Most runners think they just need to run more and faster to get better. However, this is only partly true. Because well-planned strength training not only ensures that you run longer and faster, it also protects you from injuries and improves your overall health. If you want to improve while running, you should also regularly use strength training. This is how to do strength training for running.
Maximum strength training for best results
Long-distance runners benefit particularly from a maximum strength training, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine. It should be the best and most efficient way to improve strength, performance and responsiveness. This means that a simple, simple strength training for beginners is perfectly sufficient to achieve significant improvements in endurance performance while running. Strength training thus improves not only the anaerobic performance, but also the neuromuscular efficiency. In addition, you can promote an economical running style with regular strength training. This in turn means that you can run faster and longer.
Rules for strength training
In order to benefit optimally from strength training as a runner, you should stick to a few simple rules. Thus, you also prevent overtraining and possible injuries. Below we present the four most important guidelines.
Large Muscle Groups & Simple Exercises
Since you as a runner do not want a bodybuilding figure, but rather need functional support from your muscles, you should focus on simple basic exercises. These include mainly squats (knee bends) and deadlifts (cross-lifting). In addition, you can also incorporate exercises with your own body weight such as push-ups into your training plan.
Continuous but adapted strength training
As a runner, you should lift weights all year round. However, the focus on maximum strength training should be outside the intensive running or competition season. As the competitions approach, you should adjust the strength training accordingly in intensity.
Lots of weight & little repetitions
For maximum strength training, you should perform your exercises with less than five repetitions. The fifth repetition should feel very difficult and hardly feasible. If you are in an intensive training phase, you can also take a deloadphase during individual training weeks and switch to 10 repetitions with low weight.
In addition to the basic exercises, you should also regularly incorporate plyometric exercises such as box jumps and other explosive sequences of motion with your own body weight into your training plan. This will improve your fast and explosive power, which you benefit from while running.
Integration into your training plan
No matter how intense your training plan is, you should install strength training once a week. It’s best on a day when you don’t run. Always focus on the fact that you perform the exercises correctly and with the heaviest possible weight. Also avoid a calorie deficit, because this way you lose muscle mass in the long run.
A strength training unit could consist of the following exercises:
- Rowing on the cable pull
- Moutain Climbers
- Box Jumps
If you are new to strength training, you should start with a few sessions with an experienced trainer to ensure that the exercises are carried out correctly.