As a runner I spent many many years avoiding the fitness center, staying as far away from the weight room as possible, but over the last year I have le arned the error of my ways and am now reaping the benefits of adding in strength training to my running routine.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be afraid of strength training, it is simple and it is effective. Strength training doesn’t mean spending an hour at the gym, or lifting big weights and grunting. It means spending 20 -30 minutes after a run to lift weights, or do some body weight exercises, or dropping one easy run to do strength training instead.
We as runners tend to avoid strength training like the plague, but it should be a vital part of our training.
Let me explain the benefits of strength training and then I’ve got a great free strength workout video for you at the end that is less than 25 minutes long and can be done at home with just a set of dumbbells.
With strength training we aren’t looking to build giant muscles like a body a builder, but to lose fat and build muscle to become leaner and stronger. The more muscle you have, the leaner you are, meaning the less fat you have on your body. When you are lean and strong you are able to run faster.
As I mention in my free Strength Training for Runners Guide most people don’t know the value of strength training and the benefits it can have to increasing the speed of your weight loss and developing lean muscle mass to make you stronger and more fit.
Cardio is great, especially for runners because running improves your aerobic capacity, which in turn allows you to improve your performance in short races like the 800 all the way to ultra marathons. Yet, another important aspect that is often overlooked to also improve your times is the fact that you need to strength train in order to build lean muscle mass to make you stronger and help you run faster.
Running is amazing for weight loss, and when you combine running and strength training together you are (in my opinion) hitting the jackpot!
Since I’ve been improving my strength training routine I’ve noticed that my form when I run is greatly improved, my upper body and core are strong helping to move me forward faster. I’m not bouncing all over the place, my shoulders don’t slump over as much and I’m a much more efficient runner.
Everyone is different, and everyone’s fitness goals are different, but I recommend two days of strength training a week at a minimum to see the benefits. We also know that in order to stick with a routine you must like it. Therefore in order to run better and be happy with your workout routine you must find the combination of running and strength training that works best for you.
If you want to run a marathon you will need to dedicate several days a week for running, which may leave you just one day of strength training. If you are training for a 5K you can afford to only run 1-3 times a week, strength train the other days and be fine. You might simply be running because you enjoy it, then possibly 3 days a week of easy running is fine, with 2-3 days of strength training. Whatever that combination is it must work with your lifestyle and your own personal needs.
There are so many different combinations you could have when it comes to your training, and no matter what that looks like you should absolutely include strength training in your routine.
Now that you know the benefits of strength training, I want to make it simple for you to begin because scouring Google or Pinterest for a strength workout isn’t easy (trust me I’ve done it).
I’m providing one of my own workout videos here for you. All you need to do is sign-up below and you’ll receive a free strength workout video that you can follow along with or check the image below to do the workout on your own. The workout video is less than 25 minutes and includes the warmup and cool down. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you are ready to go!!
What are you waiting for – sign-up now to receive that free workout video!