Strength training is not cross-training for runners. It’s just part of smart training.
Is it surprising that I don’t think strength workouts are cross-training? Rather, strength work is just part of your training as a runner.
If you struggle with injuries, lifting weights is perhaps the most valuable thing you can do to stay healthy.
Not only does a high-quality strength program prevent injuries, but it will help you run more efficiently.
Stronger runners are able to more easily run explosively.
If you’ve ever struggled to finish strong at the end of a race – to find that “higher gear” to power through the finish – then the lifting workouts in this program will give you the strength to smash through your next finish line.
I can show you all the reasons for lifting weights – from the overwhelming consensus of the exercise science community, to my experience coaching thousands of athletes, and the “down in the trenches” testimonials from athletes and coaches in sports around the world.
If the best runners in the world are lifting weights – and you want to achieve YOUR potential – then you should be lifting weights, too.
Even though every runner will see incredible progress with the right strength training, some of us sabotage ourselves.
First, look at runners like Shalane Flanagan, Galen Rupp, or Kara Goucher (actually, look at ANY pro or collegiate runner).
Let’s consider what’s necessary for hypertrophy, or muscle growth:
For the first time, I’m releasing a fundamental, easy-to-follow strength program for busy runners who are passionate about discovering their potential.
Simply Strong will show you exactly how to lift – the exercises, recovery period, and proper ordering so you can focus on runner-specific strength and speed.
In just 8 weeks, you will be more powerful and ready to smash your personal bests.
You’ll get administrative upgrades like this for free – as well as new interviews, workouts, and videos that are added to Simply Strong. It’s just the right thing to do.
Simply Strong is a self-paced, 8-week strength training program designed exclusively for runners by a USA Weightlifting National Coach (Randy Hauer).
Jason Fitzgerald is a USA Track & Field certified coach and the founder of Strength Running – an award-winning blog with hundreds of thousands of monthly readers and a top-ranked podcast.
Randy has 30 years of coaching experience as a USA Weightlifting National Coach and has worked with some of Boulder, Colorado’s most talented distance runners on the Hudson Elite and Rojas Running teams. He’s a Master’s Olympic Weightlifting Medalist and member of the NSCA.
He is the brains (and brawn!) behind the weightlifting programming for High Performance Lifting. When your explosivity, strength, and power skyrocket in the coming months, thank Randy.
I’m from Boston, so I want to be direct: this program is not for everyone.
Does any of the below describe you? Then you should join:
Runners who understand the transformative power of a running-specific lifting program are encouraged to join below.
These athletes understand the leverage they get from being stronger:
With fewer injuries, you can run happier and more consistently with less time off.
(And we all know that consistency is the secret sauce of successful running!)
With better economy, you’ll run faster at the same effort level.
(This “free speed” is yours for the taking if you’re ready to get it!)
With more strength, you’ll be able to powerfully finish strong in every race.
(There’s no bigger confidence booster than charging past your competitors!)
Because if it doesn’t work for you, then I insist you get a complete refund.
Yes, a fully functional gym is required to complete the workouts in Simply Strong.
If you have a home gym, you’ll need a barbell with a variety of plates for added weight and a rack to complete all of the exercises.
You can also use a variety of dumbbells for the workouts in Simply Strong. A single, adjustable dumbbell like this option would also work well.
As long as you’re able to progressively increase weight, you’ll thrive in this program.
High Performance Lifting is our most comprehensive, advanced strength training program for runners. It’s 16 weeks and includes more complex weightlifting movements that may not be appropriate for everyone.
Simply Strong is more approachable. It’s less complex and offers fewer bells and whistles than High Performance Lifting (because of that, it’s far more affordable).
If you’re busy and don’t have up to an hour to lift weights (or you want a simpler, less demanding strength program), then Simply Strong is the right fit for you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to weight lifting! You’ll still be able to perform all of the movements and lifts included in the program.
Our approach – as recommended by a USA Weightlifting National Coach who works with elite runners – has you lift weight that’s appropriate for you (and nobody else).
We’ll build your skill gradually from Day 1.
Simply Strong has you in the gym twice per week for about 30-45 minutes per training session (though about half of your lifting workouts will take slightly less time).
In total, you should plan for about 1-2 hours per week to complete all of the workouts and gain the strength, power, and coordination from those sessions.
But in reality many of the sessions take much less time!
Definitely. In fact, Addie Bracy (who follows similar programming from our strength coach Randy Hauer) is the 2017 Mountain Runner of the Year – and those mountain races are all on trails!
Trail running demands high levels of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space), coordination, and strength. A running-specific lifting program will deliver these benefits.
Lifting will also help you navigate the more frequent turns, varying terrain, changing elevation, and mid-race surges needed for successful trail running.
Just like running, lifting weights has a certain amount of injury risk (as does almost every physical activity!).
But we have a 3-point approach to lifting safely:
First, we purposefully avoid explosive movements like Olympic Lifts that have a higher injury risk.
Second, we show you how to hold the bar, what grip to use, and how to handle every implement in the gym in the safest possible manner.
Third – most importantly! – we’re absolutely adamant about proper lifting form.
That’s why we have detailed descriptions of every lift and HD video demonstrations with two separate angles so you’ll learn the form necessary to stay healthy.
We hired a professional video team to make sure every lift was recorded in HD quality with two distinct views – leaving nothing to chance.
Yes, Simply Strong can successfully be used for Master’s runners or seniors. In fact, Randy uses this programming with some of his runners who are in their 70’s!
The only consideration that runners in their 60’s or beyond should consider is recovery. It may take longer to recover from your weightlifting (just like running), so you’ll need to lift less weight.
But strength work is universal. And strength – as a physical skill – is even more important for older runners.
Even if you’re an older runner, you’ll notice the difference.
Addie Bracy (the 2017 Mountain Runner of the Year) and Maggie Callahan (the 2011 Pac 10 Steeplechase Champion) model the exercises in the program. They know the exercises because they perform similar programming with Randy Hauer in Boulder, Colorado.
Women are featured prominently in Simply Strong because not only are the exercises appropriate for women – they’re highly beneficial for women.
There are many types of lifting that are simply not ideal for runners:
I was surprised that I could feel myself getting stronger without spending a lot of time in the gym. I also saw my training runs not only improve in time, but also how I felt during the run and after.
I’ve noticed a remarkable change in how I feel. The strength in my hips and glutes is the highest it’s ever been, including my competition days in college. This leads to a much more stable feeling when I’m running.
P.S. Jason is personally available to answer your questions about Simply Strong. Click here to send a question