Strength training for running is well documented as a necessity to run further, faster, and for greater lengths of time. By improving baseline strength, a runner increases stability through the body's major joints while reducing the risk of injury when training. That being said, it may still be challenging to find time to make it into a gym to gain access to equipment.
A well-rounded strength routine can be completed in as little as 15 - 20 minutes. Some runners prefer to incorporate it into a training day by completing a routine following their run. We suggest that you aim for at least two strength training days per week to maximize performance. Try our routine below to jump-start your training.
Knee Raises (2 Sets of 15 Repetitions) - Slowly lift one leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side.
Kick Backs (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - Kick one leg back, squeeze through your glute and hamstring muscles. Slowly return to start position.
Lateral Kicks (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - Slowly lift one leg out to the side of your body. Hold briefly then slowly return to the start position.
Body Weight Squats (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down while keeping your head up and your weight shifted into your heels. Stand up while engaging your glute and hamstring muscles at the top.
Bridges (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - With feet positioned slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, push through your heels, lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes at the top, then slowly lower.
Bicycles (2 sets of 30 seconds) - Slowly alternating sides—good extension through the bottom leg. The top portion, or leg, finishes at 90 degrees at the hip.
Sit Ups (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - From laying down, slowly lift your upper torso off the ground. Focus on sitting up tall while reaching towards the ceiling to prevent from rounding your back. Return to the start position, then repeat.
Superman's (2 sets of 15 repetitions) - With your arms and legs extended, simultaneously lift both off the floor (be sure your thighs come off the floor). You should feel tension through your posterior chain from the upper back area down through your glute muscles. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.