The Benefits of Strength Training
at Souderton High School
As a lifetime runner, I’ve often thought that there wasn’t much else outside of my usual training that I could do in order to improve my running. Although never very athletic, I found that long distance running was something that I greatly enjoyed and was moderately successful at. Following my sophomore year in high school, I had completed three years of track, one season of cross country and my first Philadelphia Marathon. Two years have passed and I am now a senior at Souderton Area High School. By the time I graduate, I will have taken 11 AP classes, 8 honors classes and numerous electives; however, few of these classes have been as useful as my senior year strength training class. Strength training has had a dramatic impact in multiple aspects of my life including both nutrition and running.
In early September of 2012, I completed my first half marathon race, finishing in 1:58. One month later, I finished 2nd in the mens 19 and under age group for the Atlantic city half marathon; crossing the finish line 20 minutes faster than my time from September. My average pace per mile had dropped from a 9 minute mile down to a 7:30. The only difference in my training had been the high intensity workouts of the strength training class. In late November, I was successful in completing my third Philadelphia marathon in a time of 4:10, almost 50 minutes faster than my time from 2011. Strength training has had a dramatic impact on my life by not only allowing me to finish these long distance runs, but also to become competitive when I race. In addition to this, I feel that the overall health benefits from taking a class such as this have allowed me to recover much more quickly than previous years. Normal runners require weeks if not months to fully recover after a full marathon; however, my recovery time was so short that I was able to show up to track practice the monday after completing my race in Philadelphia. In my case, the benefits I have experienced from a class such as this can’t be overstated. I owe much of my recent success in long distance racing to many of the high intensity workouts that have become a regular part of my day.
Testimonial Written by: Ryan Williams