Most runners (hopefully!) know that strength training is something that they should be doing.
Increased strength and muscular endurance are going to help you not only on race day, but they are also likely to help reduce your risk of developing a running-related injury.
It has come to my attention recently that there is a disconnect between knowing that strength training is a good thing and knowing what to do when it comes to getting stronger.
Over the next few months, I’m going to do several of these FAQ-style quick tip episodes dedicated to strength training.
Have a question or something you’d like me to clarify for you? Let me know!
And if you have a quick tip suggestion, leave it in this post from the FB group.
For this first round of strength training FAQs, I’m going to focus on logistics/scheduling.
How much time do I need to devote to strength training?
Probably not as much time as you think.
One of the biggest reasons that runners resist adding strength training to their routine is a lack of time.
I get it. We are all busy. And very few of us have time to hit the gym for 45-60 minutes 4-5 times per week on top of our running and everything else we have going on.
Good thing you don’t need to dedicate that much time to your strength training, eh?
Honestly, if you can get 2-3 days per week for 10-20 minutes you’re good to do. And you don’t even need to hit the gym.
Would more be better?
But let’s not try to go from zero to hero, eh?
A couple of times per week is absolutely enough to make a difference for you and your running.
When should I do my strength training? Before my run or after? On days I don’t run?
I’m a fan of doing my strength training after my run.
You can do it before, but only if you’re going to run nice and easy.
Trying to do a high-intensity workout after doing some strength training means you aren’t going to get as much out of your speed/tempo work.
But won’t doing strength training after I run mean I’m lifting with tired legs?
Yes. But, if I may be so bold, so what?
Your goal is to be a better runner and not a bodybuilder, right?
Assuming that is the case, who cares if your legs are a bit tired going into your strength training session?
So you might not get quite as much from your strength training, but that’s fine. You’ll get more than enough to supplement your running, and that is the goal.
What about strength training on non-running days?
How many days are you running per week?
If you’re running 2-3 days per week, you can probably do your strength training on your non-running days and be fine.
But if you’re running 5+ days per week, it’s better to keep those off days as recovery days.
Should I do whole body workouts? Just legs? One body part one day, another the next?
There is no reason to focus a strength training session on one specific body part.
At least, not for us as runners.
Whole body workouts are great. Mixing up an upper body day and a lower body day is great. A core focused day, assuming it’s the whole core and not just the abs, is great.
As long as you’re hitting all the major muscle groups in your body on a regular basis, you’re going to be ok.
Don’t Overthink It
This may be the most important tip I can give you.
You have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to strength training.
So don’t worry (too much) about doing everything perfectly.
Some is always better than none.
So just get started!
No gym membership? No weights/equipment? Not a problem!
I have a handful of strength training routines in the archives, so start there!
Or dial up YouTube and search for strength training for runners and you’ll have hours of options at your disposal.
Stop thinking. Start doing.
What Strength Training Questions can I Answer for You?
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