Hello, everyone! I hope you’re doing well. Last Sunday I spent some time at the Fitness Expo at the finish line of the Oakland Marathon. I was there representing The Inner Athlete, which is where I train people in San Leandro. I was noticing the people who had just finished the various races (either the team relay, the half marathon or the full marathon) and a few things struck me. First, it was immediately apparant who trained effectively for their race. I saw people who were excited about their accomplishment and walked around with pride and I noticed others who could barely move.
The other thing I found, was that only one person I talked to had done any resistance training in preparation for their race. It wasn’t a coincidence that this person barely looked like she competed.
Many people fail to realize the importance of resistance training for any kind of endurance event. The endurance training community is incredibly passionate about their sport and they work extremely hard in their training, but one constant among participants is an astonomically high injury rate. Resistance training can be a crucial part in preventing many injuries as well as increasing force production and economy which are both a very important part of any sport.
For an easier understanding let’s break this down: There are approximately 2000 steps per mile. If you weigh 150 pounds that is a total of 300,000 pounds of force that you must produce with your legs to go that mile. Now, suppose that you have the ability to produce 200 lbs. of force with each step. (You can probably produce more, but let’s keep it simple for our purposes.) That would mean that you have the ability to produce 400,000 pounds of force during that mile for a difference of 100,000 pounds. Let’s add some resistance training to the mix and let’s say that with a good program you add the strength to produce just 25 pounds more force per step, a very achievable goal. Now you can produce 450,000 pounds of force during that mile! That’s an extra 50,000 pounds you have in the bank each mile and a difference of 150,000 pounds! Don’t you think that would improve your time and endurance, not to mention easing the burden on your joints and therefore increasing your resistance to injury? This is also before even talking about how things like core stability, rotational strength, postural awareness and many other aspects of a resistance training program can help your time and keep you healthy.
What I’m trying to say is don’t neglect resistance training in your long distance pursuits. A good program can keep you healthy and improve your performance. Also, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness
Discover Your Strength!