How Does Strength Training Make You Run Faster

How Does Strength Training Make You Run Faster

If you’re relatively new to running, you might not have considered how strength training can make you faster.

Alternatively, if you’ve been a part of the running community for some time, strength training is probably something you know about and feel guilty for ignoring.

People tend to think that running alone is what makes you faster, and while it’s of course the biggest element of any training plan geared towards speed, strength training is proven to work too.

Here, Built for Athletes takes a look at why it’s so effective.

Improves Running Economy

Running economy is a measure of how much energy it costs you to run at a certain speed, and it’s one of the most important physical factors to improve if you want to create better running performances.

There are lots of factors that influence it, including the shoes you wear, your body weight and your technique. It’s almost certain that interval running at race pace and slow endurance runs will improve your running economy, but there’s a lot of evidence that strength training helps too.

Using gym work to decrease the energy costs when you run will result in faster times.

Improves Force Generation

Regular strength training will improve your ability to generate force against the ground when your foot makes impact.

Using lower body exercises - like squats, step-ups and calf raises - improves the way you extend through the hip, knee and ankle joints.

This results in a longer stride and faster running ability. Over the long run, you will find yourself able to run at faster speeds without any added effort.

Increases Injury Tolerance

It takes a consistent training load to get improvements in any sport, and running is no exception.

The problem is that because of the repetitive nature of the impact involved, you become very vulnerable to overuse injuries.

One of the biggest benefits of strength training is that by sticking to an S&C routine, you can achieve longer uninterrupted periods of training which makes you a better runner over time.