There is currently much debate on the topic of strength training.  There have been several research studies that have shown more performance improvement in athletes without strength training.  So does this mean you should not strength train? 

Our opinion on this topic has been to relay a consistent and simple message to our athletes about strength training.  We are advocates of strength training and recommend all of our athletes engage in it. 

How can we advocate it if there is insufficient research that strength training induces performance enhancement?

The answer is simple.

The majority of the people we coach are not professional athletes but rather have a “day job,” a family, and do endurance sports as a hobby for enjoyment.  Because of this, they are engaged in activities such as sitting for many hours a day, lifting their children to play with them, cutting the grass, planting flowers; the everyday activities of life.  Strength training allows the human body to maintain a healthy balance of all around muscle strength so that people do not injury themselves through everyday activities such as hurting their back because they lifted groceries out of their car the wrong way or tweaking their hip flexor because they have been sitting all day at work and then went out for a run

It’s not uncommon for athletes to injure themselves through everyday activities due to muscle imbalances created from singularity of training rather than injure themselves through overtraining.  Strength training helps to reduce this risk.

Additionally, we all probably know that in general, the older we get the more muscle mass we loose.  This process can be slowed down and sometimes stopped for a time with strength training.  Therefore, the bicep muscle we tweaked because of the 2 hours of roughhouse we engaged in with our kids and their friends over the weekend could be avoided.

So while there is no research that irrefutably shows a direct correlation between strength training and performance enhancement in endurance sports it is the opinion of Endurance Sports Institute that if you injure yourself from an everyday activity and your workout(s) are sidelined because of something you did outside of training (i.e. everyday activities) and this caused you to miss several workouts; this WOULD have a direct impact on your performance.

So embrace strength training with the understanding that it helps keep your overall health high and your injury level low.