As I said in earlier article strength training is an essential part for runners. In this article, we will learn about the importance of strength training and how to do it.

Depending on the specific muscle that you want to develop, you will use different types of resistance training programs. Factors that can be varied in your program are the type of muscle contraction (isometric or isotonic), the speed or cadence of the movement, and the amount of resistance being moved. To get optimal strength gains from progressive resistance training, one or more sets of exercise repetitions are performed. Some high-level performers use as many as five sets of a particular exercise. Research indicates that most of the fitness and health benefits, however, are achieved in one set. As much as 80 to 90 percent of the benefits may result in the first set, with each additional set producing less and less benefit. Because compliance with resistance training programs is less likely as the time needed to complete the program increases, the American college of sports medicine recently recommended single- set programs for most adults. They acknowledge that additional benefits are likely with more multi-step routines, but they believe that adults are more likely to participate if they can get most of the benefits in a relatively short amount of time. In sports or competition where very small performance differences make big differences, doing multiple sets is important.

Progressive resistance training for strength development done every day of the week does not allow enough rest and time for recovery. Recent studies have shown that the greatest proportion of strength is accomplished in two days of training per week. Exercise done on the third day does result in additional increases, but the amount of gain is relatively small compared to gains resulting from two days of training per week. For people interested in health benefits rather than performance benefits, two days a week saves time and may result in greater adherence to a strength- training program.  For people interested in performance benefits, more frequent training may be warranted. Rotating exercises so that certain muscles are exercised on one day and other muscles are exercised the next allows for more frequent training. Recent evidence suggests that once strength is developed, it may be maintained by performing fewer sets or exercising fewer days per week. For example, if you have performed three sets of an exercise three days a week to build strength, you may be able to maintain current levels of strength with one set a week. Also, you may be able to maintain strength by exercising one or two rather than three days per week. If schedules of fewer sets or fewer days per week result in strength loss, the frequency must be increased.

So conclusion, for runners add two days of strength training program is a must to prevent osteoarthritis due the load falls on joints, to avoid muscle pull/ strains.