Strength Training for Runners

Below is an example of what I do at the gym. Make sure you consult with a doctor before starting a fitness program. This is what works for me. Adjust the weights as necessary. Old school thought is lighter weights with lots of repetitions, and that seems to work real well for runners. New school thought is less reps and lift heavy. This is in the middle (to me, as I am weak…)

Warm Up!
Warm up your body by walking, jogging, elliptical, dance… whatever floats your boat. 5-10 minutes is plenty.

Stretch it out! Stretching reduces your risk of injury and it is a stress reliever. I would say it is also the most over looked part of a work out.

Free Weights
squat dead liftDead lifts 30lbs, 15 reps and 3 sets
With Lateral pull 5 reps and 3 sets

Squats 30lbs, 15 reps and 3 sets

Bench Press 20lbs, 12 reps and 3 Sets

Bicep Curl 20lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Lunges 20lbs, 20 reps and 3 sets

Skull Crushers 15 lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Tricep extension 10 lbs, 12 reps 3 sets,

Nautilus Equipment
Leg Press 100lbs, 15 reps and 3 sets

Shoulder Press 15lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Hip Abduction 60 lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Lateral Pull Down 30 lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Rowing 30 lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Hip Adduction 80 lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Chest Press 25lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Leg Extension 30lbs, 12 reps and 3 sets

Leg Curl 25lbs, 12 reps 3 sets

Plank 30 seconds, 3 sets
Hold for 30 seconds, move left leg out bring it back in, move right leg out, bring it back in repeat 2x each side for each set

Side plank 30 seconds each side, 3 sets

Donkey Kicks 20 reps, 3 sets

More Stretching!

I always start with lower body exercises because a trainer I used to work with said that lower body exercises engage all the muscles and get your metabolism going. This is the order I do my routine in as well, because in my mind I am burning max calories, and not fatiguing my muscles.

It is also heavy with lower body exercises as I want my legs to be as strong as possible to carry me through races. Eventually I would like to increase my upper body, back and abs, but I am just getting back into this whole working out thing.

This whole routine takes me an hour including warm up and stretching. I take 20 second breaks between sets typically, though if it is not busy at the gym I will use machines next to each other and not take breaks.

Definitely talk to a trainer and do some additional research on your own prior to starting a strength training program. I also have found BodyPump classes helpful, as it give you a total body work out and introduces you to strength training. Try it out! Strength training changes how you metabolize food, gives you definition and makes you invincible. Yup, invincible.


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