Why is Strength Essential in Building Endurance?
Updated: Apr 2, 2018
Building endurance is not just about volume. It is also about getting STRONG.
How do you train up for an Ironman? Or your first marathon?
More often than not, your first answer would be to run more, swim more or cycle more, depending on the mode of endurance event.
While this is true ( I am a believer in Lydiard's method of building endurance), I will disagree if an athlete spends ALL their training sessions on volumetric work, leaving little or no time at all for strength and conditioning work.
Strength and conditioning for endurance athletes redefined.
Strength and conditioning for endurance athletes should not be just a few simple bodyweight exercises thrown in randomly at moderately high repetitions for 3-4 sets and calling it a day.
It is also not about just doing high repetitions with lower resistance to build muscular endurance.
The purpose of strength and conditioning for endurance athletes is that it complements your sport-specific training session. S&C for endurance athletes in essence, helps to build an injury resilient body, builds better movement control, and builds the ability to generate large power output at a relatively low bodyweight.
“S&C for endurance athletes in essence, helps to build an injury resilient body, builds better movement control and builds the ability to generate large power output at a relatively low bodyweight.”
Many associate being strong with huge muscles. That is not necessarily the case. Here in Metamorfitus, we lift heavy with the emphasis to build strength and power. The greater your strength and ability to generate large power makes submaximal loads feel much easier and increases movement efficiency. For example, you will be able to increase your stride length with greater leg power.
BE STABLE AND MOBILE
Core stability, unilateral limb stability and mobility forms the core of injury prevention among endurance athletes. Here at Metamorfitus we focus on developing mobility and stability with the usage of kettlebells and suspension systems. This translate into increased proprioception and ability to maintain structural and technical alignment of the body when performing sport specific movement patterns over long periods of time. This increases movement efficiency which translate into improved performance.
Many of us are not just endurance athletes; we are also dads/mums, husbands/wives and sons/daughters. Many of us have full time jobs. Thus, while preparing for our pet event is important, handling the daily stresses in our lives are important as well - thus the need to be athletic; to have the mental athleticism and physical attributes to handle stresses in our lives.
Many endurance athletes will feel fragile outside of their sport. I remembered when I was participating in competitive cross-country during my secondary and junior college days, I was nowhere close to feeling strong or powerful. Yes, I was able to run fast, but I was constantly tired, and fragile. I would fall sick easily, and get injured easily when I hit something or fell.
BACK TO THE PRESENT
Now that I am lifting heavy and varying my movements more (not only just run), I feel more powerful, stronger and ready to take on anything that life throws at me. I am also more injury resistant and able to train better as a result!