Improving Running Performance and Running Mechanics

I feel like this should be a book…but I’ll share 2 cents.

Running? Lifting to run? Stretching for running? What about core? Yeah…do it all.

Yamamoto et al. put together “The Effects of Resistance Training on Endurance Distance Running Performance Among Highly Trained Runners: A Systematic Review” in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2008 – Volume 22 – Issue 6 – pp 2036-2044. Researchers found that two of the five studies measured 2.9% improved performance (3K and 5K), and all five studies measured 4.6% improved running economy. Now I am not saying that they were following a good old fashioned integrated program, but the data suggests that strength training can enhance running.

“Hickson et al. (Journal of Applied Physiology 65: 2285-2290, 1988) added a heavy-resistance weight training program to the regular running and cycling workouts of eight duathletes. At the end of the ten-week program, the participants were able to last 11-13% longer in an intense short-term (4- to 8-minute) cycling or running test than they had prior to the weight training, and they lasted 20% longer than before in a longer (60- to 90-minute), less intense cycling test.” (from Northwest Runners)

Kaplan et al put together “The Effect of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and Static Stretch Training on Running Mechanics” in Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2009 – Volume 23 – Issue 4 – pp 1175-1180. They found findings suggest that stretch training undertaken at the end of regular training is effective in changing running mechanics. Granted, they looked at rugby players running…but still.

“Does Core Strength Training Influence Running Kinetics, Lower Extremity Stability, and 5000m Running Performance?” Lindsay DiStefano found six weeks of core strength training resulted in positive changes in 5000 m running performance. I wonder what six weeks of well executed core stability work would have shown?

This video on running is excellent, just ignore the fact that their range of motion assessments are wrought with relative flexibility. I mean 60 degrees of hip extension on that last guy? I don’t think so.

I feel this in my Vibram 5 fingers. Love to run on the “right” part of the foot!!!

This post came about from a question that I answered on Sharecare about strength training and 5K performance.The big picture is to take an integrated and systematic approach. No one component is the panacea.

I hope your Holiday Season is going great!

Eric Beard
CEO A-Team
Corrective Exercise Specialist

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