Training Power in Running and Its Purpose

In the running world, the distinction between strength and power often leads to confusion. Understanding why and how to train both is crucial. Let’s clarify this distinction.

Definition of Power and Its Role in Running

To grasp the significance and essence of power in running, let’s start with the basic definition. Power represents the ratio between strength and speed, expressed as P=FxV. In physical terms, strength denotes a muscle’s ability to resist a force, measured in Newtons. This concept is pivotal as strength in running is frequently misconstrued as a component in motion. However, a muscle exerts strength when resisting a weight or resistance in a static manner. Developing strength and enhancing the muscular capacity to resist resistance requires specific gym workouts with suitable equipment.

Understanding Muscular Work

Muscular work entails the capability to sustain a weight and move it through space. For instance, lifting a 30 kg weight from the ground to an 80 cm high table represents work, measured in Newtons per meter. The equation is W=FxL, where W is the work, F is force, and L is distance.

Delving into Power

Power reflects a muscle’s ability to perform the chosen work over time, expressed as P=WxT, where T is time, measured in Watts. For example, in the gym, lifting a 20 kg weight for 1 meter demonstrates more power if executed in two-tenths of a second rather than in eight-tenths. How does this apply to running? Clearly, time links to speed! Hence, the equation Power=Force x Velocity. Think of uphill intervals—a classic example of power—where the more powerful athlete translates their weight for x meters (depending on the interval) in less time. The same concept applies to flat terrain intervals, albeit with less impact from body weight.

Speed and Power in Running

In running, as in other sports, being fast and powerful demands a meticulous balance of components. Having just strength isn’t enough; rapidity is essential. Consider an extreme example: an athlete who trains solely for strength in the gym for ten weeks, managing to lift twice their weight. This could enhance their power, provided their speed remains constant. However, an increase in muscle mass could compromise the swiftness of movement and, therefore, speed. Balancing strength work with speed-focused training is crucial. To sum up, how does one improve power? Power is developed in the gym by training strength and combining it with exercises focused on speed. It’s imperative to plan a training program that considers both aspects.


Power in running necessitates a balance between strength and speed. Targeted training to enhance power must consider both these aspects, allowing one to maximize performance and achieve the best results in running.