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Cool, but No Play. | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: Running, strength training

Cool, but No Play.

by on Feb 13th, 2009

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I’m going to be upfront and honest with you.  I’m a total nerd.  For example, a few days ago, I stopped by to see a few friends and they were watching a movie.  One line that jumped out at me was this: “You know who was cool, but didn’t get much play?  Velma from Scooby Doo.”  First of all, great line.  Second of all, and here is where my nerdiness fits in, it reminds me of a particular training concept for distance running.  What is the concept?  The development of strength and power.  It’s a really cool idea with a lot of support for its ability to enhance performance on the track, but for whatever reason distance runners just don’t want to give it any play.  Runners who do get into the weight room often have misguided programs pulled from the latest muscle magazine or they try to do more “endurance” work, both leading to results in the short term and disappointment in the long term.

Runners tend to think that they are special when it comes to the weight room.  Unlike every other sport, who uses strength training to develop speed, strength, power, and resistance to injury, runners think they need to lift for endurance with really long sets.  They’ve gotta do endurance work, right?  I mean, runners ARE endurance athletes, who shouldn’t train like sprinters, soccer players, or basketball players.  Nope, they only need endurance.  Not so fast.

There is an ever-growing body of evidence that suggests that improving relative strength, elasticity, and maximal velocity will improve distance running performance.  One of my favorites simply shows that there is a strong connection to anaerobic power and performance over 10,000 meters.  Give this a read “The results indicated that gender, height, weight, percent body fat, 50-m sprint time, the height and power of both types of vertical jumps, plyometric leap distance, and the 300-m sprint time were significantly correlated with 10-km run time (p < or = 0.05) in the total subject pool (N = 36).”  So what does that mean to the runner?  By improving your anaerobic power markers, you’ll be on your way to faster racing on the track regardless of distance.  Give it a try.

Carson Boddicker

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