Strength conditioning is an important requirement for distance runners to stay injury free specially when planning either to run a lot or run at a faster pace. This article from Dr. Stephen Pribut - a renowned podiatrist with special interest in sports medicine and biomechanics provides a good explanation of the three dimensions of overall fitness - endurance, strength and flexibility. It elaborates very well the benefits of strength training specially for older runners like me.
The Manipal Hospital Department of Exercise and Sports Medicine , setup by Dr. Rajat Chauhan in late 2007, in the basement of the hospital offers strengthening sessions as one of its services. The cost of the Preventive Strength Conditioning at this department is Rs 1500/ for 8 sessions if unassisted and Rs 2000/ for 6 sessions if assisted by a sports Physio. The sessions here on strengthening machines from Nautilus . I have been a regular here doing 2 sessions per week for the last 9 months or so(since May 2008) working out 10 excercises on 8 different machines involving hamstrings, hip/quads, leg/calf, back, abdomen, chest and the arms. These sessions have helped me tremendously in finishing strongly in the seven full marathons that I have completed since August 2008. As with the runs, on most days I feel great at the end of the 30 minutes session while on a few days I feel so-so as I struggle to work the machines. The sports physios in the above picture - Anitha, Princy and Sudeep - have been assisting me patiently session after session constantly pushing me to achieve more. Big thanks to them for their significant contribution to my successfully running a marathon every 4 to 5 weeks for the last seven months! They can be reached at the department on 080-25024467 in case anyone wants to learn more about these sessions.