For some, running is their only form of exercise. While fantastic for cardiovascular fitness, running is not considered a strength training activity. The UK guidelines regarding exercise for health include not only cardiovascular exercise but a minimum of two strength training sessions per week. Incorporating this into your weekly exercise programme can have several benefits not just on your general health but also specifically for your running.
One of the benefits of strength training for runners and the reason we as physiotherapists encourage it in all our running clients is its role in injury prevention. There are more than 50,000 foot steps in a marathon and each one involves not only controlling the descent of the body towards the floor but the generation of force forwards. While you may not be running a marathon the steps you run over a week or a month are likely to be in their 10’s of thousands.
Patellofemoral pain (pain at the front of the knee) is one of the most common complaints of long distance runners and there is a strong correlation between weak quadriceps muscles (the muscles on the front of the thigh) and this particular injury. The much heard adage “I run X miles per week - that’s all the leg training I need” does not hold up to scientific scrutiny and time and time again we have seen the addition of some simple strengthening exercises eliminate leg complaints.
To achieve the strength required to support you running you don’t need any fancy equipment, instead try two legged squats, one legged dips and good quality lunges will suffice, if in doubt please consult with your LGN Run Club trainer.
In terms of initial exercise reptitions try 4 sets of 8 to start with (building up from 4 sets at first over several weeks if this is unaccustomed exercise) of each twice a week will increase and maintain strength for running from the pelvis down to the feet. When performing the above don’t sacrifice depth for loss of form. Good form is hip joint, centre of knee cap and 2nd toe all in a line with a neutral (shallow curve) back and a small arch on the inside of the foot.
LGN's partnershp with Back in Action UK was forged due to a shared philosophy of physical wellness via an intelligent and progressive approach.
Back in Action UK have five London clinics and extensive in-house corporate physiotherpy provision, therefore LGN Run Club members are rarely far from the expert support which ensures they can keep running.
To make an appointment with Back in Action UK either email email@example.com or call 020 7480 5976