Strength Training

Strength training is frequently one of the first things to be eliminated from training when we feel like we are too busy. The actual running always feels most important, but neglect of strength training can limit your performance and make you more susceptible to injury. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get a boost from strength training though. You may be thinking that most elite runners are pretty lean, so their strength training must be minimal. Accordingly, you’ll find that the most effective exercises are functional or run-specific. Also, I recommend doing single-leg or single-arm weights with a greater frequency to help identify and correct any muscle imbalances you’ve developed.

So, what kind of strength training are we talking about. Check out the links and videos below for details, but generally we are focusing on the core, hips, glutes, ankles, and hamstrings. If you have an injury, please consult a doctor and check out the resources on my Injury Guide page. Also, please work with a trainer if you need and make sure you are using proper form. Improper form can result in injuries and you will not receive the benefit of the exercise.

The Running Injury Clinic in Calgary has a great set of exercises videos. Be sure to use their Interactive Assessment tool if you have pain in a specific area as well:

The Polar Blog frequently has good post as well, including this one with links to 5 key strength exercises for runners:

Check out Very Well Fit for ideas on lower body and core work:

Runner’s Blueprint has some good videos too, which highlight the importance of proper form.

Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running provides a solid core routine:

Here are a few other core exercises that I like. My one piece of advice is not to cheat on core work (i.e. drop your stomach, arch your back, etc.). I think the instructor in the first three does a nice job of explaining.: