Is it important to do resistance training if all I do is run?

As you age you will begin to lose muscle mass. In order to keep your strength levels up you must do resistance training in some form. Resistance training will also keep your bones, tendons, and ligaments strong.

Although running is a great conditioning exercise and can also keep the weight off, resistance training is vital to keep lean muscle mass high and injuries at bay. Resistance training helps to build up lean muscle mass, which helps keep the metabolism high as well as keeping functional fitness levels in optimum range. By utilizing resistance training within your running program, you can help avoid certain overuse injuries and joint strain as well. Keeping the lean muscles of the legs in good working order will enable them to keep the hip, knee and ankle joints safer during runs.

Aim for 2-3 days of resistance training per week and make sure that your resistance training complements your running program. Always factor in core work and multi-joint movements to keep your runs safe and injury free.

While running is a good form of exercise, it is beneficial to provide the balance with resistance training which will not only provide overall better strength to the body but also support the body to run more efficiently and prevent injuries over time. In addition to resistance training and cardio, I would also suggest a sound flexibility program, especially for runners, to keep the muscles, tendons and ligaments from becoming too tight and allow the body to be balanced.
It depends on what you want. I myself want to experience zero injuries, being physically fit, looking great and being strong, so I work on everything. Give me a buzz if you want help figuring out what it is that you want out of exercise.
Chris Powell
Fitness Specialist
If you are looking to develop muscle, increase fat loss, and increase performance, then resistance training is the perfect complement to your running! Resistance training stimulates muscle growth, helps maintain valuable 'calorie-burning' muscle during fat loss, and has been proven to increase the lactate threshold in endurance athletes, for improved performance. Adding 2 to 3 days of resistance training every week will work wonders for your body!

Running and other forms of cardiovascular activity (i.e. swimming, cycling, etc.) are fantastic ways to exercise. However, they are largely characterized by repetitive motions of large muscle groups. If these are the only forms of exercise that you are participating in, you could be running the risk of developing imbalances around your joints.

Resistance training, in addition to running and other forms of cardiovascular training, can accomplish several things.

  • It can help improve local muscle strength and/or endurance in the muscle groups you use when running. This will improve performance in those muscle groups and in turn the muscles will be able to go longer and recover faster.
  • It can provide an avenue to establish and maintain proper length-tension relationships around the joints which can help prevent injury.

Resistance training will improve overall body strength, and can also make you a better, stronger runner.

Get some guidance from a professional on how to train with weights to help your running.

Mona Tasca , NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

It's very important to incorporate resistance training into any exercise routine. Resistance training strengthens muscles and joints and is important in maintaining bone density. So adding this type of training will help build endurance and reduce the risk of injury.

Resistance training can help runners to prevent injury and increase performance.

Resistance training can help to strengthen and stabilize the knee and help to prevent "runners knee" as well as hip and lower back pain from the constant repetitive stress that running places on the body.  By strengthening the muscles, bones, and connective tissue, resistance training not only helps to prevent injury but can also decrease the severity of such injuries if they should occur.

Resistance training will help to improve performance by increasing the amount of force the muscles are capable of producing and increasing postural awareness and muscle balance.  Better posture translate to economy of movement and increased running efficiency.  This could easily mean times coming off your race paces.

It is important to strength train if you are a runner. To help prevent injury develop stronger muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments, and bones with strength training. It will help prevent shin splints, knee and hip injuries and low back pain. Strength training improves endurance, flexibility, force and power output. Train once or twice a week and cover all muscle groups.

Focus on single leg squats, diagonal patterns such as opposite hip to shoulder, working the transverse plane, balance and core strength to improve running 

It is super important to do resistance training, if all you do is run. Strength or resistance training can improve your running skills and help you prevent injuries caused by running. In my experience a huge number of runners will seek resistance training after being injured because, they have not strengthen certain muscles they have neglected from years of running.

Using resistance training to increase strength in your quads, gluteus, hamstrings, and hips will improve your running skills. Think of resistance training as preventive medicine for runners to decrease risk for injury, increase bone density, preventing back pain, lowering your risk for disease, improving your energy level, improve weight loss, preventing loss of muscle, improving sports performance and keeping you younger. Get with your Personal Trainer or Fitness Expert to figure out a program that works for you, they may be even able to incorporate running into your routine. Keep running and don't forget your strength training to build a healthier, fitter you.

Resistance training will improve your speed, endurance, balance, and help you run more efficiently. In addition, resistance training will help support your joints, and most important, reduce your risk for injury.  A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that incorporating moves such as squats, single-leg hops, and core workouts to your regimen can help prevent lower-body injuries that can plague many runners, such as knee and hip injuries, as well as improve performance.  

It is very important to include resistance training into your workout routine. In order to tone up, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn so that you eat into your fat stores. Once your body has burned through the fat stores and seeks energy to burn, it will find that energy stored in muscle. This means that you may lose muscle while trying to achieve the body fat reduction goal when performing only aerobic activities. Resistance training will help to minimize the loss of muscle by continuously providing the stimulus the muscle needs. When you increase the muscle on your body, you also increase your metabolism. Metabolism is the amount of calories necessary to maintain your body. More muscle will mean more calories being burned even at rest. Incorporate resistance training along  with a weight loss program, and you can help minimize muscle loss, speed up metabolism, as well as achieve your goals of toning up much quicker.

Andrea Metcalf
Fitness Specialist

Most runners do not realize that running is a forward pattern of movement that can actually injure the body without proper stretching and counterbalance of strengthening moves.  If your thighs are constantly pulling the hips forward, the increase in pressure on the lower back and IT band are increased as well. 

Backside training targeting the glutes and hamstrings is an integral part of any well balanced running program. Simply walking or running backwards on a treadmill is an easy way to dynamically stretch the front side of the body and strengthen the back side. 

Remember resistance training can be from your own body weight and change of direction so try side stepping, cross over moves as well.

Jay Morgan, NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Resistance training can enhance the stabilization strength of your joints and enhance muscular endurance of your running muscles. A systematic resistance training program will first work your body globally to build a strong foundation and then progress to moves and exercises that will begin to fine tune your strength requirements for running. Also, resistance training can be utilized as a cross training workout to complement your running schedule.

Resistance training is important no matter what you do. It, along with calcium intake, is the only way we can combat osteoporosis which may not come into play until our later years but starts roughly after the age of 35 when our peak bone density starts to diminish. Weight training is especially important for females because after menopause a woman's body starts seeking out calcium faster than a man's body, and the only way to slow that loss of calcium is to weight train and increase calcium supplementation. 

Resistance exercise is very important for everyone with physician clearance. Running is in fact resistance training but only for your legs. Osteoporosis can develop in just parts of your body and without upper body resistance training you are putting yourself at risk for osteoporosis in your upper body which can start as early as 35. No need for a gym or fancy equipment though, there are many ways to incorporate resistance training into your runs. A few sets of simple push-ups and pull ups during the week can greatly reduce your risk of having osteoporosis in future years. Men and women can suffer from this. A pull up bar is less than $40 you can hook it on your bedroom doorway. Small dumbbells and even water weights can also help you w/ your resistance routine. Perform upper body resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for most weeks and it's ok to take a week off every 6-8 weeks or so. 

It can be very beneficial for runners. In the initial phases of resistance training, your body will increase in muscular endurance and stability. Both of which are critical for running effectively. If done properly, resistance training can also promote better posture and reduce the chance of injury. This, coupled with some balance, core, and reactivity training can improve your overall fitness.

It is always important to have some kind of resistance training in your exercise routine. While running is a great form of cardio, your body may be very susceptible to injuries due to a lack of strength and/or stability. Simply running will keep a very specific set of muscles/tendons/ligaments conditioned but leaves other areas of your body vulnerable to injury. Full body resistance training is a great way to keep the rest of your body strong. 

While your primary form of exercise may be running, you should still resistance train. You will experience greater gains in speed and distance by hitting the weights. Additionally, you will be less prone to injury. If you are unsure of what types of resistance training may be appropriate ask a trainer, or see if a local running store has any clinics on resistance training. You can only become a stronger runner... what have you got to lose? 

Running is a high-impact activity that over time causes lots of wear and tear on the musculoskeletal system, especially the joints. Resistance training, when properly structured, can help provide support to the joints reducing the wear and tear accumulated during running workouts. Strength training improves the efficiency of the muscles and establishes better quality communication between the brain and muscles. It will also promote muscular endurance (the ability of the muscles to sustain contractions). When designing a strength training program to complement a running program, proper balance between hard and easy days is necessary. Strength training should supplement running workouts, not overpower them. Exercises should be large muscle group in nature such as lunges, step-ups, push-ups, single arm rows, and torso rotations. Body weight, free weights, and cables are good choices of equipment; weight machines do not have as much transfer to running movements. Weight should be kept fairly light and repetitions should be high (12-25) to achieve endurance adaptations.

Resistance training offer benefits to your running. The added strength to compliment your running form is a match made in heaven. Make sure you find functional exercises that complement the muscle group that assist your running. If done right it can only be a benefit.

Resistance training will help strengthen up your muscles, bone and joints so you will be able to do more. Even though you only like to run you just can't have one without the other. Just like diet and exercise, one will not get you to your goal but together you can achieve anything. By not doing resistance training you run into the problem of losing muscles and and weakening your joints from the stress of running. Bottom line, you want to keep your muscles strong to handle the long distances and impact of your running.

Resistance training can help strengthen the muscles used when you run, resulting in decreased stress placed on your joints. Resistance training can also help strengthen muscles that are weak, which can lead to poor running mechanics and injury. Resistance training, along with focusing on proper running mechanics, can help improve your movement quality leading to a decrease in injury. Resistance training can also be used as a form of cross-training. Cross-training is simply doing a different form of exercise than you normally do (in this case, running). This will help prevent overuse injuries commonly seen in runners while at the same time provide conditioning to your muscles.

It's all about balance. Running alone only works some of the muscles in your body. To decrease your chance of injury and improve performance, you need to make sure that all of your muscles are pulling their own weight when you are exercising. For example, if you are a runner who has weak quadriceps compared to your other leg muscles, you will have an uneven pull across the knee increasing your chance of injury. Resistance training will help you keep all of your muscles strong and working as a team. Strength training should not just focus on your legs, but also your core and upper body because they all support each other in keeping proper form.
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness Specialist
Running is a good physical activity (please make sure that you warm up properly, cool down, and utilize good shoes). I would recommend that you add resistance training 2-3x/week into your overal physical activity plan. Resistance training is great for building strength and it will also help you burn more calories.
If you like to run you will love to run when you incorporate strength training. Outside the fact of all the health benefits of stronger muscles and joints that can prevent injuries. Resistance training can improve your running mechanics and give you better posture during the day and allows you to be stronger and gives you more power during and at the end of your run.

Using both methods of training in your exercise program can be very beneficial to one’s running performance. Studies have shown that a strength training program coupled with an endurance routine can facilitate the transformation of Type IIb muscle fibers, which have a low resistance to fatigue and have a short duration to anaerobic activity into Type IIa muscle fibers, which have a higher resistance to fatigue for a longer duration of time. Resistance training has also shown to increase in lactate acid threshold also improving the length of time an individual can perform at a high level of exertion. Using moderate to heavy weights in your strength training 2 to 3 days per week while continuing your endurance regimen will increase overall leg strength increasing overall force production without significantly increasing leg size.

Another benefit is the increase stability in the joints making it possible to run longer with less risk of injury. A properly designed exercise program will also increase core strength improving a runner’s ability to maintain good running technique when fatigued. Those new to running as well as those that have been involved in a running program for some time can benefit from adding a resistance program to their training. So add this much needed component to your training and take it to the next level!

Yes. Resistance training will reduce risk of injury and can enhance bone density as you age.

It is very important if you want to be able to decrease the wear and tear on your joints and enjoy running even more! Running can be improved if you strengthen the muscles in your body because they are what move your frame! Resistance training will add muscle to your frame and you will see a change in your body by adding more shape to your physique. Be strong and enjoy your rest knowing you are burning calories while you sit and sleep.

Robert May , NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Absolutely. Running is a great aerobic exercise, however it is important to incorporate a variety of training techniques to your exercise program. If you perform the same exercises over and over there is a significant chance you will develop muscle imbalances. This will cause some muscles to be overactive and others to be underactive, increasing the likelihood of injury, as well as disrupting the kinetic chain. This means that your body will not move with energy efficiency if your muscles are not in balance.

If you are looking to improve your running skills then there are advantages to resistance training. Also I Ibelieve that you would benefit from speed and agility training.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.