Going to run a Marathon? Reasons to start your strength work now

When you’re doing a run training program for a marathon, you will have several run sessions per week, some of which will be long and take hours out of your day, giving you less time to dedicate to strengthening. However, you need to be strong to be able to withstand the increasing demand of upping your mileage as your training progresses. Using your time wisely and getting into a strengthening program before you need to start thinking about how you are going to get the miles in, is your safest bet to build a solid base to build those miles.

The repetitive load of running and the increasing demand on your musculoskeletal system require you to be nice and strong.

It is not enough to think you can rely on gradually getting stronger as your miles rack up. A marathon program will push anyone to their limits and should be respected. Training is specifically designed to challenge your stamina and endurance, as this is what most people will need to work on to complete the marathon distance. However, distance running training programmes are generally not designed to build strength or power.

Strength is different from just tapping out the long miles and requires a different type of training. Not many peoples’ bodies, or diaries, will be able to tolerate the demand of introducing both increased mileage and strength training at the same time.  That would be a prime recipe for injury! as would not doing strength training at all.

Benefits of Strength Training on running

  • The stronger the muscles are the better they are able to withstand the forces the body is put under when running.
  • Suboptimal strength of the muscles will lead to excess stress on the joints and other soft tissues.
  • Relatively weak muscles do not tolerate new stresses well and can quickly become painful when overloaded.
  • Strength training aids the speed of recovery once the mileage ramps up as your body will be more conditioned to the forces being set against it.

Getting a decent strength training program underway now will help to ensure you are up to the task of getting through your marathon training program.

It gives the body a gradual ramp-up of loading and a chance to get used to being under more physical stress. If you are a seasoned marathon runner who knows they have the miles in them then strength training will likely be the thing between you and a new PB for next season.