Kevin Houston, owner of CrossFit Autonomy, here with some thoughts on why runners, triathletes, Tough Mudders, Spartan Racers and other endurance athletes need strength training to improve performance.
Sometimes it seems like runners and gym-goers belong to different tribes. Runners fear “bulking up” and slowing down if they hit the gym. They can’t understand all those muscle-bound meatheads doing useless stuff in the gym while they grunt and throw around weights in a cloud of chalk dust.
And gym-goers think runners are scrawny, out-of-shape weaklings. A friend who is a CrossFitter tells me that almost none of his running club buddies can do a single pull-up. They lack strength. And many are plagued by muscle imbalances and frequent injuries.
Hey, can’t we all get along?
Here’s the bottom line. Runners, triathletes and other endurance athletes (like adventure racers, swimmers, rowers and cyclists) can benefit from time spent in the gym as part of an overall training program. They can improve neuromuscular efficiency and core stability, and reduce unwanted rotation. Adding strength as they correct muscle imbalances greatly reduces the risk of injury.
It all adds up to what everyone wants: faster times. And it won’t turn you into a grunting meathead. Promise!
What do I know about all this stuff? Quite a bit, as it happens. I’m certified in CrossFit Endurance and the Romanov method of POSE running. I had great success preparing a former NCAA Cross Country runner for Ultra Marathon races. I’ve trained many law enforcement and military officers on running technique to minimize injury on the job. I worked with the New England Naval Special Warfare Command. I also helped a current All American Soccer player with technique to minimize the affects of her compartment syndrome, allowing her to avoid surgery and play collegiately and internationally. And I’ve programmed entire periodized years for athletes who are competing in the Spartan Death Race and similar events.
One of our athletes, David Hawk, is an elementary school PE teacher who who has experienced some remarkable gains. He shaved 25 minutes off his 50k time, while reducing his running to almost nothing beyond the running built into CrossFit workouts.
It’s quite a story, so please read the whole thing here.
But I take the greatest pride in helping the “weekend warrior” type of recreational athletes shave time off their events, whether it be running, adventure racing, cycling, rowing or swimming.
I think endurance athletes are a special breed of people who have a very focused and singular goal…to PR on their next race! May I help you get there?
Please give me a call at 847-801-9348. Or complete the contact form.
Let’s talk about your goals — and how to achieve them.