I’m ready to make 2018 your best year of running ever. Will you join me and take the next step with your training?
We have a lot of strength training for runners material to cover, but let’s take a step back first…
Every January, I like to reflect on the past year and set a theme for the new year.
This helps us accomplish a lot of goals:
- What did we do right? (let’s do more of this!)
- How can we improve, tweak, and adjust?
- What should we celebrate? (there’s joy in running!)
- Is there an area of running that we’ve been neglecting?
And 2017 was a banner year for the Strength Running community! Not because of any awards or accolades, but because of you.
True.. we hit some great milestones over the last year:
- I was named 2017’s Running Influencer of the Year by Men’s Running Magazine
- The Strength Running podcast reached nearly 50 episodes with top guests like Dathan Ritzenhein, Bart Yasso, Alexi Pappas, and many others
- We launched a new program for beginners and updated our flagship program Injury Prevention for Runners
But these accomplishments are not as important as your accomplishments.
I judge SR’s success by the progress of my 1-on-1 coaching clients, custom training plan clients, members of Team Strength Running, and the feedback I receive from runners who invest in our training programs.
And the improvement is coming fast and furious!
Some of our more detailed case studies are examples of what’s possible when you commit:
Josh lost weight, stayed healthy, and ran a sub-5 mile (as a business owner and father)!
Lynsey escaped a frustrating two years of injury problems to run faster than she ever has in the past.
Monte ran a successful first marathon – at his goal weight – while breaking the 4-hour time barrier.
Kira turned 5 years of injuries and thousands of wasted dollars into 4 (healthy) personal bests.
Over the last year, I also added more and more feedback about our training plans (here) and injury prevention program (here) than any other year.
It seems like I get feedback like this on a daily basis. And it makes my day!
But while it makes me feel great that our programs and coaching services have been so successful, I really have you to thank. Because it’s your hard work that’s given you these incredible results.
This would not have been possible without you taking action, investing in yourself, and putting in the work. I can only point you in the right direction
Thank you for all of your hard work over the last year! You make being a coach the most rewarding job I could imagine.
We’re Ready for the Next Step
Over the last seven years, we’ve focused on a variety of themes:
- 2011 – The Year of the PR
- 2012 – The Year of Stretch Goals
- 2013 – The Year of Consistency
- 2014 – The Year of Injury Free Running
- 2015 – The Year of Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
- 2016 – The Year of the Team
- 2017 – The Year of Fundamentals
You’ll notice that each area of focus is different – but related.
Even though stretch goals and consistency might seem very different, you can’t accomplish a stretch goal without consistent training!
And this year, we’re building on our previous themes with a more advanced topic: strength training for runners.
Just like our running progresses, so must our ancillary work.
Over the years, our…
- … mileage must increase if we’re to continue improving.
- … workouts must become more challenging (or else you’ll hit a performance plateau).
- … long runs must become more complex and specific to spur more endurance adaptations.
And now, we’re ready to take the next step with our strength training workouts.
I teased this topic in an earlier episode of Q&A with Coach:
Now we’re ready to get a bit more advanced and lift the right way – just like the pros strength train.
Elite runners don’t avoid the gym. And they certainly don’t lift like body builders or CrossFit athletes.
The pros lift for power, speed, and durability.
The right strength training workouts for runners make you faster. They prevent injuries. And they improve your efficiency – allowing you to run faster at the same effort.
That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that 2018 is The Year of Strength.
The Benefits of Strength Training for Runners
Ever since the worst injury of my life left me unable to run for six months, I’ve been on a mission to crack the injury cycle and help runners prevent more injuries.
First, I recognized the incredible benefits of strength training for runners:
- Stronger muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues
- Enhanced durability and lower risk of injury
- Improved mechanics, efficiency, and higher running economy
- Faster sprinting ability at the end of a race to kick hard and finish strong
- More power (Speed x Strength = Power – a valuable skill for any runner)
As you can see, there are many reasons to include strength training workouts in your running program!
These skills and positive adaptations build over time. Soon, you’ll experience progress like this:
“I don’t just feel better; I feel transformed – like a brand new runner. I’ve never run like this – with strength and without aches and pains. I’m excited to run and discover what improvements I can make.” – Rebecca
“My hips have never been this strong. Ever! All the kinks I’ve had for so long do not exist anymore and I am enjoying my runs so much more now. And… running sub 8:00’s easily! Thank you!” – Sarah“I ran a 7:00 mile, a minute faster then my previous PR. I’ve PRed my 5k and 10k multiple times over the last few months. My average pace use to be 9:00 – 9:30 and now it’s 8:00 – 8:30 with some runs averaging sub 8’s.Looking forward to more injury-free PRs over the coming years.” – Dan
Over the years, my focus on strength training here at Strength Running has mostly been bodyweight routines that you can do anywhere.
These routines have been republished in Runner’s World, Competitor, and elsewhere. They work:
- The Standard Core Routine (general core strength – a “bread and butter” routine for any runner)
- The ITB Rehab Routine (hip and glute strength – another staple for all runners)
- The Gauntlet Plank Workout (vary your planks to improve your core strength)
- The Mattock Dynamic Warm-up (a dynamic mobility routine to help you warm up pre-run)
- The Tomahawk Medicine Ball Workout (a slightly more advanced general strength routine)
These strength training workouts are runner-specific and will help you prevent injuries and improve your form.
And the best part? They take just 10-20 minutes to complete and can be done almost anywhere.
But the drawback to this kind of strength work is that it’s not as good as it can be. It won’t improve your speed or mechanics (running form) as much as more focused strength workouts.
Bodyweight routines were my introduction to strength training, but relying on only bodyweight work leaves speed on the table:
- Bodyweight exercise are not power exercises (you need more weight for that)
- Without heavier weights, the stimulus for strength gains is not strong enough (meaning your strength will plateau)
- If you want improved economy and durability, you have to get in the gym for better strength training workouts
There’s actually a better way to structure strength training for runners to not only prioritize prevention but also make you faster and more efficient.
Since I’m not a strength coach, I don’t have the expertise to show you more advanced strength workouts.
Strength Training for Runners – What to Expect
Over the next month, we’re going to discover what ideal strength training workouts for runners should look like.
We’ll answer a lot of questions:
- What types of strength work are counter-productive (and should be avoided)?
- How should strength work be added to a running schedule?
- What kind of benefits from strength training should we expect?
- How do you warm up for a lifting session?
- How much time is recommended in the weight room?
- Will strength training make me bulk up or get injured?
- How much recovery is needed in between sets?
Most of the action is going to happen on the Strength Running email list so make sure you sign up here.
I’ll also be sharing tips, quotes, photos, and more on our social media channels. Give us a follow:
Before we start covering more details about strength training for runners, I have one small favor to ask:
Commit to thinking differently about strength training.
Commit to investing in yourself and your running.
Commit to doing the strength work.
Commit to a growth mindset.
And yes, even commit to opening my emails!
If you follow along and apply these lessons, mindset shifts, and strength workouts, then I think this is going to be a watershed moment for your running.
If you commit, this might just be the turning point where you graduate from a “normal” runner to a powerful, coordinated, athletic, strong runner who’s capable of more than ever before.
As you can imagine, I’m very excited to share this new coaching material with you!
To get started, sign up here. Your first coaching lesson will be on its way in just a few minutes.