Strength Training for Distance Running

Strength training will improve your running.

You hear it all the time, and if you are like me, I run so I don’t have to lift weight and workout. When I saw the strength training posts heard or heard people talking about it, I willfully ignored it. Thinking I am good now, I am running so its all good.

At the end of 2015, I decided to focus on improving my times to see exactly how fast I can get. One day I hope to have a 3hr 20min marathon. (I have quite a ways to go).

Well, the bell now tolls for me and so it’s time to really figure out strength training for running. Some of my initial questions I will be looking for anwsers to:

  • What are good strength exercises?
  • How hard should I push myself? After all I am trying to get faster not look better.
  • How many days a week should I do this?
  • Should this be done before the run or after the run? should their be a 4+ hour break between the activities?
  • Should it be done on the same day as a hard run? or should it be done on the days of easy runs or days with no running at all?
  • Can strength training be over done?
  • Can strength training really help reduce injury?

It is a lot to figure out, especially when your time available for working out is limited, like mine.

The plan is to incorporate strength workouts to improve the run, reduce injury, without requiring an extra 3 or 4 weekly trips to the gym while still giving the body enough recovery time to benefit from all the efforts.

I am not a trainer so none of the information here is mine, I am very good at research, reading and figuring what works best.

As I create and develop this post, I hope to answer the questions above from both my research and interviews with experts.

If you know of any great strength resources contact me and I will get them added to the list.

 

 Helpful Strength Training for Running Posts

10 Essential Strength Exercises for Runners by Runners World — 

The 4 Best Strength Training Exercises For Runners by Competitor.com — give a pretty good overview diving it up into 4 areas. 1. Bodyweight Squats 2. Single-Leg Deadlifts 3. Core Work 4. Single Leg Squats

Strength Training for Cyclists by Training Peaks — Okay the post is about running some of the same strength training rules apply for cycling so you may see some of that mixed in here.

 5 Core Strengthening Exercises for the Offseason by USA Triathlon.org

How to Schedule Strength Workouts Interview with Jason Fitzgerald — Great Interview with Jason and Runners Connect about strength work

  

When to incorporate strength training?

Much of it depends on your personal habits, schedule and training goals. 

For me I will typically have 4 days a week running, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. Tuesday and Thursday will be tougher days and the weekend will be easy longer runs.  My plan is to add strength training to the tougher days of Tuesday and Thursday.  

By doing keeping all of the strength and intense activities together, it will allow my recovery days to be true recovery days.

 

 

Summary – Something is better than nothing

If you have been on the fence like myself for a while, the most important thing you can do is get started.