The benefits of strength training for endurance athletes


Strength Training for Endurance Athletes
Concurrent training is often met with skepticism in endurance sports. However, within the literature, there seems to be a general acceptance on shifting from type I to Type II muscle fibers with predominantly anaerobic and strength based exercise for endurance athletes.

Recent research has illustrated that introducing concurrent heavy strength and endurance training illicit improved time trial in elite cyclists. Changes in rate of force development in these endurance athletes lead to a greater 45 minute time trial result without increases in hypertrophy or body mass. Perhaps indicating, that with more efficient and effective training, including the introduction of strength training, performance gains can be made.
The benefits of strength training for endurance athletes

Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training

  Endurance performance in aerobic athletes
  Strength, rate of force development and power generating capacity in aerobic athletes
  Neuromuscular capacity and movement economy
  High Intensity Exercise Endurance
  Thresholds as well as glycolytic, lactate and buffering capacity
  Phosphocreatine stores and utilisation
The benefits of strength training for endurance athletes
These changes are not simply limited to cycling. Research within distance runners have found that both movement economy and time trial performance improves with the correct implementation of a strength training program, avoiding the interference effect. Most interestingly, changes to performance can be made by reducing time spent completing endurance tasks and increasing time allocated to strength and power development. Changes in Vmart, economy, power output and time to exhaustion have all been highlighted.

As an endurance athlete consider the role strength training has in your long term plan and how you might be able to maximize your training.

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2. Tegtbur U, Busse MW, Kubis HP. Exercise and cellular adaptation of muscle. Unfallchirurg, April 112(4): 365-72, 2009.

3. Aagaar P, Andersen JL, Bennekou M, Larsson B, Olesen JL, Crameri R, Magnusson SP, Kjær M. Effects of resistance training on endurance capacity and muscle fiber composition in young top-level cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports 21: 298–307, 2011.

4. Aagaard P, & Andersen JL. Effects of strength training on endurance capacity in topā€level endurance athletes. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20(s2), 39-47, 2010.

5. Paavolainen L, Häkkinen K, Hämäläinen I, Nummela A, & Rusko, H. Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. Journal of Applied Physiology, 86(5), 1527-1533, 1999.