Why Runners Need Strength Training (And How to Get Started)
Strength training for runners is a must if you want to improve your performance and prevent injuries. Running requires lots of energy which means it’s very taxing on the body. You need to build up your muscles so they are able to provide enough energy for your activity.
Your muscles will not only make you faster but also stronger.
Running is one of the most demanding sports out there. If you don’t do some form of exercise regularly, then your body may suffer from various problems such as muscle soreness, injury or even death. A good way to get started with strength training for runners is through the use of free weights and machines.
Free weights are usually used in weight rooms where you have access to them. Machines are usually used in gyms where you don’t have access to any equipment. Both types of exercises require different techniques and skills.
Free weights will definitely give you better results than machines because they require less skill while machines will certainly leave much room for improvement when it comes to technique. However, both methods are effective if done correctly. But, if you’re just starting out, then using machines is a good idea so that you can focus on your form.
A good way to help you get started on strength training for runners is to start with a beginner routine for the first month, then move onto an intermediate routine for another month and end it off with an advanced routine for the last month. By that time, you should have a good grasp of all the exercises and be able to perform them with ease. Once you get the hang of it, you can start to make up your own routines by combining various exercises together.
If you’re a runner and want to start strength training, then check out the routine below:
Before you start any kind of strength routine, it is important that you warm up first. The best way to do this is by jumping rope for 5-10 minutes. This will get your blood pumping and your muscles ready for an intense workout.
The following routine is split up into four days with the first one being more of a stretch day and the second being an easy day to recover. It is split up into three parts which consist of dynamic stretches, weight training and finishing off with some cardio.
Part 1: Dynamic Stretches (5-10 minutes)
Part 2: Weights (10-15 minutes)
Push yourself hard but don’t kill yourself. Get a feel for the weight you are lifting so that you can increase it the next time you do this routine. The order of the exercises are just suggestions, feel free to switch them around as long as you are hitting all of your muscle groups throughout the week.
Bench Press (Chest)
Bent Over Row (Back)
Overhead Press (Shoulders)
Calf Raises (Calves)
Deadlifts (Lower Back, Glutes and Hamstrings)
Part 3: Cardio (20-30 Minutes)
Day 2: Easy Day/Rest Day
On this day you are going to hit the sauna, steam room or you can go for a light run/bike ride. Anything that gets your heart pumping to flush out your muscles to help them recover faster. Do whatever you want for this day as long as you are resting.
This routine is designed to get you fit in 8 weeks so it is important to listen to your body every once in a while. If you ever feel like you are getting sick, or you pull a muscle then take a day off from the gym. Your body is like a machine and if you keep powering through when it’s broken, it’s not going to last very long.
Good luck on your fitness goals!
You can do this routine for as many weeks as you want but keep in mind that after 4-5 weeks your body is going to get used to the same routine. At this point you can switch to a different routine, increase the weight, decrease the reps, increase the amount of sets or add another day of working out. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask your personal trainer at your gym!
Who knew getting fit could be so easy?
I’ll be back next week with more news about amazing places in our galaxy, Until then:
Strive for greatness.
*The next week consisted of more mundane things like running a few errands and an interview with Tom Connery. For those of you that don’t know who he is, he’s a famous actor and Lex’s dad. Yes, THAT Tom Connery.
Oddly enough, he was less exciting then the last time I saw him. Then again, he was in his 60s at this point so it makes sense. That and he was with his daughter the entire time.
Edison also told me that he managed to get a hold of the people at the junkyard that he worked at and told them he would be taking some time off. He said he needed to get a few things in order before we set off on our adventure. I couldn’t imagine what he needed to do, all he owned were the clothes on his back and the tools he kept in his work shed.
Guess some people are more attached to material goods than others. In any case, I was just glad he was on board.
Anyway, the day had finally arrived for us to leave on our adventure. I packed everything that I could think of and then some just to be safe. The only thing left was to say goodbye to Mother and Father.
I walked to their room and gently knocked on the door.
Who is it?”
“It’s me,” I said, “I need to talk to you. It’s important.”
Mother and Father opened the door and welcomed me in. Mother sat on the bed while Father stood by the window as usual.
What’s this all about, kid?” Father asked, “Are you and Edison having relationship problems already?
I told him that it would happen.”
“No, nothing like that,” I said, smiling.
Father raised an eyebrow.
Well, what is it then?”