- “But I’ll get slower if work out in the weight room”
- “I’ll become ‘big and bulky’ if I lift weights!”
- “Strength training will interfere with my running” (yes, it certainly could, but only if you don’t understand how to design the program appropriately)
- “Won’t I gain body fat if I cut back on running and replace it with lifting?”
- “Well, I get all the ‘strength training’ I need for my lower body through running!”
- “I don’t have time to strength train”
Christopher McDougall, the author of Born to Run, cites multiple statistics claiming over 66% of runners will suffer a serious injury in a given YEAR. Yet this is just shrugged off by the endurance community as the norm??! Stress fractures, IT Band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral knee pain, low back pain, and tendonitis plague the bodies of distance runners and yet this seen as “the consequence of the sport??”
Most distance runners tend to approach their training by punching the accelerator while the emergency brake is on.
As Alwyn Cosgrove says:
“All of us in the fitness industry, trainers and trainees alike, have been brainwashed into thinking that the only way to improve results is to push harder. If you aren’t making gains, it’s because you aren’t training hard enough or often enough…The answer to every problem is to punch down harder on the accelerator.
But think of a car with the parking brake on. If you push harder on the gas pedal, you’ll only run out of fuel quicker, right? But if you take off the brake, the car will go farther and faster, and probably use less fuel in the process.”
- Stiff/immobile ankles. Poor ankle mobility and ROM is strongly correlated with ankle sprains, tendonitis, and pain/deficiencies further up the kinetic chain (think knees and hips). Everything starts from the ground up, so don’t ignore this area.
- Unstable knees and hips. Honestly, I want to cringe when I drive by people jogging on the side of the road. Knees and feet flailing about since they don’t have the hip stabilizers required to keep everything in line and move proficiently. Knees landing way out of alignment with their feet. It’s terrible. Not because they look goofy, but because I wonder how long it will be before they need to schedule a visit with the physical therapist.
- Weak/dormant Glutes. I’m sad to say we live in a society plagued with “gluteal amnesia.” Steady state running does absolutely nothing to strengthen the glutes, which is a death sentence to running efficiency, low back health, proper knee tracking, and overall structural enhancement (in more ways than one ).
- Terrible thoracic mobility. Think range of motion about your spine in the upper back region. Have problems with the low back, shoulder joint or neck? Look at what’s going on at the thoracic spine.
- Poor Running Form. Every mile you run requires roughly 1,500 plyometric repetitions with forces of 2-4 times bodyweight. Better make sure each of those reps is done correctly.
The list goes on, but my point is you have to release the breaks. And you can’t release them by just tacking on those miles to your training weeks.