Tag Archives: strength for runners

Strength Training As A Runner

Strength training as a runner is a hotly debated topic.  How much to do, when to do it, what kind to do?  No matter what your answer is, at the most basic level, strength training as a runner makes sense.  The more powerful your legs are, the more force they can put into the ground with each step.  This means you’ll be able to propel further forward at a faster rate without any increased effort.  The stronger your core is the better your running form will be.  If you’re not including muscle building activities in your training plan, you’ll miss out on all the bone density increasing, injury preventing, faster running and better form benefits it provides.

If strength training as a runner has so many benefits, what’s the problem?  Most runners aren’t sure how to add these types of workouts to already packed training schedules and end up leaving it out altogether.  This can lead to unwanted muscle imbalances, injuries and plateaus in race times.  Luckily, there are lots of ways to add strength training to your routine that won’t cramp your program and the best news is there aren’t any hard and fast rules for strength training as a runner (other than you have to do it!).  strength training as a runner

Want to try running in deep sand?  Requiring 60% more effort than running on pavement, that slippery sand works your calves, feet and ankles overtime as they try to stay stable on a moving surface.

How about Crossfit?  High intensity strength building workouts can replace easy ‘junk’ miles with lots benefits.  Increased bone density, mobility and balance will all make your more durable and prevent common overuse injuries.

Plyometrics and other body weight exercises are fantastic ways to build a better runner.  Burpees, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups and jump rope require little space and a small strength training as a runnerinvestment in equipment.  Running hills counts, too, especially if you don’t have the beach to run on.

Mobility work and yoga is must for any runner, even if it’s just a foam roller followed by a few sequences at home.  Aiding in recovery, stretching and massaging will help muscles recover from workouts as well as eliminate imbalances that can lead to injury or poor form.

Get stronger and lower race times by using these tips for strength training as a runner to start today!

Coach Meredith

4 Must Do Strength Moves for Runners

As most experienced runners know, there’s more to running than just running.  Strength training plays a big role in injury prevention and performance.  Strong muscles support the body better, protecting it from getting hurt, burn more calories than fat and make you more powerful with each stride.  Here are four strength moves for runners that will help improve form, increase endurance and hit that next PR sooner.

Push-ups:  Push-ups can tell you lots about the way you run.  A push-up with a weak core, sagging hips and an arched lower back makes us unstable and will transfer over into overextended running.  Performing a proper elbow in, vertical forearm push-up means better shoulder stability and a larger range of motion.  These two things combine to give you an improved arm swing with good elbow drive in a north-south direction.  An elbow out, angled forearm push-up creates an strength moves for runnersinternally rotated shoulder position and an inefficient running arm swing.

Planks:  A plank is little more than a stationary push-up and has many of the same benefits.  Planks will help you strengthen your core, improve posture and build endurance.  There are a wide variety of planks, each making your shoulders, wrists, trunk more stable while helping you relax and take a deep breath (or five).  For more reasons to plank every day, check out this post and these videos.

Bodyweight Squats:  One of the best strength moves for runners, squats strengthen running specific muscles and increase the range of motion around the hip joint.  More power through a bigger range of motion not only means better running, it means safer running.  Stronger quads, glutes and hamstrings, which stabilize the knee and hip, will reduce your risk srength moves for runnersof injury.  Be sure to push the hips back until your knees is at a 90 degree angle and drive the knees out to get the most benefit from every squat you complete.

Single Leg Deadlifts:  This strength move is perfect for preventing hamstring injuries, strengthening the hips, improving balance and building muscle in the glutes.  Hold a free weight in front of your body while slightly bending one knee then hinge at the waist and lift the opposite leg behind you until the weight reaches the middle of your shin.  Be sure to keep your back flat, engage your core and not let your shoulder get round as you return to the standing position.

Use these strength moves for runners and you’re sure to see the benefit.

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