Why Female Runners Should Strength Train Like Men

The majority of my clients are women, most of whom are endurance athletes that compete in 5Ks, marathons, triathlons and rowing events. These business professionals, wives, mothers and grandmothers have no fear of lifting heavy loads. The results are incredible: functional strength, increased  athletic performance, better posture and leaner physiques. The more they increase their strength, the more they improve their mental toughness, self-confidence, and sense of empowerment.

Strength is the most important physical characteristic of our existence, but it's become less important in our lives because of technology, cars, machines and general laziness. 

More: Strength Train to Improve Running Economy

Our daily existence has changed drastically compared to that of our ancestors, but our physiology has not. We cannot ignore the fact that millions of years ago, our ancestors relied on physical work and strength to survive. Today, most of us sit in cubicles every day. Simply put, exercise is something we do to replicate the hard labor, such as building shelters, hunting prey, and harvesting crops, that our ancestors did to survive.

These real-life examples justify why female endurance athletes need to strength train like men:
  • Execute life's daily tasks of picking up kids, groceries and laundry without having to ask for help
  • Reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Lifting heavy loads will help increase bone density
  • Decrease your risk of injury. Your body will be able to handle the ravages of higher volume that comes with endurance training  
  • Improve your athletic performance. Research continues to show that strength training will improve overall performance

More: How Runners Can Benefit From Sport-Specific Strength Training

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