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The Value Of Weight Lifting For Runners



People often assume that all types of athletes are alike, but it is actually much more complicated than that. The needs of triathletes can differ greatly from even those of cyclists who don't engage in running and swimming in addition to their preferred sport. The exercises that will make up the best weight lifting program for an athlete will depend on their existing routine and the goals toward which they are working. Weight lifting for runners can be a great asset to help to prevent injuries, but it is usually an addition rather than a central part of their routine.
The attitude that runners take toward strength training will depend on the sort of running that they do. Sprinters require the ability to put out a tremendous amount of force with their legs for very short periods of time, and so they can benefit a great deal from weight training programs that focus on building up the muscles in their legs compared to runners who put more emphasis over covering large amounts of distance. Similarly, a runner who is just starting out with the first training program designed by Hal Higdon for beginners isn't going to have the need to focus on building strength as heavily as an experienced runner, since they'll be able to get major athletic gains just from practicing running itself.

In nearly all cases, runners put much more emphasis on the legs and core muscles as opposed to the upper body. The ability to do a bench press with a great deal of weight is not a major asset in running. In fact, for a distance runner, carrying the muscle weight required to do great athletic feats with the upper body can even be a disadvantage. It is important to make sure that the muscles of the arms have basic strength and toning so that they won't fatigue and distort a runner's form toward the end of a race, but it is rarely valuable for runners to pursue serious goals for lifting heavy weights with their upper body.

Weight lifting for runners is a valuable addition to their training program and can help to reduce injury, but it should never be allowed to displace time spent on actually running. It should always be used as an extra benefit rather than a core component of the program.



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