Strength Training Exercises for Runners

strength training

As a competitive runner, you might wonder, “Am I really supposed to do anything other than running?” Or, “How can I find time to weightlift?”

The truth is, incorporating strength training into your workouts is easier and more effective than you might think. Supplementing running with strength training will not only help you avoid injury, but you’ll become faster, stronger, and more competitive.

While hitting the weights is important for any runner, your strength training program will look different than a tennis player’s or CrossFitter’s. Simple-yet-effective movements can help you take your running game to the next level.

If you’re looking for a place to start, try adding these six exercises into your training schedule twice a week:

1. Plank

Start on all fours. Lower onto your forearms with shoulders directly over elbows. Step feet back into a plank position. Engage abdominal muscles tightly so your body forms a long, straight line. Squeeze legs and glutes for support. Hold this position for 45 to 60 seconds. Add time as your core gets stronger. Repeat for 3 to 5 reps.

2. Russian Twist

Start seated with your knees bent 90 degrees, heels on floor, and hands clasped in front of chest. Tighten your core and rotate upper body to the right as if you’re trying to touch your right elbow to the floor. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side. That makes one repetition. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

Challenge Yourself: Keep your legs straight, lift heels off floor, and add a dumbbell.

3. Squat to Overhead Press

Hold dumbbells with both hands stacked on top of your shoulders. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you stand back up, press the dumbbells overhead. Return to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

4. Overhead Forward Lunge

Stand upright, holding one dumbbell in the air straight above your shoulders. Lock your elbow. Step forward with your right leg, and lower down until your right knee is bent to 90 degrees. Press through right heel to return to the starting position, then repeat with left leg. Complete 6 to 8 reps on each leg.

5. Alternating Row

Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Maintain a slight bend in your knees as you send your hips back and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. Keep arms straight as you bend at hips so the dumbbells hang straight down. Bend your left elbow and pull the left dumbbell to left rib. Lower and repeat with right arm. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps on each arm.

6. Stability Ball Leg Curl

Lie face up on the floor, with hands at sides on mat and feet on a stability ball. Keep arms to sides for support and balance. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Without allowing your hips to sag, roll the ball as close as you can to hips by bending knees and pulling heels toward you. Repeat for 6 to 8 reps.

Challenge Yourself: Do the exercise with just one leg, holding the other leg in the air above your hips.

Are you ready to reach your best mile time? Get in touch with our team at Accel today to find the best strength training routine for your lifestyle. Our coaches want to help you cross new finish lines, reach goals, and optimize your running performance.