Runners are notorious for trying anything to improve performance, from eating "power gel" to buying space-aged shoes. But most runners are missing one key performance booster: strength training.

In a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers had eight subjects (four men and four women) perform heavy barbell squats three times per week for eight weeks in addition to their regular endurance training. A control group did only the endurance workouts.

Not surprisingly, the strength-training group got stronger (by an average of 33.2 percent in the squat). However, it was a surprise that these men and women also increased their endurance by an average of 21.3 percent. In comparison, the control group did not get stronger or increase their endurance.

This study proves that strength training will make you stronger and improve your endurance – and that will make you a better runner. All it takes is three strength workouts per week for eight weeks, focusing on an exercise such as squats or split-squats.

[Ed. Note: Long, slow cardio is NOT going to help you get healthy. But strength training and short-burst interval training can. Learn more here.
 
If you’re looking for more healthy ideas that can help improve your diet and increase your fitness level, ETR has a FREE resource that can help.]

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