Strength Training for Runners Beginner Program 

Before starting your beginner strength training for runners program here are some points to consider about this program:

For clarification: a rep or repetition is one lift done start to finish. A set is the number of repetitions done. So a set is  really just a group of reps.

The good news is that as a runner you do not have to do strength training often in order to see results. Doing your strength training  program at least 2-3 times  a week is plenty for reaping the benefits especially since your main focus should be on your running. 

If you plan on doing a run on the same day as your strength training for runners it is best to do your run first especially if it is an important run. Your body is more efficient and less tired at the beginning so it is best to do the most important thing first and as a marathoner that would be your run. You can schedule to do your weight session right after or several hours after depending on how you are feeling.

That being said the first couple of times you do this strength training for runners program you may want to start with your strengthening instead of your run. This is so that you can really focus on your form and technique instead of the fact that you are tired from running. It will help you to learn the moves properly and thereby prevent injury. After you have it down switch to doing your runs first.

I do not recommend doing your strength workout on the same day you do a speed, tempo or long run workout. Your body is already being taxed enough on those hard run days and the added stress of strengthening can bring it to injury. Play it smart!

A lot of these strength training for runners exercises are typically done with weights. However as a beginner start without the weights to get used to the form. Then, when ready progress, to the Intermediate Plan that includes weights. If you must add weights start with 1-5 lbs. This is plenty for a beginner and remember the goal here is muscle endurance- you're a marathon runner!

Strength Training For Runners Beginner Program

UPPER BODY (without weights)

Mix up your routine! Do a couple different exercises  (approximately 6-8) on each strength day.

Without weights: 15-20+ reps. @ 2-3 sets; Rest 15-60 seconds between each set.

With weights: 12-15 reps @2-3 sets; Rest 15-90 seconds between each set.

Harder moves: start with as many as you can do and build from there.

Triceps Biceps Shoulders Back Chest Abdomen/Core
Kickbacks 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Curls 15-20-reps @ 2-3 sets Overhead Press 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Bent Rows 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Wall Pushup Build up to 10-15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Planks (start with a second hold and work up to a minute)
Dips (use a chair) Build up to 10-15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Reverse Curls 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Lateral Raises 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Bridge 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Pushup (which is a version of the bench press) Build up to 10-15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Crunches, Reverse Crunches, Oblique Crossover Crunches 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets
Tricep Pulses 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Hammer Curls 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Rows - Reverse, Bent, Upright, Seated 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Shoulder Shrugs (called shoulder but really works the back) 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Fly/Reverse Flys 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Bicycles 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets
Concentration Curls 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Front Raise 15-20 resp @ 2-3 sets Supermen Build up to 10-15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets Standing Pikes 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets
Russian Twists 15-20 reps @ 2-3 sets
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LOWER BODY (without weights)

Mix up your routine! Do a couple different exercises  (approximately 6-8) on each strength day.

Without weights: 15-20+ reps. @ 2-3 sets; Rest 15-60 seconds between each set.

With weights: 12-15 reps @2-3 sets; Rest 15-90 seconds between each set.

Harder moves: start with as many as you can do and build from there.

Feet Calves Shins Quads Hamstrings Glutes/Hips
Pointers 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Calf Raises15-20+ reps @2-3 sets Foot Lifts 15-20+ reps @2-3 sets Squats (start with 5-10 and work up to 25) Lunges 15-20+ reps @2-3 sets Lunges/Walking Lunges 15-20+ reps @2-3 sets
Balance on one Foot (start with 30-45 secs. and work up One Leg Calf Raise 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Toe Lifts 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets 1 Leg Knee Ups 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Leg Curls 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Plank Leg Raise 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets
Toe Squats (start with 5-10 reps and work up to 25) Squats (start with 5-10 reps and work up to 25 @ 2-3 sets) Rapid Ankle Lifts (start with 30-45 secs. and work up to 2 minutes) Stiff Leg Lifts 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Standing Supermen 15-20+ reps @ 2-3 sets Squats (start with 5-10 and work up to 25 @ 2-3 sets)
Farmer's Walk (start with 30-45 secs. and work up to 2 minutes) High Knees (start with 30 secs. and work up to 1-2 minutes) Bridge Series 15-20= reps @ 2-3 sets
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Want to Make Strength Training A No-Guess-No-Fret Workout? 

Use the Gymboss Weightlifting Timer . The Gymboss lets you program your workout so that you don't have to stare at a clock, count reps, time rest periods, etc. You simply let plug in how many sets you will do, for how long, and how long you want your rests to be between each set. Your Gymboss will then notify you of when your set is done, when you can rest, when you need to start a new set and you can just focus on your form and strength workout! See this page to read about the many different workouts you can use your Gymboss for: Gymboss Strength Workouts They range from kettlebell to Tabata to HIIT and more!

This nifty tool can also do double duty as it can be used for your speed training sessions as well, particularly interval training. 

Believe me, you will love this little gadget! 

Pictures and explanations on how to do each of these are coming soon!

Enjoy your beginner's strength training for runners workouts! 


Gymboss Weightlifting Timer

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