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Keys to Developing a Strength Routine for Runners

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Tip #1 - Target Your Hips

As a runner, your hips are the driving force and control the lower extremities. Your glutes in particular are powerful stabilizers. Target your hips with a variety of exercises. Some ideas include; squats, lunges, side planks, Copenhagen planks, bridge variations, etc...

Tip #2 - Think Different "Planes" or Multi-Planar

Consider including multi-planar exercises in to your routine. What this means is there are 3 different planes (sagittal, frontal, and transverse). Running involves a lot of work in the sagittal plane. So, instead of doing just a plank add in a side plank (which works frontal plane). Consider better yet, a side plank with rotation. How about instead of a forward lunge and lateral lunge. Or perform a forward lunge but add in trunk rotation. Have fun with your strength routine and play around with variations.

"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn’t change you." - - Anonymous

Tip #3 - Life is Crazy, Keep it Simple

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've all heard this before. Developing a routine that sounds scary or too intense is often off-putting. I recommend starting Simple and ultimately building in to a routine that you can keep up with on a consistent basis as it can take weeks or months to see adaptations. Do not feel like you need to be in the gym for 60-90min. Many good running routines can be performed in 15-20min.

Tip #4 - Mix it up

Doing the same thing over and over can get monotonous and ultimately can create stagnancy. Consider developing a few different routines involving a healthy mixture of exercises. Find routines you can have fun and challenge yourself.

Tip #5 - Don't be Afraid to GO HEAVY

There has often been fear with runners going heavy with strength training. These are typically unfounded beliefs about building up significant muscle mass or it will slow you down. Focusing on low rep and heavy weight has been found to help improve running economy, increase bone density, and decrease risk of injury. Gradually building up strength over time will allow the body adapt.

Closing Statement

Developing a routine can be scary so if you'd like any assistance please reach out or take a look at our Coaching Plans. A large part of running and training for races includes strength and mobility exercises. ALL of our Coaching Plans include developing an individualized strength routine.

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