Just as strength training is a vital component for a well-rounded weight loss program, it is also vital to a well-rounded running program. Strength training not only helps you build and maintain muscle mass but it also strengthens the joints, it can make you stronger, more explosive and it will also help you prevent injury.
A proper strength training plan should be periodized based on the phase of training you are in. In simple terms the program should progress with your training and meet the demands of where you are at. You will want to start with basic functional movements such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, and rotation. You will then eventually want to add in more explosive movements such as scissor jumps, squat jumps and box jumps. You then will eventually want to progress into single leg movements and then single leg explosive movements. We also always want to incorporate corrective exercise that strengthen the opposing muscles not used often during running to create balance and prevent injury.
From my personal experience I believe that incorporating strength training into a running program will allow you to run less. By building strength in your legs you will not have to run as many miles. If you properly cross-train and incorporate strength training and even cycling or another form of interval training into your program, most average runners will be able to get away with running three days a week. This will lead to less chance of an overuse injury. You can still get faster or increase your distance, but you can do it without the worry of being injured.
Check out three of my favourite strength training exercises for runners you can incorporate into your program today.
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