Ultimate Strength Training Workout for Runners At Home
Have you been running for a while and don’t know what to do to get better at it? If you’re a runner, chances are you’ve thought about strength training but don’t know where to start. You’ve probably heard about cross-training, but you don’t know how to actually do it.
Or you might be ignoring strength training completely. This blog is for those who are still on the fence about doing strength workouts for their marathons/sprint training.
Why is strength training important for runners?
There are many benefits to strength training for runners, including improved fitness and running performance.
And you will look good, that is a good bonus as well.
It is indispensable to start strength training early in a runner’s training to get the most benefits.
Strength training should be progressed gradually as the runner’s strength and fitness increase. This method is known as progressive overload.
Strength work can prevent injuries by strengthening connective tissues and muscles.
It can improve neuromuscular coordination and stride efficiency, which can lead to increased speed. Strength work can also boost your maximal oxygen uptake, helping you run faster.
As per this study, doing low to high-intensity and plyometric exercises helped runners with their running economy. Running economy is measured using Vo2.
What type of strength training for runners is useful?
Per various studies like this one it is seen that a strength training program having low to high-intensity workouts, and plyometric movements done 2-3 times a week for 8-12 weeks provides a great running economy boost to middle and long-distance runners.
And another study done on runners shows that heavy strength training did not have much effect on running performance. But there were no negative effects as well.
However, if you opt for explosive strength training, then it can improve your running economy and overall running performance. This research done with ATR periodization shows a great enhancement in Vo2, endurance for runners.
So while some might believe that runners only need to focus on cardio, strength training is actually an important part of a runner’s workout routine.
But it seems that you can improve your long-distance running performance by doing a hybrid workout that includes running and strength training.
A hybrid workout that combines intervals of running and strength training all in the same session. However, be careful not to overdo it as hybrid workouts can be quite demanding and may lead to injuries if you’re not careful.
ATR (Accumulation, Transformation, Realization) periodization with explosive strength training, plyometric training and running training works the best.
It can be really hard to set up a workout plan for yourself, thus you should consider talking to a personal trainer.
My Top Strength Training Exercises for Runners?
Here are the top strength training exercises that runners are often recommended to do apart from running.
- Walking Lunges
- Single-Leg Deadlifts
- Reverse Lunge
- Pistol Squats
- Glute Bridge
- Lying Superman
- Dive Bomber Push-ups
- Russian Twists
- Single Leg Lateral Jumps
- Fire Hydrants
What are the benefits of strength training for runners?
Strength training along with jumping exercises helps the runners with increasing their vo2, endurance and explosiveness.
Strength training can increase your metabolic rate
Strength training can help you burn more body fat and optimize your body composition for running. Strength training increases lean body mass, which affects your metabolic rate and helps you burn more calories. In addition, strength training can help improve your running economy by making your muscles more efficient at using oxygen.
Strength training can increase your speed
There are many benefits to strength training for runners, including increased speed. Strength training helps you to be stronger relative to your body weight, which in turn means you will have faster sprint times. Strength training can also improve sprint performance and be a key part of improving endurance performance.
Can boost your overall health
Strength training has so many benefits for your overall health, including reducing blood pressure, improving blood sugar control, and reducing triglycerides and cholesterol. It’s also a great way to maintain your running health by helping to improve bone density, balance, and stability.
Improve your running form
Strength training can be extremely beneficial to runners because it can improve your form, biomechanics, and stride.
Unilateral training will correct any muscle imbalances, thus improving muscle efficiency.
Strengthening your core will support your posture and prevent injuries in the long run.
When you have a strong foundation in your core, it gives other muscles something to work with and can lead to better results.
Strength training helps improve your mobility and trains movement patterns that aren’t practised while running.
Strength training can increase bone density
Strength training is important for increasing bone density. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise recommend strength training at least 3-5 days per week to help maintain bone density. Strength training can help the body adapt and build stronger bones, even in post-menopausal women and runners of all ages.
Strength training can prevent overuse injuries
Strength training makes your muscles stronger and for that, your joints remain safe.
Thus, it can help prevent overuse injuries. Running requires a lot of force, and strength training helps the body withstand the impact and musculoskeletal demands.
Strength training develops the ability to handle higher loads, which offsets undue stress on your joints and bones. Runners can engage in unilateral exercises to correct muscle imbalances, reducing the risk of injury.
Pro Tips for Strength Training for Runners
Work With a Professional Trainer
If you are aspiring to be a pro runner or already a pro runner then you should work with a professional trainer. He/She can track your health, progress, and diet and guide you along the way.
Follow a Guided Workout
If you are working out with a trainer, then you should work out the way the trainer did the workout for you. A professionally made guided workout is the best way to reach your goals.
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Focus On Your Form
Never rush to complete your workouts. Always go slow and get your form right first. A bad form often leads to the ill development of your muscles and overall health.
Do not shy from lifting heavy weights. You might think you will get too bulky and it will reduce your speed. But all these muscles will help you with increasing your speed a lot. And you will not bulk like a bodybuilder, for sure.
Vary Your Routine
You should vary your workout routine after a few months. Your trainer can guide you better to it. Often a hybrid routine consists of running training and strength training back to back. You may opt for that. Or do running training on one day and strength training on the other.
And you can vary all of your workouts as directed by your trainer.
Make It Fun
Sometimes you would need to make your routine. Doing only strength training might become boring quickly. So you might just play some other sports as well.
What should you consider when creating a strength training workout for runners?
- The type of training you are doing (e.g. marathon, long-distance, short-distance, etc.)
- The amount of time you have to train
- The intensity of your workouts
- The number of days per week you are able to train
- The available equipment
- Your level of fitness
How can runners add strength training for runners to their marathon training plan?
They should start with doing lunges, squats and some more compound lifts. A trainer should be able to help you better make a workout routine for marathon training.
What are some common mistakes runners make when doing strength training?
Runners or anyone who does strength training often makes some common mistakes like not warming up, sacrificing form for the sake of lifting heavy and not eating enough.