Jan 24, 2023
The Importance of Plyometric Training for Runners

Plyometrics are fast, explosive jumping movements that help build muscle strength.

Training your fast-twitch muscles to respond more quickly and powerfully is something that all runners will see benefits from.

A recent story from RunnersWorld.com details how plyometric training can improve a runner’s performance.

Below is an excerpt from the RunnersWorld.com article.

A number of studies have shown that this type of exercise can have a positive effect on running economy and speed, especially on shorter distances of 10K and below.

One 2006 study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research used 15 elite distance runners as its subjects, and had them undertake three plyometric sessions as part of their weekly training over nine weeks. The results showed that despite it having no effect on the runners’ VO2 Max, their running economy improved by 4.1 percent when pushing themselves fast at 5.20min/mile pace.

Another study in 2013 in the same publication tracked non-elite runners over a six-week period following the introduction of a weekly plyometric workout. The researchers found that not only was explosive strength increased, but also running speed, evidenced by faster 2.4km times at the end of the study when compared to their times at the start.

Improving explosive strength can benefit every runner, especially if you’re looking to break shorter-distance PBs. As these studies prove, plyometrics can help boost your strength and speed, as long as you make it a regular part of your training.

‘Performing plyometrics can increase your number of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which helps improve your sprinting and speed ability,’ says Cadbury. ‘This can make you faster at running over short distances and also help you power up hills with more ease.’

To read the full story from RunnersWorld.com about plyometrics, click here. 

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