How to Balance Running and Strength Training to Avoid Injury

The Benefits of General Strength and Mobility for Young Runners

Younger athletes, especially middle school and high school aged girls, greatly improve when GSM is part of their daily training program because the increase in human growth hormone and testosterone in their systems strengthens growing bones.

A GSM program that incorporates some remedial physical therapy exercises, such as clams, reverse clams and lateral leg lifts, give girls a better chance of running with a neutral gait. It's more difficult for girls to run with a neutral gait because they have wider pelvises than boys; girls' wider pelvises can result in a larger Quadriceps angle, or the angle at which the femur (upper leg bone) meets the tibia (lower leg bone). This increased angle can place greater stress on the knee joints, and is the root cause of many knee-related injuries.

More: How to Prevent Knee Injury and Pain

Implement General Strength and Mobility to Avoid Injury

The reason most runners don't do GSM work is that they like to run and they don't want to shorten the 60 minutes or time they have to run by taking five minutes to do a warm-up like the lunge matrix, and then tack on an extra 10 minutes to complete a GSM routine at the end of the run. If they were to factor in a dynamic warm-up and post-run GSM routine in the 60-minute window, this would shorten the run to 45 minutes.

But the approach of five minutes of lunge matrix before the run, 45 minutes of running, then 10 minutes of GSM post-run is a recipe for injury-free running. There is a chance that you will stay injury-free by just running 60 minutes, but as you get older, that chance decreases. If you really want to get in your 60-minute run, then find 15 more minutes in your day to add to your workout, even if that means going to bed and waking up earlier. If you're already finding the time for a 60-minute run, then you can probably find the time for a 75-minute workout. The benefit of injury-free running for years to come is worth the time investment.

More: 4 Strength Exercises for Time-Strapped Runners

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