This article was written by Mark Kennedy from None to Run.
I’m a better runner than I was in my mid-20’s. In fact, at the age of 41, I enjoy running more than I ever have.
I’ve run my fastest marathon and half marathon in the past two years.
There are many factors that determine success in running. As a self-proclaimed runner geek, I have considered many of them.
But it all comes down to consistency. No secrets or hacks. Just getting my runs in, week after week, month after month and year after year.
And if you don’t believe me, consider this quote by Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, when asked about the his key to success:
I don’t have any big training secrets. Just consistency.
Becoming a better runner at any age requires you to run a lot. Makes sense, right?
It’s the law of specificity at work.
To run with consistency means you prioritize injury prevention. And to bulletproof your body as much as possible, you need to get strong.
Just listen to Alberto Salazar talk about his athlete Mo Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics:
He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.
The # 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend that much time strength training. Heck, you don’t even need to go to the gym!
The 7-minute Strength Workout for Runners
To help you squeeze more strength training into your schedule, I created a 7-minute strength workout for runners.
It includes seven important exercises for runners. Each exercise lasts for 45-seconds with a 15-second rest between each – no fancy equipment or gadgets required.
There are some exercises that you may not consider strength exercises per se, but they do help with balance.
Since running is actually a coordinated series of single legs hops, you must have good balance with the ability to be strong on one leg if you want to stay healthy and run fast.
Try this routine after a run 1-2 times per week (alternating with the routines mentioned above). As you get stronger, perform two rounds for a total of 14 minutes.
Here are the exercises:
- Bodyweight squats – Maybe the best exercise for hitting all the running specific muscles.
- Backward lunges – These challenge your balance, strength and flexibility. Exercises using one leg offer similar demands as running.
- Side leg raises – Engages the hip and improves lateral range of motion at the hip.
- Plank – A strong core helps stiffen your torso when you run and provides maximum propulsion from your legs to drive you forward (i.e. you run faster).
- Side plank – Strengthens the core and abductors. Hip abduction exercises are also great for preventing IT band syndrome.
- Glute bridge – Strengthens the glutes, essential for efficient forward propulsion.
- Bird dog – Strengthens the lower back and improves hip extension.
If you have been following Jason’s work here at Strength Running, you are well aware of how strength training can make you a better runner. His other routines have helped tens of thousands of runners:
- Tomahawk Medicine Ball Workout
- ITB Rehab Routine
- Standard Core Routine
- And SR’s free strength ecourse!
The Advanced Strength Workout
Need an extra challenge? Try the advanced version of this workout!
If you’re a beginner or a professional runner, strength training can transform your running – with no gym membership, special equipment or significant time investment.
If you’ve struggled to make strength training a habit, this 7-minute routine will help you become the best runner you can be.
And when you’re ready to take the next step, don’t miss our strength training course (it’s free to sign up). You’ll learn:
- The many benefits of strength training
- Why runners should never lift “for endurance”
- The optimal type of lifting weights for runners
- Example exercises and mistakes to avoid
- a lot more
Register here and your first coaching lesson will be in your inbox in just a few minutes!