running adelaide

Resistance Training For Runners

Resistance Training For Runners

Guest Blog By Sam Hicks (Distance running coach and Personal trainer and owner 4 Runners)


Doing weights was once viewed as an activity carried out by gym junkies and Olympic weight lifters.

These days it’s become not only ‘in’ with the cool kids but highly recommended by medical professionals for the general population.

In distance running circles back in the good old days of marathoning it’s understandable to realise that lifting weights wasn’t highly popular among the elites.

And why would you as long distance runner, or any endurance athlete for that matter?

After all when it comes to specificity in training logic would say if you want to improve at running, just run more.


In addition doesn’t lifting weights give us bigger muscles which will end up becoming aerobically more expensive?  

But as training research advances and evolves more and more elite and recreational distance runners are including specific resistance programs into their training.

The main reason is injury prevention.

This means more consistent uninterrupted training that is likely to produce improved performance in race times.

We can break the benefits of resistance training down even further:

Improved musculo-skeletal health and strength

Strengthening of the running muscles and improved bone health.

Improved running economy

More strength can mean less ground contact time and enhanced “pop” from each foot strike.


Hormonal change (maximise anabolic response)

When the majority of your training time is spent completing extended periods aerobic exercise the body can enter catabolism “destructive metabolism”.

This can have detrimental effects on your overall health.

To reduce periods of extended catabolic states, an appropriate resistance training programme can be prescribed.

Combined with a healthy balanced diet will more than likely induce anabolism “constructive metabolism”.

So never fear stacking on excessive muscle mass from a couple of strength session per week.

Hypertrophy (enlarging of tissue) should only occur after specifically programmed sessions where this is the desired outcome.

But in the right dose, its likely strength gains will occur without excessive gains in lean mass.

Some examples of how strength training has helped runners…

Sir Mo Farahs (Multiple Olympic Gold medalist) ex coach Alberto Salazar running strength information:


Steve Moneghettis Biography Page 255 “In the long run” describes his weekly mileage daily breakdown plus his body weight strength circuit including push ups , sit ups , dips, chin ups ,leg raises etc.


If you’re unsure of how to structure resistance exercise into your program contact myself or another trusted  athletics Australia distance running coach , strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer that you trust to help with your running goals.

Sam Hicks is owner for 4 Running, an Adelaide based Running Coach and Personal Trainer.

4runners was founded by Sam Hicks in 2015.

As a level 2-advanced distance running coach and personal trainer, Sam himself is proof the systems that he use work.

“The methods I use are simple to understand, but not all are easy to execute”

Training for a distance running event can be overwhelming, leaving it hard to know where to begin.

4runners has been developed to remove the stress of knowing what to do in your program and when to do it.

Sam coaches long distance runners of all age groups, abilities using online correspondence to track your progress week by week. He tailors all the programs himself and monitors how the athlete responds to them.

Whether you’re a young novice 1500m track runner or a veteran marathoner, 4runners will cater for the individual.

“These systems are not new, flash or easy. They’ve been around since the 50’s. I’ve got so much confidence in them as I’ve experienced the results they produce.”

For more information, please contact Sam via this link.

PRE-hab is the new rehab

When it comes to building your running capacity, putting together consistent training weeks / months is how you reach your potential.

Sounds simple in theory, but the most common set-back is niggling injuries that force you slow down or take time off all together.


You can find yourself in the the land of 'boom-bust' where you reach a plateau of performance that can be frustrating, dis-heartening and confusing.

And it's easy to blame the running, saying that you're not meant to run.

The truth is, running is one of the most challenging, high level activities you can ask of your body.

Running efficiently and pain free comes on top of a foundation of adequate flexibility, core strength and movement efficiency.

After 20 years of studying human movement, I can say very few of us have the natural foundation to run efficiently.

In the modern age, due to pain, injury, stress and too much time sitting and driving, we are losing touch with our bodies and what it means to have a good physical foundation. Movement compensations and imbalances have become the norm.

The thing is, in the short term you can still get by with a less than ideal foundation.

You will be able to run because your amazing body works out a way to get the job done. The problem is, the compensations have a limited time span before they burn out and pack it in. Then you are really stuffed - you're in pain and you can't keep running anymore.

Now you have 2 choices:

(1) Accept that "running is not good for you" and avoid it the rest of your life; or

(2) Learn about how your body works and set a plan to achieve your goals.

The good news is that you can learn to fine tune your body to prepare it for running. You need to be smart and listen to your body - and have patience and dedication. You can overcome your weaknesses and actually turn them into strengths.

The idea behind The Resilient Runner Workshop is to teach you the strategies and skills you need to safely build your capacity, BEFORE injuries and niggles set your training back.

Full disclosure:

This process does take an investment in time and energy. You may not see improvement straight away. But with discipline and dedication, all a sudden you start seeing results that may surprise you.

The hardest part is getting to base-camp.

It can be a steep learning curve.

But once you've got there, you have a rock solid foundation, that nobody take away from you and will set you up for a lifetime of pain-free and enjoyable running.


Are you interested in attending The Resilient Runner Workshop...

Currently we have 3 spots left in Fullarton (next Saturday 9th Feb) and 5 spots left for the Murray Bridge (March 9th).

Hope to see you there & if you have any questions please let me know :-)