Strength Train for a Stronger Run
Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on April 14, 2017

Fact Check: Runners don't need to strength train.

False.

Although running is a fantastic form of exercise, Mark Kasmer, M.D., a Carilion Clinic physician who specializes in Sports Medicine, tells his patients that they have to do more than just run.

“In addition to aerobic training, the American College of Sports Medicine’s physical activity recommendations for healthy adults includes two to three days per week of resistance (strength) training, as well as two to three days per week of flexibility exercises,” Dr. Kasmer explained. 

But why is it important? Strength training will help keep you healthy and injury free so you can keep doing what you love—running!

Strength training helps correct muscle weaknesses, specifically the hips and quadriceps muscles, reducing your risk of common running injuries, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome and IT band syndrome, as well as the development of certain stress fractures. But that is not the only benefit of strength training.  

"When you have more muscle, you have to maintain a higher activity level on a daily basis in order to maintain that muscle, which is going to increase your basal metabolic rate, which is going to increase the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis," said Patrick Dunham, clinical training manager for Carilion Wellness.

For runners who enjoy logging miles to maintain a healthy weight, this is great news. Now you can incorporate strength training into your regimen for added weight maintenance benefits.