Strength for Long Distance Running
Building up strength is an often neglected part of the training of a middle and long distance runner. Whilst it is not as important as for sprinters or field eventers, it is none the less a key part of any regime.
The aim is to build some strength, both in your limbs and also your trunk, which will allow for the maintenance of speed when you are tired and also the power for running at the high pace often involved in races.
A large part of the strength required can be attained from circuit training, particularly if you are a not particularly strong distance runner. A range of press ups, abdominal curls, tricep dips, back arches etc will provide a good base of strength and strength endurance. Building good core stability is very important as it helps you keep your posture correct and your stride length long when you get tired.
Top level long distance runners now also undertake a weights program - consider the fact that in international races the last laps of a long distance race are often run in around 55 seconds for the men and a minute for women. These runners need to be fast, and for that you need to be strong.
The number of reps for middle distance runners will be high in the gym, sessions with 5 x 12-15 will help build strength and muscle endurance.
Finally, a range of plyometric work will help produce the power needed for long distance running.
Please look at the various other sections of the site for details.
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