How to Plan Strength Training for Runners

There are always plenty of questions surrounding the topic of strength training for runners:

How often should runners do strength work?

Should lifting sessions be scheduled on hard, easy, or rest days?

What are the best exercises?

Are bodyweight exercises enough or are heavy weights needed?

Strength training is what I consider to be ideal cross-training for runners. In fact, I don’t even consider it cross-training!

To me, strength workouts are simply part of your training. Just like a long run, interval session, or hill sprints, they’re an integral part of helping you become a faster runner.

And over the years, I’ve covered many aspects of strength training:

This time we’re discussing the role of heavier weight lifting and whether or not you should stick with bodyweight exercises or more challenging lifting routines in the gym.

Q&A with Coach #22: Strength Training for Runners

In the latest episode of Q&A with Coach, I’m answering a question from my former runner Nicole. When she’s not prancing through the gorgeous Pacific North West or interviewing me on her podcast, she’s keeping it real.

Thanks for all you do Nicole!

Let’s dive into Q&A with Coach #22:

Show Notes:
0:35 – Is it better to do 1-2 longer lifting sessions or 10-15 minutes of body-weight exercises daily?
1:15 – The ideal scenario is a “hybrid” approach
1:30 – The type of strength training that new runners should focus on
1:55 – How to progress through strength workouts
2:35 – Example routines (ITB Rehab Routine, Tomahawk Workout)
3:25 – The concept of “polarized” training
3:45 – Ideal timing for your gym sessions
5:00 – The two days that you should not strength train

There are even more example exercises in our injury prevention course.

Ultimately, runners should do both types of strength training. But only when you’re ready and capable!

I previously wrote about how to start with easier exercises before moving to more challenging strength work for Competitor Running.

Check out the article, titled How to Use Progression in Your Strength Workouts.

Your turn: what types of strength workouts do you find helpful for your running? Leave a comment below!

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