Strength Training – Is a function of Speed Posted on November 5, 2018

By Rameshon

Picture 1 – Speed does come from improvement in Muscular Strength

What made me to do well in long distance running, in the distance past, when I started running from secondary three onwards, taking it seriously, initially has to do with stamina training. My teacher told us to do long runs, and I was gladly doing it. 

Picture 2 – Pull ups and push ups looks similar, but they involve different muscle group. 

Over time, I realised that it was easier to get an injury when I do not stretch before and after a run. So, Yoga exercises helped me a lot. I got a book from the former National Stadium, Sports Council library. It taught me how to avoid injury. In another book, some stretches do actually give you not only flexibility but also strength as well. Usually these books were written by Westerners, not really locals. Yoga exercises come from Indian books. For breathing technique, Asians, Chinese and Indians, are usually the authors of the book. 

Hence, with increase of mileage, stretching became a necessity and it was more important to do in order not to get any form of injury. The only problem that I was experiencing was in not going fast enough. I learned from Harry Wilson on how to do simple strength training and I was getting faster in running, till I started doing sub-33min, from 36min 31sec, in the past.

John Sproule, my former lecturer, of Scottish ascent, in my teacher training days, told me to go to Loughborough University to train under Sir George Gandy, our Sports Technology lecturer for Athletics.

Later on, I flew over to study and train there. I used to join the Loughborough Athletics Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights, from 7 to 9pm, religiously. 

I was getting faster. My friends who were caucasians were observants and they told me frankly on this. Then, I was told to join on Wednesdays also for Loughborough Circuits. My local friends gave up the Loughborough Circuits as they found the circuits tough to handle. However, I found the circuits quite alright to handle.

With speed endurance and stamina training, plus the strength training, given I was able to do a time of 31min 46sec for 10km. Once, after my exams, I did 15km, in 50m 18sec with only a week of training. In another race, I did 16km Bupa Race in 53min 52sec, as my Coach Alan Guilder told me to run in the race. 

In short, I find that strength training did help me to perform better in running and I hope that people out there do some form of push ups, sit ups, and squats, superman exercise to do well in running, as these exercises involves major muscles groups. If major muscle group are engaged, usually minor muscle group are engaged.

In Loughborough Athletics Club, we have done 16 to 18sets of exercises, and the exercises changes over time. But, whatever it is, take note, I was doing simple push up, sit ups, squat thrust, and superman exercises to do sub – 33min five times in my life, and I feel strength training does form as a function of speed in running. One can achieve great speed by strength itself, even if speed training is not involved at all. There was once a past runner of mine. He did 9min 06sec for 3km run, 2 sec faster than N. Ganesan, former national record holder for 5km. The boy was just doing stamina and strength training, with no speed training. This I am sharing with you using my own experience and it is real.