Strong is Faster

The Gym Pod Academy Director, Dexter, shares with us the benefits of strength and conditioning work for runners.


You have probably noticed one of those prominent black and yellow containers decked with gym equipment somewhere around Singapore, The Gym Pod is one of the latest fitness movements to hit our local health and wellness scene in recent years. An unmanned gym chain with unique features such as full privacy, booking pods on-demand via a mobile app and 24/7 accessibility. With over 50 pods scattered across our tiny red dot, it seeks to provide a unique and convenient fitness experience to users.

The Gym Pod Academy - the innovative fitness program that offers both in-person and virtual training by The Gym Pod has just been announced as the official training partner for the upcoming OSIM Sundown Marathon, set to take place on 20 May 2023. The Academy provides users with access to expert trainers and innovative training programs that cater to their individual needs and preferences, and is currently offering Strength & Conditioning workshops to help runners prepare for the big race.

Coach Dexter, an ACE, FISAF & PTA Global certified Personal Trainer, has been in the strength and conditioning industry for 18 years and is currently the Academy Director of The Gym Pod Academy. We picked his mind on how this gym collaboration would help aspiring runners prepare for the respective road races from the 5km up to the Full Marathon.

What are the benefits of including Strength and Conditioning (S&C) in my training?

Many runners make the mistake of ramping up training volume and intensity, in terms of mileage, when preparing for endurance races and neglect incorporating a proper strength & conditioning routine in their training program. Research and empirical evidence have suggested many benefits that accompany a regular (and well guided) strength & conditioning regime:

  • Reduce risk of injuries
    Strength training strengthens our muscles, connective tissues and joints; correcting any muscle imbalances and reducing the odds of running related injuries.
  • Improves Running Economy
    An increased overall muscular strength especially the strengthening of under-active muscles, helps to improve overall running efficiency. This is especially important for endurance races where the body starts to fatigue deep into the race and form starts to break.
  • Increase Running Performance
    Strength training for runners can help improve aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and submaximal endurance performance due to the neuromuscular adaptations that result.

In addition, strength training increases the resiliency of your body against overuse injuries from running and can also boost one's mental game as strength training is empowering and improves confidence, focus and self-esteem.

How often should I undertake S&C training if I plan to integrate it into my routine?

Two to three sessions of strength training per week is recommended if you are on a running program - preferably with these sessions scheduled on your easy-run days, with a focus on heavier weight with lesser repetitions. One can reap more neuromuscular benefits, training at an intensity of RPE 7-8.  

Is there really a need to engage a S&C coach?

It will certainly be helpful. While many know how to execute exercises found on Youtube or Google, it takes a qualified and experienced S&C coach to help you cut through the clutter and guide you more effectively with a personalized and periodized training program. Training with a good S&C coach means you’ll be on a structured training program that ensures your workouts are done at the appropriate intensity with relevant recovery strategies to aid performance in your respective sport (in this case – running performance). It saves you time, effort and allows you to focus on becoming a stronger and faster runner.

With The Gym Pod Academy as the official training partner for OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023, their expertise and innovative training programs will certainly be instrumental in helping runners prepare for their race. We believe this partnership will enhance the overall experience for runners and are looking forward to seeing many personal records broken on race day!

The Gym Pod Academy is now accepting bookings for the Strength & Conditioning workshops. For more information about the program and to book sessions, visit The Gym Pod's website or download The Gym Pod app.

OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023 is taking place on 20 May 2023.
For more information and race registration, visit OSIM Sundown Marathon 2023.


OSIM Sundown Marathon injected a jolt of energy into Singapore’s running scene when it became the nation’s first night marathon in 2008, and the event hasn’t looked back since. From a humble attendance of just over 6,000 in the first year, registration is expected to reach 35,000 in 2018, making us Asia’s largest night marathon once again.


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