Deciphering your hip pain…

Deciphering your hip pain…

Emma Lyon - Physiotherapist Sutherland Shire

Strengthening Your Stride: How Strength Training Can Help Prevent Running Injuries

Are you an avid runner, or perhaps considering taking up the sport? Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just starting out on your running journey, one thing is for certain: the risk of injury is a constant concern. 

Studies suggest that anywhere from 20% to a staggering 80% of runners experience a running-related injury at some point. Even more concerning is the fact that the biggest risk factor for sustaining a running injury is having had one in the past.

So, what can you do to protect yourself and keep logging those miles injury-free? The answer might lie in an unexpected place: the weights room!

Understanding the Risks:

Before we delve into the benefits of strength training for runners, let’s first take a closer look at the common areas of injury in runners. The knee, lower leg, and foot top the list as the most frequent sites of running-related injuries. From runner’s knee to shin splints and plantar fasciitis, these ailments can sideline even the most dedicated athletes.

The Power of Strength Training:

Strength training has emerged as a game-changer in the world of running injury prevention. Research indicates that incorporating strength training into your routine can reduce the risk of injury by up to 50%. But how does it work?

When you engage in heavy strength training, your muscles, tendons, and bones undergo adaptations that better prepare them for the demands of running. For instance, the quadriceps, located at the front of your thigh, must endure forces equivalent to 4-6 times your body weight during running. Similarly, the muscles of the lower calf bear loads of 6-8 times your body weight. By strengthening these muscles and structures, you can increase their resilience and ability to handle the stresses of running.

The Right Approach:

Not all strength training routines are created equal when it comes to injury prevention for runners. While bodyweight exercises and high-repetition, low-resistance workouts have their merits, they may not be sufficient for maximizing injury reduction.

To reap the benefits of strength training, aim for 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions per exercise. Focus on slow, controlled movements, and choose a weight that challenges you by the end of each set. Allow ample time for recovery between sets, typically 2-3 minutes, to optimize muscle recovery and adaptation.

Enhancing Performance:

Beyond injury prevention, strength training can also enhance your running performance. Studies have shown that runners who incorporate heavy strength training into their regimen experience improvements in both speed and efficiency. In as little as six weeks of dedicated strength training, runners have seen significant gains in their ability to sustain faster speeds over distances of 3-5 kilometers, as well as improvements in running efficiency, measured by the amount of oxygen required to maintain a given pace.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

For those seeking to embark on a strength training journey tailored specifically to their running needs, consulting a running physiotherapist or undergoing a running assessment can be invaluable. These professionals can provide personalized guidance and exercise prescriptions to address your unique biomechanical and injury prevention needs.

So, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a competitive racer, don’t overlook the importance of strength training in your running routine. By incorporating targeted strength exercises into your training regimen, you can fortify your body against injury and unlock your full potential as a runner.

Looking for a Running Physiotherapist in the Sutherland Shire?

If you’re in search of expert guidance and support for your running journey, consider reaching out to our running physiotherapists located in Caringbah. These professionals specialise in addressing running-related injuries and optimising performance through tailored treatment plans and rehabilitation strategies. With their expertise, you can conquer your running goals and enjoy a lifetime of injury-free running.

Remember, investing in your strength today can pave the way for a stronger, healthier tomorrow on the roads and trails. So lace up those shoes, hit the weights, and stride confidently towards your running aspirations. Your body will thank you for it.

About Fit and Flow

Extensive experience in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, adolescent injuries, pre and post-natal physiotherapy, women's health and surgical rehabilitation provided from expert Physiotherapists in Caringbah.

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