Photo: ShutterstockRunning faster race times requires more than just running further or choosing the right shoe. The scientific literature supports the addition of heavy weight lifting and explosive jump training to endurance running training as a way to improve running performance (Beattie et al., 2014).
Strength and plyometric (a.k.a. jump-type exercises) training can improve neuromuscular efficiency (e.g. brain muscle communication ability), increase force production capacity, delay the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers and help convert plastic fast-twitch type IIx fibers into fatigue resistant type IIa fibers (Ronnestad & Mujika, 2013). The benefits to running are expressed as improved running economy, running speed and time to exhaustion (Beattie et al., 2014).
As little “free-time” tends to be available to the average runner, juggling runs, work, friends, family—and now strength and jump training—can be difficult.