Consider a marathon; apart from maybe for the final 200m, you very rarely see a marathon runner maxing out their heart and lung capacity.
They don’t run the entire 42.2km puffing and panting right on the limit of their cardiovascular fitness; they generally breath quite steady and remain able to talk, yet so much of their training focus tends to be on cardio, even though this isn’t being maxed out during endurance runs.
Rarely is cardio the limiting factor over long distances - it’s in fact strength and muscular endurance.
Running 42.2km (or any endurance distance for that matter) requires a great deal of strength. Even if you’re running relatively slowly, your muscles are still taking a decent pounding and a beating, so it makes sense that the stronger you are, the further and faster you can go.
This is why strength and conditioning training (hill work, gym resistance sessions, plyometrics to name a few) can play such as significant part in any endurance athlete’s sport, and whilst it’s not often considered a key factor in endurance running, it is one of the key elements in not hitting the wall.
The stronger your body is, the less stress your body has to deal with, and the longer and faster you can go. Combine this with great nutrition, and you’re on to a winner.
If you are wanting to improve your running performance, or even run a bit further, it is important to combine both running and strength training. At Foundation Clinic we have great resources that encourage you to become a strengthened runner….
We believe run coaching should have a strong focus on injury prevention and strength & conditioning.
This is why we work with physios and gyms in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui to provide tailored running programs, and keep a watchful eye on your loading. We believe in training smart and training strong.
We also believe training should be loads of fun.
For more information head to foundation.run