I just read an interesting study on the effects of strength training for female distance runners. This study was carried out by Johnson and Quinn. The study determined the effects of a 10-week strength training program on running economy in 12 female distance runners. These runners were athletes who trained 25 – 30 miles a week. The female runners were randomly assigned to either an 1)endurance and strength training program or 2)endurance training only. Endurance training for both groups was identical. The endurance and strength group of runners also participated in additional weight training 3 days a week.
One of the most significant findings was a significant improvement in running economy. This means the athletes were more efficient at utilizing oxygen. This is most likely due to enhanced muscle fiber recruitment resulting from the strength training.
An improved running economy has so many implications for runners, especially those competing in an already fatigued state such as in a triathlon. A simple weight routine can help get you closer to your goals