• Cody Cook

Weight Training Tip #1

Improving Running Economy

Running economy is extremely important factor in racing performance. This is a very reliable predictor of endurance performance so increasing this variable can lead to improvements in racing performance. Running economy is defined as the amount of oxygen needed to maintain a given submaximal speed. Most runners train to increase running economy by using submaximal endurance training but this method can take month to really see results. Is there a more efficient way of improving economy? The research shows that there is a better way and that way is explosive and heavy weight training.

Many runners are afraid to lift heavy due to the fear that it will cause them to gain too much weight. Due to this fear many runners chose to lift light weight and high reps but this actually has the effect that runners fear. High rep low weight training is an effective type of training to gain muscle and weight and when combined with high volume endurance training can lead to overuse injuries.

Low volume high weight training is effective at increasing strength and power. This type of training can lead to better neuromuscular efficiency and increased force production which can lead to improvement in running economy. This type of training can lead quicker increases in running economy than just endurance training alone. Studies have shown that low volume high weight training can lead to significant increases in running economy in as little as 4 weeks when compared to the 14-20 weeks of endurance training alone. This type of training also leads to lower increases in body weight than high volume lifting programs. Heavy weight training can also help limit the chances of injury because it improves bone strength and muscle tendon strength which are problems that many runners struggle with. It seems that high weight training combined with endurance training is the most effective way of improving running economy which in turn can lead to overall running performance.

If you want a specific example of this type of training please sign up for a free general 4 week weight training program for runners at the following link. The plan will be emailed to you within 24 hours.


Are you a runner that is looking to improve your running economy to help improve your performance? If you are please check out my training packages and contact me at ccook10@ashland.edu to get a personalized training program based on these concepts.

If you are interested in personal training or sport specific training please follow the link below to look at the training packages that we have available. I also offer online training for those who are not located in the Canton Ohio area.


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