This is something we talk a lot about at camp: strength training for runners. It's a topic of conversation among a lot of coaches and runners, but clearly the right kind of strength training is very beneficial for runners. It makes them stronger, more dynamic and healthier. It is one of the best injury prevention steps young runners can take.
Yesterday, MileSplit ran this article on strength training.
From the article:
"Strength training helps with maintaining form which will allow the athlete to run more efficiently," he says.
Better form, better running, better times.
"The biggest changes I see once an athlete starts my weight training program is body composition, stride length, and frequency and ability to maintain a faster pace for longer periods of time."
Another side benefit to weight lifting, according to Coach Richter at St. Vincent, is the reduced risk of injuries. A stronger neuromuscular system means you are less likely to get hurt.