Learn to Run 5: Resistance Training Helps

05 Apr Learn to Run 5: Resistance Training Helps

Resistance training has been shown to help your running performance. Although strengthening your legs may not improve your running, it can build your resistance to possible injury. Being stronger can give you a more controlled stride and help avoid unnecessary movement. Staying injury-free allows you to gradually run faster without getting hurt.

The Perfect Resistance/Strength Training Workout: There isn’t one! The closest thing to a perfect workout would be the one you do consistently. Free weights vs Body Weight vs Machines? Your choice. I love to run; I enjoy being fit. I value Resistance Training. Nevertheless, it has to be an effective, time-efficient workout. (This is not our full-time occupation.)

I thought you might enjoy a Sample Workout (one of my favourites), a Strength Training Circuit Recipe (if you want to make your own), and an alternative training option.

A. SAMPLE Strength Training Session (Credit: Pete Pfitzinger)

Warm up: 5 min– run in place | jump rope | do a few push ups |pedal on a stationary bike jog up and down your stairs, etc.

  1. Push-up: 10 reps
  2. Dumbbell lat row: 15 reps per side
  3. Bench dip: 15 reps
  4. Swan (Superman): 10 reps
  5. Step-Up: 15 reps per leg
  6. Lunge: 15 reps per leg
  7. Squat: 20 reps
  8. Alternate shoulder press: 10 reps per side
  9. Seated triceps press: 15 reps

Stretch–finish with a few easy stretches

B. Strength Training Circuit Recipe: Pick at least one exercise from each category | 3-5 sets | 8-15 reps

  • Quads(front of your legs): Squats | Lunges | One legged squats | Box jumps
  • Butt and hamstrings(back of your legs): Hip raises | Deadlifts | Straight leg deadlifts | Good mornings | Step ups
  • Push muscles(chest, shoulders, and triceps): Overhead press | Bench press | Incline dumbbell press | Push ups | Dips
  • Pull muscles(back, biceps, and forearms): Chin ups | Pull ups | Inverse body weight rows | Dumbbell rows
  • Core(abs and lower back): Planks |Side planks | Exercise ball crunches | Mountain climbers | Jumping knee tucks | Hanging leg raises

Note: If using free weights, Kettle Bells, etc., focus on proper technique and gradually add resistance. Similar to running training, stay at one level of stress for about 4 weeks before moving on to a greater stress.

C. Hill Training Option: If lifting weights isn’t for you, then give hill training a try. Running hills will build muscle strength and power while simultaneously improving your cardiovascular system. You can do hill training outside or on a treadmill. Both are effective. In fact, the treadmill allows immediate reduction of incline without having to ‘run’ back down the hill. A word of caution: running downhill increases the impact of landing. Be careful.

Final Notes:

  • 2-3 workouts weekly improves your strength and will not cause excess fatigue which could interfere with the rest of your training program
  • getting stronger will increase your confidence, improve your running economy, and help you ward off those little injuries that often plague runners

As Jack Daniel’s likes to say, ‘It’s not winning that is most important; it’s getting to participate that counts the most.’ Resistance training can help you stay injury-free, enjoy the fun of running, and get to the Start Line of that next race, ready to go strong.

Credits: Jack Daniels and Pete Pfitzinger

Thanks for reading, Cheerios, ~Linda

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