• July 3, 2017

Why Runners Should Strength Train

Why Runners Should Strength Train

Why Runners Should Strength Train 1024 683 Positive Energy Physical Therapy

By: Lindsey Jelinek, PT, DPT, CSCS

To Lift or Not to Lift?

For years runners have been told to run more if they want to improve their running performance. If you flip open any running magazine they may encourage sprint intervals or hills to increase your speed or longer runs to increase your endurance. Doing more running to improve running, however, can lead to injury if your system is not equipped to handle the repetitive loads. What runners often overlook is strength training. Well not this time. This article is going to help you understand how strength training can help your running.


  1. Prevents overuse injury: Strength training offers variability from the repetitive loads of miles of running.
  2. Improves time to exhaustion: Strength training will lead lead to increased muscle strength and endurance. What research has shown is that this can increase a runner’s time to exhaustion by 13.7% based on a study by Chtara et al. and 21.3% based on a study by Oyvind et al.
  3. Improved VO2 max: VO2 max is the max rate of oxygen consumption that your body can handle. One study demonstrated the effects of combined strength and endurance training which lead to an increased VO2 max by 10.4% after a 12 week program.
  4. Improved running economy & performance: A systematic review in 2007 found that most runners had an average of 2.9% decrease in 3k and 5k times after the strength training program.

If this doesn’t convince you to start lifting weights in order to improve running, I don’t know what will! Talk to us at Positive Energy +e today about how to start an appropriate strength training program for you.


Chtara, M., Chamari, K., Chaouachi, M., Chaouachi, A., Koubaa, D., Feki, Y., … Amri, M. (2005). Effects of intra-session concurrent endurance and strength training sequence on aerobic performance and capacity. British Journal of Sports Medicine39(8), 555–560.

Storen, O., Helgerud, J., Stoa, E., Hoff, J. (2008). Maximal Strength Training Improves Running Economy in Distance Runners. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(6), 1087-1092.

Yamamoto, L., Lopez, R., Klau, J., Casa, D., Kraemer, W., Maresh, C. (2008). The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: A systematic review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 22(6), 2036-2044