Just because you’re a runner doesn’t mean you need to shy away from strength and power training exercises. Being stronger and more powerful will increase the reactive strength and contractile capacity of each of your muscle fibres. You’ll have better neuromuscular communication and be able to produce more force at a faster rate. Your stronger muscles and joints will allow you to be more efficient at using the elastic energy that’s stored during running. This will enliven your stride by shortening stance-phase ground contact times.
While strength training and plyometric exercises are usually performed in separate workouts during the training week, a method known as “complex training” or “contrast loading” can develop strength and power at the same time, combining both training sessions into one.
What is complex training?
A complex training program involves continuously alternating between a strength-developing exercise and a power-developing plyometric exercise. The plyometric exercise should be biomechanically similar to the strength-developing exercises. For example, a body-weight jump squat would be paired with a barbell back squat.
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