I am a big fan of a good strength training for runners workout, as you probably know by now if you've been here awhile. This is for so many different reasons.
However, the tippy top three reasons though are:
1. Nothing will change how your body looks (toned, slim, trim, fit) faster than a good strength training workout one to two times a week.
That's why I have included 12 weeks of strength training for runners workouts that are sent to you during each week of the 12 Week Half Marathon Weight Loss Challenge!
2. It allows you to burn more calories while you are just sitting there!
I might not be looking to lose weight right now but I love dessert so enough said! The stronger your muscles the more calories that you will burn even while at rest!
3. If you train correctly you will become stronger and more injury resistant which is a huge benefit for a long distance runner!
After spending months of training for a marathon or half marathon the last thing that you want to happen is to be sidelined by an injury!
However there are different ways to strength train and how you build muscle will greatly determine the results.
Body builders train very differently than marathon runners even when they are lifting weights. You can see that in their physical appearance! Both are strong but they are strong in different ways.
Your goal is endurance.
A body builder however, wants to lift more but in a much shorter span of time.
Therefore runners should lift lighter weights but do more repetitions whereas a bodybuilder wants to lift heavier weights but do less repetitions.
Depending on your goals will set the tone for how you need to train.
Since runners need to focus on the endurance aspect of strength training, I put together a 100 rep strength training for runners workout to enhance strength endurance.
This workout will make you stronger and make achieving a time goal (we have 7 different finishing time goal marathon training plans!), running a faster pace, or pushing off fatigue during your race so much easier!
Here it is!
In this workout we are going to be targeting each of the major muscle groups to maximize effectiveness!
How to complete this workout:
Do 4 sets of 25 reps for each group exercises.
Move through all the exercises before starting a new set.
If 4 sets is too much for you right now then try doing 1 set and then 2 sets of 25 and then over the next couple of weeks add in another set until you reach 4 sets to make for 100 reps.
How often should you do this workout?
If you are doing the full 100 reps you will probably be feeling pretty darn sore the next (couple) day. This is ideally done once a week and paired with a different second strength workout a couple days before or after.
This could be a good workout for a cross training day!
How much weight should you lift?
Beginners: choose a light weight - 1,2,3,5 pound weight or even no weight at all, just do the movement freestyle.
Intermediates (those who have been incorporating regular strength training workouts into their weeks) choose between 5-15 pounds for each of these exercises.
In general you will need heavier weight for the squats, lunges, back and chest exercise.
Choose lighter weight for your arms, shoulders, and abs.
How to mix it up:
Change the move for each set but keep it focused on that muscle group.
For example: you could do a regular squat for the first set, a sumo squat for the second set, a squat with your feet together for the third set, and a side lunge squat for the fourth set for a total of 100 squats.
Here are some ideas for modifying each movement:
Squats (glutes) - squat, sumo squat, feet together squat, squat pulse
Lunges (legs) - right leg, left leg, side lung travel, curtsy lunge
Back - back row right, back row left, lawnmower left and right
Chest - push up, chest press, fly, pullover (behind head)
Shoulders - overhead press, lateral raise, front dumbbell raise (vertical raise at hips) shoulder up-row (keep elbows on outside and hands on inside toward chest
Abs - flutter kicks, russian twists, standing leg ups, side leg ups
To increase the intensity: Include a minute of cardio (mountain climbers, jumping jacks, high knees, skaters, etc.) between each muscle group for a complete workout or just keep to the strengthening exercises if you are in marathon or half marathon training.
Pin the image to your strength training for runners workout board or print it out and tape it up right next to your weights for your next workout!
And remember, plan a rest day after completing this!