30-DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
If you’re a seasoned runner, building endurance, increasing mileage, and hill workouts are probably part of your repertoire. Strength training, on the other hand, may not be so familiar – but it should be!
If you’re not currently strength training to improve your running, below are some reasons why it’s time to start in order to improve your athletic performance, as well as some exercises to perform regularly.
“Make your hard days hard and your easy days easy” is a philosophy many runners use. Add the strength session on the same days as a hard workout so your easy days are truly easy. After your run and cool down is the optimum time.
Start with two sessions per week. Two full-body workouts are preferred over a “leg day” or “core day” so your muscles recover in a similar fashion before your next run!
Running is a full body activity – it’s not just your legs working! Power and stability of your arms, trunk and hips - as well as your foot turnover - contribute by optimizing form and decreasing fatigue.
Here are five exercises to build muscle, prevent injury, run and recover faster. They should take about 15 minutes to complete once you get into the routine. However, take your time to ensure your form is perfect and it will carry over best to running!
This exercise strengthens muscles in a different plane of motion from running - the frontal plane – contributing to hip and pelvis stability. Start slowly and increase speed and knee height as your coordination for the exercise improves.
Do 5 passes to the right and left, pumping your arms strongly and maintaining a forward gaze. If that last bit is hard, do the exercise in front of a mirror or watch your reflection in a sliding glass door so you can see your feet without bending your neck. Always keep the speed ladder untethered so it will move if you accidentally trip yourself. (I’ve been there!)
Many runners cave at the hips as fatigue increases during a run or race. We spend much of our time standing on one foot while the other is moving through the air, so being able to stay tall at the hips while on one foot is key to strong running.
This is a great way to level-up your usual plank.
Every movement the human body does in everyday life involves rotation, so it’s important to train that way as well. This exercise develops rotational strength and stability of the head, neck, trunk, hips/pelvis and shoulder blades.
The idea with this exercise isn’t to build bulk, but to train the glutes and hamstrings as hip extensors in a single leg balance position, just like the hip extension component of running. High reps/low weight is ideal here. The deadlift is a hip hinge movement, not a squat.
Yoga’s structured, multi-joint stretching is much preferred over typical static stretches because the latter tends to create muscle imbalances. Plus, yoga requires motions runners don’t often train but need, such as trunk rotation, back extension and flexion, and is fantastic for single leg balance!