Strength Training For Endurance Athletes
Strength training is something that most runners shy away from for many reasons. Most commonly I hear, ‘I’m afraid of becoming bulky,’ ‘I just don’t have the time,’ or ‘I’m not interested in the gym.’ Strength training is all about becoming more balanced and stronger. Not necessarily bulkier. It’s not essential to spend lots of hours in the gym either, as body weight exercises are often challenging enough and can be done nearly anywhere.
I’ve often encountered (and shared) the sentiment that runners would rather spend their valuable time getting an extra 20 minutes of running a couple times a week than doing strength work. However, it’s important to make sure the building blocks are in place (i.e. a strong, balanced body) before adding on the kilometers. A physiotherapist can best assess if your body has adequate strength and mobility for the demands of running.
The following is a simple body weight routine that you can do to help you be stronger on your runs and hopefully prevent some injuries. These exercises are structured to alternate muscle groups so you can eventually get through the workout with no rest periods required. Start with 30 seconds ‘ON’ and rest 30 seconds for each exercise. It’s important to continually challenge yourself, so when this gets easy, progress up to 45 seconds ‘ON’ with a 15 second rest. To challenge yourself even more, try for 60 seconds ‘ON’ with no rest between exercises. Add in dumbbells when needed/possible.
Plank with alternating leg lifts (supine)
Push ups (wide hands)
Plank with alternating leg lifts (prone)
Dips on bench
Straight leg raise/lower
Toe reaches (on back)
Pedestal (plank on front, side R/L, back)
Uncertain what some of these exercises are? Google/YouTube it! J