One of the things I hear most often from people trying to improve their running is that they simply need to “run more.” While this may be the case if you’re just taking up running, there are other things that you can do to improve your times and distances. Namely, lifting weights.
Strength training for runners is not likely to resemble what you may think lifting weights looks like. It’s not ideal to load up the heaviest weight possible and go for 1-3 reps. While this may benefit the runner to a small extent, if the goal is simply to improve running resistance training will be using far lighter loads and higher repetitions.
There are two primary benefits of strength training for runners
1. Increase Power Output
As your legs and core strengthen, this will allow you to create more power through the legs, thus increasing your maximal pace. Alternating strength training with running will allow you to keep that power up for a longer duration.
2. Injury Resistance
If you’ve been running for any period of time, you’ve likely felt some bumps and bruises. The knees, hips, and ankles all tend to get the brunt of a long running workout. Doing resistance training will provide an additional stress and stimulus to the joints and muscle and can help to alleviate those nagging pains. It will also strengthen the muscle surrounding your joints to help to prevent injury from reoccurring.
When selecting exercise to assist your running program, choose compound exercises that will improve the body and core. Think squats vs. hamstring curls. 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps should be sufficient to elicit at positive response. Select 3-4 exercises per workout to start.
A. Back Squat 2 x 10-12
B. Good Morning 2 x 10-12
C. Shoulder Press 2 x 10-12
D. Front Plank 2 x max hold
In this workout we train lower body, upper body, and core. Aim to lift at least 2 days per week and you should see improvements in your running in no time.
It starts October 12 and will run on Monday and Wednesday nights at 7 pm.