Running Technique Coaching vs Strength & Conditioning

22 July 2022 | Category: Running Technique Advice

If you have followed Paul and the Balanced Runner philosophy for a while, you will know that he likes to have a bit of fun at the expense of the idea of a strength program improving your running technique. In this discussion with Nick Jankovskis – qualified Exercise Scientist from METS Performance – we really take the chance to explore where strength training does improve your running and where it does not.

There is no doubt that strength work can improve your running by building power, muscle mass, even endurance, and a complementary strength program can also help to reduce injury. The key area where a strength & conditioning program is limited is in changing the movement or skill of running.

If you have a key weakness or area of poor technique, it is likely to lead to injury when you increase your running load. If you rehabilitate and strengthen the injured area, but do not address the poor technique, re-injury is likely to occur until you address the movement pattern that is the root cause of the injury.

Movement changes movement

The concept of ‘movement changes movement’ is referring to the fact that running technique is a learned skill, and the best way to improve that skill is by practicing it in a controlled, deliberate manner and reviewing performance – much like you would with a golf swing. This concept is not yet popularised in all areas of running, but if you are trying to improve your running economy, improve your power or reduce your injury, improving your movement pattern is the best thing you can do.

Strength training can help you to perform this skill with more power, improve imbalances in the body, or add extra conditioning while you are not running.

Within the monthly TBR Membership, Nick has written some strength programs that complement a general running program, and in particular complement the running cues. The programs live within the Coaches Corner with supplementary information to improve your performance. 

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