Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(7): 468-476
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1243639
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Strength Training in Endurance Runners

R. S. Taipale1 , J. Mikkola2 , A. Nummela2 , V. Vesterinen2 , B. Capostagno3 , S. Walker1 , D. Gitonga1 , W. J. Kraemer4 , K. Häkkinen1
  • 1Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • 2KIHU, Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • 3UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 4Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision November 28, 2009

Publication Date:
29 April 2010 (online)


This study examined effects of periodized maximal versus explosive strength training and reduced strength training, combined with endurance training, on neuromuscular and endurance performance in recreational endurance runners. Subjects first completed 6 weeks of preparatory strength training. Then, groups of maximal strength (MAX, n=11), explosive strength (EXP, n=10) and circuit training (C, n=7) completed an 8-week strength training intervention, followed by 14 weeks of reduced strength training. Maximal strength (1RM) and muscle activation (EMG) of leg extensors, countermovement jump (CMJ), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2MAX), velocity at VO2MAX (vVO2MAX) running economy (RE) and basal serum hormones were measured. 1RM and CMJ improved (p<0.05) in all groups accompanied by increased EMG in MAX and EXP (p<0.05) during strength training. Minor changes occurred in VO2MAX, but vVO2MAX improved in all groups (p<0.05) and RE in EXP (p<0.05). During reduced strength training 1RM and EMG decreased in MAX (p<0.05) while vVO2MAX in MAX and EXP (p<0.05) and RE in MAX (p<0.01) improved. Serum testosterone and cortisol remained unaltered. Maximal or explosive strength training performed concurrently with endurance training was more effective in improving strength and neuromuscular performance and in enhancing vVO2MAX and RE in recreational endurance runners than concurrent circuit and endurance training.



Ritva S Taipale

University of Jyväskylä

Department of Biology of

Physical Activity

P.O. Box 35 (VIV)

40014 Jyväskylä


Phone: +358142602089

Fax: +358142602071