QT: When Should Runners Do Their Strength Training? (Best Of-ish)


This post was originally part of Episode 211 released in January of 2016 and is more or less copied and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.

Ah yes, the age-old question for runners: what is the best time for runners to do their strength training?

Best Time for Strength Training

It’s no secret that regular strength training is important for runners, both to reduce the risk of injury and to improve performance.

But when is the best time to incorporate said strength training? Or does the timing even matter?

When is the Best Time for Strength Training?

For runners, the best time for strength training is AFTER they’ve done a hard workout.

Allow me to explain why.

After you’ve done a hard workout (think speed intervals, tempo, etc.), your legs are pretty well shot, right?

So now is a good time to pile on. Adding 10-15 minutes of mostly bodyweight exercises after a hard workout really isn’t going to make any difference in terms of recovery, especially if you can do the strength training almost immediately after your run.

What About Before a Run?

Strength training before you run just doesn’t make much sense when you stop and think about it.

Doing your strength training routine before a run is going to fatigue your legs and prevent you from running your workout as hard as you could have which is going to limit the amount of benefit you’ll receive from doing that workout.

And it also increases your injury risk. When your legs are fatigued you have a better chance of straining a muscle, rolling an ankle, and a whole host of other injuries that will prevent you from running for a few days to a few months.

There really isn’t a good reason to do your strength training before you run, at least not one that I’ve heard.

An Off Day or an Easy Day?

What is the purpose of an off day or an easy day? To allow your body to recover, right?

If you schedule your strength training for your recovery days, how much recovery is your body getting?

That’s right, at best very little and more likely nada.

The Answer is Fairly Obvious

When you stop and think about it, the only time that it really makes sense for runners to do their strength training is after a hard workout.

Duh

And in case you’re worried that you don’t have time, remember we are only talking about a 10-15 minute workout. 20 minutes at most!

You’ve got the time, I’m sure of it.

Now you just have to do it!


Or Is It…

2022 Diz here, and I have to say, I’m not quite sure the answer is as obvious as I thought it was back in 2016.

If you’re doing a weekly hard workout, I’ll stand by my stance that after that workout is the ideal time to do your strength training.

But the best time to do your strength training is the time when you’ll consistently get it done.

Whatever time that you’ll consistently do it, that’s the best time to do your strength training.


Strength training is valuable for all runners. Does it matter when you do your strength training? In a word, yes. #runchat Click To Tweet

When Do You Do Your Strength Training?

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