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Personally i think some strength training is good. being a distance runner it has less importance than being a sprinter.

that being Said the Idea about it being done at home is true. the Ball is a great tool, hand weights such as The Block can be used to accommadate anyone in the family with minimal use of space, A simple home gym such as the Total Gym or as advanced as you might want to go like a Bowflex. I'd reccomend getting a book on non-gym workouts, and never overlook plyometric workouts either, lots of fun, lots of work, HIGH pay off, little time invested.

that being said, all the above will be great for your NEXT race. no need to try something new now and pull/strain something.
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O.K.

Here is my take on the matter:

As a beginning long distance runner, would'nt one NEED to increase one's strength and endurance?

As an elite, would'nt all THAT type of groundwork have been done and the only thing left to do would be to concentrate on speed?

For me, my ability to run further, faster, longer has improved as my strength training has taken more effect upon my body. Nagging injuries I used to incur have seemed to fade away (knock on wood). I attribute this to the strength training (and the stretching cool down period).

But as suggested in an earlier post, I do mainly core exercizes:
30 pushups
30 situps
5 pullups (all I can do right now)

rest one minute and repeat 6 times.

Kel
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