Strength vs. Power: How to Lift So You Race Faster with Professor Andy Galpin

Speed is a big goal for many runners. But it’s not everything! By learning to focus on power as well, runners will learn how to race faster and more efficiently.

Andy Galpin, PhD is a professor of Bioenergetics and expert on strength training

While runners typically relish the idea of fast speed sessions and grueling long runs to improve, strength training is often less appealing. Runners may be confused about how and when to fit strength training into their routine, or may be intimidated by the idea of lifting heavy.

Both speed and strength are essential components of racing fast. The combination of strength and velocity (speed) is what produces power, a concept we are less familiar with in the running world. 

This week’s guest on the podcast is here to help you gain a better understanding of power and how it applies to your running. Andy Galpin is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton. He is a scientist, teacher and coach who seamlessly blends together the science behind strength, conditioning and human performance, and its practical application to all levels of athletes.

Andy Galpin on Power for Runners

Andy earned his Masters in Human Movement Sciences and his Doctorate in Human Bioenergetics, and has worked with elite athletes in basketball, football, boxing, MMA and weightlifting, among many others. He is the author of the book Unplugged, and has a YouTube channel dedicated to making physiology and performance accessible to everyone.

This podcast will help you get a better understanding of the relationship between strength and power, the benefits of strength training for runners, and how to focus on power during your strength sessions. For distance runners, a small amount of training can go a long way towards improving your power!

Andy and I discuss:

  • Three essential weight training principles runners need to focus on
  • The difference between force production and force absorption, and why both are essential to run healthy
  • Why runners need to focus on long term strength for bone health
  • How you can increase your capacity for recovery and make your body more adaptable by controlling your stressors
  • How to get it all done in one session: warming up, lifting, and running!
  • Minimizing risk to avoid getting hurt in the weight room

Andy’s ability to translate complex scientific concepts into practical training techniques make for a great conversation you won’t want to miss!

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


This episode is brought to you by InsideTracker, one of the most reputable blood testing companies in the world. They were founded in 2009 by aging, genetics, and biometrics scientists to help you analyze your body’s data and get a firm idea of how well you’re responding to training.

Understanding your body’s biomarkers, from stress hormones to testosterone to Vitamin D, can help you figure out if you’re over-training, under-training, optimally training, or if you have a health issue that might be affecting your running. But the best part is that they give you personalized optimal ranges for each of these biomarkers and a host of ways to improve these markers through diet, lifestyle, or exercise changes.

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If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, get 25% off any of their blood tests with code STRENGTHRUNNING at InsideTracker.

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