Why Skipping Strength Training Could Unravel Your Running Progress

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Strength Training

It’s late February, and this is crunch time for many runners. Spring races are on the horizon, and those long runs are starting to feel, well, longer. If you’re like most runners right now, you’re probably thinking, “My schedule is packed, but as long as I get my miles in, I’m good, right?” Wrong. Strength training is a sneaky, crucial component of your training that’s easy to brush aside, especially when time feels like a luxury.

You might be telling yourself, “I’ll squeeze in some strength work tomorrow,” but let’s be honest, tomorrow often turns into next week, which suddenly becomes, “Oh no, my race is next month!” Whether you’re feeling on top of the world, noticing some discomfort, or dealing with an injury, strength training is the glue that holds your running plan together. And yes, it’s that important.

Strength Training: Your Running Regimen’s Glue

Why It’s Non-Negotiable

Strength training is more than an add-on to your running; it’s a fundamental part of staying injury-free and running your best. It’s the glue that keeps everything together, ensuring that your joints, tendons, and muscles are protected and primed to handle the demands of increased mileage and intensity.

Real Talk: Finding Time

“I’m short on time; I’ll at least make sure I’ll get my run in” is a common mantra. But here’s the kicker: skipping strength training to save time now can cost you more time later — time spent rehabbing an injury or dealing with avoidable pains and strains. Integrating strength work doesn’t have to be a massive time commitment. Here are some real-world strategies to make it manageable:

  • Keep it Short and Efficient: 20-30 minutes of targeted strength training a couple of times a week can make a significant difference. Focus on compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once.
  • Incorporate It Into Your Routine: Add a quick strength circuit before or after your runs. It’s about making strength training a seamless part of your running routine, not an optional extra.
  • Schedule It: Like your runs, mark your strength training sessions in your calendar. Make them non-negotiable appointments with yourself.

Tailoring Strength Training to Your Current Situation

  • Feeling Unstoppable?: Don’t wait for the aches to set in. Use strength training as preventive medicine to keep those good vibes rolling.
  • Noticing Some Tweaks?: Customize your strength routine to nip those issues in the bud. Focus on strengthening any weak spots now before they become more significant problems.
  • On the Injury Bench?: Now’s the time to seek expert advice. Work with a professional to craft a strength training program that addresses and strengthens your injury area.

Let’s not beat around the bush: strength training is the glue that holds your running together. As we navigate the tricky waters of spring training, remember that those who invest time in strength training are the ones who stand on the start line feeling strong, prepared, and injury-free.

So, let’s make a pact not to let “I’ll do it tomorrow” turn into a missed opportunity to be our best running selves. After all, a little strength training goes a long way in keeping the pieces of your running puzzle perfectly aligned.

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