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【Running Knowledge】Does Weight Training Make You Run Slower!?

Published in Biji HK on 2024/05/03

There are many myths and discussions surrounding weight training in running, such as whether weight training increases joint pressure and leads to injuries, or the common belief that weight training increases muscle density, thus slowing down running due to increased body weight. Consequently, weight training has become somewhat taboo among runners. However, upon closer observation, long-distance running also imposes a form of loading on the body, making appropriate weight training essential to help athletes cope with the demands of long-distance training or races.

The Need for Weight Training

The goal of weight training is to enhance athlete muscle strength. Without a strong body, sustained or fast-paced movements cannot be performed, and attempting such movements with inadequate strength is a primary cause of fatigue or injury. In the motion of long-distance running, each step alternately supports the body's weight, often two to three times its own, in a very short time, continuously propelling forward. If the body lacks sufficient strength and endurance to support this, athletes may easily suffer injuries during running or after training.

Training for Stability and Muscle Endurance through Sled Push (Image, Venue, and Demonstration: AQ STRONG)

Enhancing Body Stability and Muscle Endurance

Unlike the training methods of bodybuilders, weight training does not solely focus on muscle hypertrophy. Through progressive weight training, the body gradually adapts to its load, increasing muscle thickness and strength to enhance athlete body strength, especially lower limb stability. By adjusting the frequency and sets of weight training, athletes can target muscle strength or endurance. For long-distance runners who require prolonged repetition of the same action, involving stability and elasticity with each step, weight training with fewer repetitions but higher weights helps improve muscle endurance and stability. On the other hand, weight training with more repetitions and relatively lower weights, coupled with specific rest periods, not only challenges the body's recovery time but also tests whether athletes can maintain consistent strength performance over a period. By combining both, the body gradually adapts to the intensity, aiding in coping with the demands of long-distance training or races.

Kettlebell Swing Training for Muscle Endurance (Image, Venue, and Demonstration: AQ STRONG)

Training Combinations

Weight training is just one aspect of running training, albeit not all-encompassing, and should not be overlooked for its importance. Combined with other training elements such as joint mobility, speed, and body flexibility, as well as speed endurance training, each training aspect complements the others, enhancing body strength support and muscle coordination. Coupled with specialized long-distance training, athletes can gradually improve their athletic performance, providing a better experience and performance in specialized sports training or competitions.

Sports training can be highly personalized, with each sport having its own characteristics. If difficulties arise in training, it is essential to seek advice from professional coaches to design a tailored training regimen to help athletes achieve their goals. The goal of AQ Strong's sports performance group training classes is mainly to improve athletes' physical fitness, allowing athletes to choose classes according to their needs to improve and enhance their running performance.

Stanly is a track and field coach who has been coaching children, high school athletes, and elite athletes for many years. He enjoys learning and interacting with athletes to bring fun and educationally meaningful course experiences to students. He is also a track and field athlete, primarily participating in the triple jump event.

Master of Science in Sports Science and Physical Education,

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Level 1 Track and Field Coach, Hong Kong Athletics Association

EXOS Performance Specialist Certified Coach

Retired triple jump athlete, Hong Kong

Information provided by:

AQ Strong Sports Performance Training Center

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