Part 2 – Strength Train
What’s a really great way to become a better runner?
Do you just run? Do you also do bodyweight exercises? Do you, perhaps, strength train?
If you answered, “yes” to all of those, then you’re on a really great path but let’s examine a little bit more of why your first thought might be to not to strength train but why you need to.
“But I’ll Be Heavier…”
Whether you’ve consciously thought about it or not, you have probably noticed that football players are built a certain way, weightlifters are built a certain way, runners are built a certain way, and sprinters are also built a certain way.
This is not a mistake and is a function of what runners sports necessitate.
It’s also no mistake how runners generally don’t want to be heavier as that is not necessarily conducive to being a better runner.
What this usually means, I’ve found, is runners want to drop body weight. This is especially true if they’re starting their journey to be competitive in their sport.
But a little strength training goes a long way and [more importantly] does not mean you will be the size of a body builder.
Think About It
If all you are asking your body to do is run, your body will change accordingly.
Muscle is a dense tissue and you really only need so much of it to get the [running] job done. So, you are likely to lose any “extra” muscle at the same time the rest of your body is changing.
That loss of muscle is going to change your metabolism, your power [and perceived power] output in hilly and tempo runs, and make less than favorable changes to your body fat.
On the other hand, a little additional muscle in all the right places can make you more powerful, more durable, and more [dare I say] better looking in your birthday suit!
Does this mean you need to do strength train six days per week in 90 minute sessions? That answer is a resounding “no!”
What Do I Do, Then?
You can take one of two different paths:
- You can find a professional trainer who will help teach you, guide you, and train you in a way to support your running goals
- Or, you can get on the “do it yourself” train which requires looking at what is actually important in running
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the things that are important in running [when it comes to strength training] are the very same things which are important in daily life and all sports…
- Good Posture — Focus on exercises which promote better posture…
- Australian pullups, pullups, chin ups, ring rows/TRX rows, bent over rows, etc.
- A Functionally Strong Core — Focus on exercises which support the impact over time you experience when you run…
- Hardstyle planks, slow mountain climbers, bridge marches, etc.
- Strong & Active Glutes/Hamstrings — Focus on exercises which help build the muscles responsible for propulsion while you run…
- Deadlifts/Kettlebell swings, TRX hamstring curls/lying hamstring curls, lunges, bridges, etc.
While you could dive deeper into the rabbit hole on this one, if you’ve never strength trained before, this is most certainly an adequate list to work with.
Don’t get caught up in too many details if this is your first stint in strength training for your running.
The point is this: spend some time learning the movements before you get crazy in weights. At that point, begin to apply them two days per week.
After that, who knows what types of amazing running feats you’ll accomplish!
And if you are struggling and you don’t want to do them on your own, send us a message or sign up for your free No-Sweat Intro [HERE]. We can help you figure out what program is best for you to become a better runner!