It’s summer and there are 5ks, 10ks, half and full marathons out there for all you competitive runners!  There have been times throughout my fitness journey where I’ve focused completely on  running and preparing for these fun summer races, only to find myself injured come race time.  Over the years I’ve learned that my body stays stronger and healthier if I incorporate weight training into my running schedule.  Not only will I prevent injury, but lifting weights increases my speed, joint and core stability, and aids in my recovery after longer runs.  If you’re not currently hitting the weights, doing so will reduce your chance of injury this running season.

Here are a few reasons runners should lift weights, including body weight training:

  • Weight training reduces the recurrence of hip and back pain.
  • It strengthens connective tissue, muscle and bone.
  • Studies show 10 weeks of moderate strength training can cut over a minute from most runner’s 10K times.
  • Research shows runner’s-knee pain can be lessened or eliminated with six weeks of weight training.
  • Increased stability allows more efficient running, reducing oxygen needs.
  • Finally, weight-trained runners are resistant to injury and, when injuries do occur, they’re likely to be less severe so you can get back into action more quickly.

The goal here isn’t to build big muscles, but to decrease the chance of injury.

A few exercises you can easily add to your training regiment include leg presses, walking and stationary lunges, squats, leg lifts, leg extensions, leg curls, and medicine ball work to strengthen core.

With a moderate workout program, you will not only curtail injury but also experience faster race times this season! So what are you waiting for?