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  • Writer's pictureLiz Lichtenberger

Why You Shouldn't Skip the Weights

The Importance of Strength Training for Marathoners

Runner hydrating

When it comes to marathon training, most runners focus on logging miles and building endurance. While these are important components of marathon training, strength training is often overlooked. However, strength training can be a game-changer for marathon runners. Here, we will explore the benefits of strength training and why you shouldn't skip the weights.

Why Strength Training is Important for Marathoners

  1. Injury Prevention: Running is a high-impact sport that can put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints. Strength training can help to build muscle mass, improve bone density, and strengthen connective tissues, all of which can help to reduce the risk of injury.

  2. Improved Running Economy: Running economy refers to the amount of oxygen you need to maintain a certain pace. Strength training can improve running economy by increasing the strength and power of your muscles, allowing you to run more efficiently.

  3. Increased Speed and Endurance: Strength training can also help to improve your overall speed and endurance. By building muscle, you can generate more power with each stride, allowing you to run faster and longer.

  4. Better Posture and Form: Strength training can improve your posture and form, which can lead to a more efficient running stride and better overall performance.

Tips for Incorporating Strength Training into Your Marathon Training Plan

Core workout

  1. Start Slow: If you are new to strength training, start with bodyweight exercises and gradually increase the weight and intensity.

  2. Focus on Compound Movements: Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges work multiple muscle groups at once and are more effective for building strength and power.

  3. Don't Forget Your Core: A strong core is essential for good running form and posture. Incorporate exercises such as planks, bridges, and Russian twists into your routine.

  4. Allow for Recovery: Strength training can be taxing on your body, so make sure to allow for adequate rest and recovery time between sessions, and before long runs.


Strength training is a vital component of marathon training that you should not overlook. By incorporating strength training into your training plan, you can reduce the risk of injury, improve running economy, increase speed and endurance, and improve posture and form. So the next time you hit the gym, don't skip the weights. Your body will thank you.



  1. Beattie, K., Carson, B. P., Lyons, M., Rossiter, A., & Kenny, I. C. (2017). The effect of strength training on performance indicators in distance runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(1), 9-23.

  2. Blagrove, R. C., Howatson, G., & Hayes, P. R. (2018). Effects of strength training on the physiological determinants of middle-and long-distance running performance: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 48(5), 1117-1149.

  3. Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., & French, D. N. (2002). Resistance training for health and performance. Current sports medicine reports, 1(3), 165-171.


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