Strength training for the avid runner

July 25, 2013

Many runners are afraid to touch any sort of strength routine out of fear that added bulk will weigh them down and slow their race times. While few runners aspire to look like a bodybuilder, there is a comfortable medium that can help improve your running rather than detract from it. In some cases, the best training plan is a comprehensive one that allows you to combine the benefits of a few different methods. Any runner can find a place for the appropriate strength training in their routine. You may find the results are better than you expected the next time you use your home treadmill. The TRUE M50 Home Treadmill‘s preset and custom workout routines can easily complement any weight training that you choose to add! 

ACTIVE recommends a series of exercises that will allow you to improve muscular strength as well as reduce the risk of injury, both of which can better you as an athlete. Try these or similar routines two to three times per week and in time, you may find your running respond positively. Many will find a pattern of alternating running and strength training days convenient, and a great way to get the most out of a week of exercise while not overworking your body. While a “rest week” every once in a while is recommended, exercises can be kept relatively light to ensure your body stays healthy.

Since you’re performing these exercises to improve athletic performance, focus on compound movements that will translate well to your running. These include both single- and double-leg lower body movements like squats and lunges, as well as a combination of pushing and pulling movements for your upper body. Lastly, stability and strength work for your core muscles will help in any sport, running included. From the following list, compile three separate workout circuits that each incorporate at least one lower, upper and core exercise.

Lower body
Broad jumps and box jumps are particularly helpful for athletes, and runners stand a lot to gain from these jumping exercises that help build leg power. As mentioned earlier, both one- and two-legged squats are great for leg strength, and you can’t go wrong with your basic lunges. Try adding weight to make the exercise more challenging.

Upper body
For a runner, a high bench press is not the end goal. Instead, try and gain functional strength through push-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups. You can generally get by on bodyweight exercises, but adding weight to a pull-up or dip can help for an added challenge.

There are countless ways to effectively train the core muscles – try something a little more complex than your standard crunch. Try Russian twists, stability ball planks, or hanging leg raises to really get those abdominals burning.

With these exercises at your disposal, the next time you run on your TRUE M30 Home Treadmill, you could find yourself setting a new record.