The efficacy and design of strength training programmes for distance running events

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Raphel Branden

The design of a sports’ strength programme is often founded on opinion and conception of the kind of training and exercise selection that will result in an event specific benefit. The problem with opinions and conceptions is that they vary between coaches. In my experience, this is very evident in the area of designing strength programmes for the distance running events, where coaches’ ideas on what strength qualities need developing are diverse. Some coaches favour high volume strength endurance or circuit training, some believe in high intensity power training and some coaches believe strength training is not required for distance events, or should be limited only to the faster, middle distance events. These varied beliefs tend to be justified by coaches’ perceptions of strength training or past training habits.

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