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.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com