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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Heavy weight training improves running economy

Previous research has shown that weight-training improved the running economy of distance runners. To further explore this phenomenon, recent research was undertaken to find out if traditional weight training or explosive weight training had different degrees of effectiveness for increasing running economy. An article entitled, "Effects of strength training on running economy" by Guglielmo, Greco, and Denadai of the Human Performance Laboratory, UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil, published in the International Journal of Sports Med. in January 2009, presented the results of a study. Sixteen well-trained runners engaged in either traditional heavy weight training or explosive weight training, all for 4 weeks on the same equipment. They were then tested while running on a treadmill to see how much oxygen per unit body weight they used to run at a set speed. Only the group that trained traditionally improved in running economy. The observed 7% increase in economy could translate to a marked increase in running speed sustained over a distance. This study demonstrates that weight training can be beneficial for endurance athletes as well as strength and power athletes.

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