Runners aren’t exactly famous for racing to the weight room. (“I’ll bulk up and slow down! Waaah!”) That’s a damn shame. Not only will lifting actually help improve your lean body mass (so you have less fat weighing you down), it’ll also do three more awesome things:
Knock Seconds Off Your Time
Research shows that a plyometrics (explosive resistance) program can boost your finish time (for a 5-K specifically) by 3.1 percent, thanks to a surge in muscle power. Try dumbbell jump squats.
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Help You Race Smoother, Longer
Heard of “running economy”? It’s akin to how many miles per gallon a car gets. Strength training can improve yours up to eight percent, meaning you can last longer before pulling off the road.
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Prevent Sidelining Injuries
Multiple studies reveal that stronger muscles and joints drastically slice the number and severity of injuries. The stronger your body, the less loading force you’re throwing on it when you run.
Are you a runner who never lifts? These moves are great for beginners:
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Hashtag it and the results will come: We’re launching an exclusive #GetSomeoneLifting program, and we want that someone to be you! Or if you already lift, take someone to the weight room with you to get them started. Find a strength-training plan for runners in this month’s Runner’s World, and check back here for tons of weight-training tips!
For more awesome running tips, pick up the September issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands now.