Chapter 7: The strength & skill of running

Chapter 7 of Running Technique delivers a series of arguments about why strength and coordination training is extremely important in developing good running technique – especially if you’re technique needs to improve.  I’m also a big believer in the principle of running strong not skinny, better athletes thrive on being strong and well coordinated.  The days of assuming you need to be super-light to be competitive in running are long gone – attend any high class running event and you’ll notice that the competitors might be relatively lean, but they are strongly built.  This principle is true of all running distances from 800m to the marathon.

Jemma Simpson and Kaila McKnight

Chris Solinsky, Bernard Lagat, Matt Tegenkamp & Ben St Lawrence

Eloise Wellings

Josphat Menjo


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Coordination not big muscles

RSS Strength & Coordination Articles

  • Plyometric Bounding for Running October 5, 2013
    Dr Philo Saunders from the AIS is leading researcher in running economy, a couple of years ago I had the chance to video Philo going through his advanced plyometric routine of ridiculous leaping about. You might not want to try it but it’s worth a look!
  • Strength training for running: planning and strategy July 26, 2012
    The Australian Institute of Sport has a neat strength & conditioning methodology that I learned about at a recent course. This often overlooked training for middle and long distance runners take careful planning.
  • Jerry Schumacher’s strength training secrets: part 3 November 25, 2011
    In the final of this three part series about the strength training used by Nike coaches Jerry Schumacher and Pascal Dobert, I provide example strength training for running sessions and video demonstrations.
  • Jerry Schumacher’s strength training secrets: part 2 November 16, 2011
    The core of Pascal Dobert and Jerry Schumacher’s approach to strength training for running may hinge on the variety of exercises their Oregon based athletes do in each strength session. In part II of this series I look at a five element framework of exercises and discuss the neurological benefits for runners of constantly changing […]
  • Jerry Schumacher’s strength training secrets: part 1 November 14, 2011
    Athletes trained by Jerry Schumacher consistently run well in their distinctive green singlets. Aside from obvious coaching nous, another reason for their high performance is the excellent strength training program overseen by Pascal Dobert. While it’s a secret, in this three part series I speculate on just what the ingredients might be in this successful […]
  • How to: squats for runners September 9, 2011
    In my last post I explored the relationship between squats and good running technique. Now we drill down further with a detailed description, tips, video tutorial and demonstration to complete the picture.
  • Why squats improve running technique September 6, 2011
    The squat has been a must have exercise for runners over the years, especially for sprinters and middle distance athletes. Recently long distance and marathon runners have also adopted squats & general strength work. Find out why squats help improve running technique for runners of all levels of ability.
  • Free download: strength training exercises for running June 29, 2011
    In the June/July 2011 issue of Australian Running Magazine: Run For Your Life, I wrote a feature article that explains why strength training trumps all measures for improving running technique and avoiding injury. Download the full PDF version of the article for free.