Last week I shared my 25K trail race training plan, and aside from the usual mid-week and weekend long runs on the trails, you might have noticed I also included three days of strength training per week. Just as strength training is important for runners training for marathons held on paved roads, it’s also important for runners racing on the trails — even those racing an ultra distance.
Although fitting strength training in to ultramarathon training can be tricky, it’s doable and totally worth it. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, some of the benefits of adding strength training to marathon training include faster recovery from injury, prevention of overuse injuries (which is one of the most common injuries ultrarunners experience), and a reduction of muscle imbalances. Besides providing preventive benefits, strength training can also help runners increase their power output, which comes in handy when climbing hills. (more…)