Hit The Weights And Run Faster!
The Marathon is the ultimate test of human endurance.
It is a grueling race that challenges not just your physical limitations but your level of fortitude for 42 kilometers.
It wears down your mind and spirit as well as your body.
That is why many people consider crossing the finish line at a marathon as one of their greatest accomplishments.
When running a marathon for the first time, where you place matters less than how you finish.
If you have run and finished a marathon, you have completed a race that only 40% of the world’s general population has completed.
But how do you improve your time in the marathon?
Is becoming a better marathon runner just about running progressively long distances?
If you look at the build of many champion marathon runners, they are very lean and slight.
The lack of muscle tone and size is out of necessity as larger muscles require more oxygen and compromises energy efficiency.
But just because they do not have sculpted bodies does not mean they do not spend time in the weight room.
Many marathon runners lose a great deal of muscle mass during running and this affects their level of conditioning.
The purpose of weight training for a marathon runner is not to build muscle mass but to strengthen muscle and improve conditioning.
Here are tips on how you can use weights to improve your marathon time…
Schedule Weight Training
Running should remain your priority but schedule weight training at least two days a week.
Preferably, there should be at least one day rest before weight training.
If you run on Monday, Thursday and Sunday, you can schedule weight training on Wednesday and Saturday.
Focus On Compound Exercises
Compound exercises utilise multiple body parts which reduce your time in the gym. It is less tiring and more efficient for the body.
Isolation exercises take too much time and require focused effort on one body part.
Instead of doing leg extensions, it would be more beneficial to do squats or deadlifts.
Apply Low Volume Protocol
Again, the goal is to strengthen muscle not to build it. The best way is to follow a low volume approach.
Choose 2-3 exercises and perform no more than 2 sets of 5 to 8 reps. The weight should be comfortable enough for you to use good form and technique.
Sample Workout For Marathon Runners
Squat – 2 sets x 5 reps
Bench Press – 2 sets x 5 reps
Pull Ups – 2 sets x 8 reps
Deadlift – 2 sets x 5 reps
Overhead Press – 2 sets x 8 reps
Lunges – 2 sets x 6 reps
By including weight training in your marathon running program, you should be able to finish stronger in the race.