency and power in your strides.

To enhance your endurance, power, and efficiency ,having cardio equipment that enables strength training for runners is the best place to start. Using strength equipment that builds endurance and speed is great, however, if you’re looking to train at home, opt for a piece of cardio equipment that builds strength and improves your cardio performance simultaneously.

Investing in cardio equipment optimised for strength is the best approach to ensuring that your heart isn’t the only muscle that’s primed for running excellence!

For optimised cardio equipment that supports strength training for runners, check out our cardio equipment range here.