Posted by: dukeraleighadmin | March 19, 2018

Importance of Strength Training for Runners

A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found people who do strength-based exercise have a 23 percent lower risk of premature death and a reduced cancer mortality rate. The analysis also showed exercises performed using your own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training. Consider what more you could achieve in longevity and wellness with healthier muscles!

Strength training is an important tool for all ages. In fact, it prevents bone loss (osteoporosis), improves body alignment, and metabolic rate.

When you plan your weekly running program it’s just as important to schedule 2-3 days of strength training.

Because regular cardiovascular exercise doesn’t build the skeletal muscles around your bones. If you have arthritis or joint pain, strengthening will allow you to push further in everything else you do with stronger muscles.

Tips to Take Away:

  • No “bulking up” is necessary. Use your own body weight or 3-15 pound weights (depending on your current strength) and higher frequency of repetitions for best results.
  • Incorporate on alternate or “easy” days of aerobic activity to vary your routine and avoid overuse injury.
  • Improvement can be seen in a minimum of 10 minutes for overall exercises.
  • If you are new to strength training you can take a class or work with a trainer to implement appropriate form and target certain muscle groups.

Strength training infographic

Running partners Dr. Jocelyn Wittstein and Melissa Raddatz, NP work together at Duke Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Dr. Jocelyn Wittstein is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic surgery at Duke. She specializes in adolescent and adult sports injuries. She has run several marathons and is an age group competitor. She previously coached Team in Training marathon groups in Eastern North Carolina. Melissa Raddatz, NP enjoys treating athletes and sports enthusiasts of all ages and levels. She ran Division I Cross-Country and Track at William & Mary. She has run a 2:50 marathon and is a five time nominee for New York Road Runners “Runner of the Year.”


  1. […] Add strength training in your exercise routine to help prevent osteoporosis. Learn more about the benefits of strength training for runners. […]

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