You’re Training For The Pump
Continuing from the previous point, choosing the most appropriate exercises is important for developing strength where you need it most. Training to induce a pump or burning sensation is actually a bodybuilding technique used to induce more muscle growth. As a runner, you want to train your nervous system.
Without being too “inside science,” strength is determined by two factors: overall muscle size and the efficiency of your nervous system. If your brain can recruit all of your muscle fibers during a contraction, you’ll have more strength. This is how runners need to build strength because this form of strength is associated with minimal weight gain, which, if it occurs, can be detrimental to performance. Jump and plyometric training are prime examples of nervous system development training.
RELATED: Hit The Hills, Reap The Benefits
Choose multi-joint jumping variations to improve explosive power and neuromuscular efficiency. Runners can benefit from performing repeated vertical jumping, lunge jumps and bounding. Additional options are available but you do not have to get too fancy. Sprinting and fast hill running are actually forms of explosive training that should also be added to a runner’s strength training program.
Take Home Message
Certain exercises are better for runners than others, so choose exercises that improve full body coordination and strength. Don’t go after the burn and focus on free weight-type exercises and body weight jumping exercises.