Do stronger, more efficient, comfortable runs sound too good to be true? Not at all! These are the benefits of strength training for runners.
Running is a repetitive movement that works specific muscle groups. The right strength training exercises can help even out imbalances between opposing muscles while maintaining your current muscle mass. In other words, your goal is not to bulk up, but to support your running performance.
To get started, here are five basic strength training exercises to do once or twice a week:
Planks work your abs, back, shoulders, glutes, and hips – not to mention your willpower! These core muscles support your upper body as you run and help keep your movements efficient.
As a bonus, the plank is an exercise you can do virtually anywhere, making it an ideal move for people who travel a lot.
- Begin with 3 sets of 15 second planks, gradually working towards one minute.
- Keep your stomach muscles tight when executing this move.
2. Heel Walks
As a runner, your feet, ankles, and shins take a lot of stress. Help keep them strong and reduce your susceptibility to shin splints with heel walks.
- Begin with 3x 30-second walks, gradually working towards one minute.
- Execute the heel walks in bare feet.
- Walk in place, not forwards.
The good ‘ole lunge! Anyone who’s done even the most basic exercise program is familiar with the lunge – and for good reason! Lunges build strength and balance in your quads, hips, and glutes, important muscles for everyone, but particularly for runners.
- Begin with 3 sets of 5 lunges per leg.
- Lower yourself slowly into each lunge.
- Keep your forward knee behind your toes.
4. Seated Row With a Resistance Band
Strengthening your middle and upper back muscles can help reduce upper body fatigue during long runs.
- Begin with 3 sets of 20 reps.
- Use a slow, controlled motion.
- Keep your back stationary.
4. Nordic Hamstring Exercise
Maintain sturdy hamstrings with diligent eccentric hamstring training . These are exercises where the muscles extend as they contract.
- Begin gradually with 1x 10 rep session per week.
- Keep your hands in front to stop your fall forward.
After your next strength training session, refuel your muscles with a PGX Satisfast Organic Vegan 15 g Protein Bar.*
*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.
 Thorborg, Kristian. Why Hamstring Eccentrics Are Hamstring Essentials. British Journal of Sports Medicine. (2012); 46:463-465. Web. 4 February 2016.