6S Marathon Training for the HOKA Half Marathon.

Following a 6S social event a few weeks ago a team of us (Amber, Annaleise, Harri, Maddie, Nicole and myself) decided that we needed to take on a new exercise goal and concluded marathon running will be the way to go. So as a team we will attempt the HOKA Half Marathon in May 2024. 

Giving ourselves 12 weeks to prepare for this task is an ambitious task which will involve dedication with training, diet and planning.  In this blog I will discuss the importance and benefits of strength training for running.

Strength training is an integral, yet often overlooked, component to running performance. For novice and experienced runners having a training plan, involving an appropriate running loading and strength training can prevent training errors and overuse injuries while improving sports performance. 

Research to support strength/resistance training in running athletes is growing as a means of injury reduction/prevention and performance enhancement.  

Endurance performance in long-distance running (7–150 min) is 80–99% dependent on aerobic metabolism which is affected by three main factors: maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), lactate threshold, and running economy. (1)

Running economy is defined as the oxygen or energy cost to run at a given sub-maximal speed.  Research has shown that resistance training programs performed 2-3 times per week for 8-12 weeks, has a 5% improvement in running economy. (2)  Results from a recent Systematic review (3) highlighted that strength training 2-3x weekly improved running economy up to 8% as well as improved time trial performance, reducing total running time up to 5%.

Strength training not only improves performance, but is also a valuable tool for reducing injury risk for a multitude of reasons not limited to improved tissue capacity and improved biomechanics.  Research supports Lower limb strengthening to reduce the overall injury risk, and reduce the risk of overuse injuries by 50%!

Follow along as we drop pearls of wisdom and experience of our training programs up till the event in May.


  1. Francesca-Piacentini, M, De Ioannon, G, Comotto, S, Spedicato, A, Vernillo, G, and La Torre, A. Concurrent strength and endurance training effects on running economy in master endurance runners. J Strength Cond Res 27: 2295–2303, 2013.
  2. STØREN, Ø., Helgerud, J. A. N., Støa, E. M., & Hoff, J. A. N. (2008). Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(6), 1087-1092.
  3. Blagrove, R.C., Howatson, G. & Hayes, P.R. (2017). Effects of Strength Training on the Physiological Determinants of Middle- and Long-Distance Running Performance: A Systematic Review. Sports Med.
  4. Lauersen JB, Bertelsen DM, Andersen LB. The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Sports Med 2014;48:871-877.