How Do I Start Strength Training For Running: Tips for Success




How Do I Start Strength Training For Running: Tips for Success

Can you relate to the struggle of incorporating strength training into your running routine? Trust me, you’re not alone in this. From my own journey and extensive research, one thing is crystal clear – strength training truly enhances running performance.

This blog post is geared up to offer a comprehensive guide on embracing strength training for runners, shedding light on techniques, exercises and scheduling. So buckle up and get ready! It’s time to push past our comfort zones together.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Strength training for runners involves exercises like squats, lunges, and lifting weights to make muscles stronger and enhance running performance.
  • Choosing appropriate weights in strength training is important. Lift weights that challenge you but maintain proper form, and gradually increase the weight over time.
  • Planning a regular strength training routine is crucial. Set goals, choose workouts that target those goals, use both legs in exercises, vary your routine, and consider consulting a trainer for guidance.
  • Strength training offers multiple benefits for runners including injury prevention, improved overall performance, better running form, and enhanced overall health.

What Does Running Strength Training Involve?

Running strength training involves specific exercises and workouts that target the major muscle groups used in running, such as squats, lunges, and lifting weights. It also includes determining appropriate weights to use and planning a regular strength training routine.

Training for Strength

Training for strength is all about making your muscles stronger. So, when you train for strength, you do exercises that make your muscles work hard. You lift weights and do jumps to help build tough muscles.

This sort of training does not make your heart beat fast like running does. Strength training helps runners go faster and longer without getting hurt. It can even help heal old injuries! Though it might seem strange, this type of workout will not make you look too muscular or bulky.

Instead, it enhances how efficiently you run and boosts speed.

Determining Appropriate Weights

Deciding the right weight to lift is key in strength training for running. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a weight that gives you a hard time, but keeps your form correct.
  2. Lift this weight until your muscles feel tired. If it’s too easy, pick up a heavier one next time.
  3. Change your weight load from time to time. This helps you keep making progress and stops you from hitting a wall.
  4. Factors like fitness level and goals help decide how much weight to lift.
  5. Heavy weights with endurance training won’t hurt your running game or cost you speed.
  6. Mix in strength training with running for great results in weight loss.
  7. Over time, this combo will break through any slow points in losing weight.
  8. Strength training also makes you last longer and stay strong on long runs.
  9. Your best bet? Keep lifting those appropriate weights! Your body will thank you later.

Planning Your Strength Training Routine

First, let’s talk about how to plan your strength training routine. This is a key step in running strength training.

  1. Start by thinking about the goals you want to achieve. It could be higher speeds or better endurance.
  2. Next, pick workouts that will help reach these goals. Tempo runs and long runs can boost your strength. Speedwork is good too.
  3. Lifting weights also helps a lot! This is because it improves your performance when you run.
  4. Make sure to use both legs in your workouts. Unilateral exercises help correct muscle imbalances and keep you from getting hurt.
  5. Try not to do the same thing all the time! Change your routine every so often for best results.
  6. A trainer can be a great help here as well. They can tell you what workouts would be good for you, and how to do them right.
  7. Finally, remember to have fun with it! Running and strength training should be something you enjoy.

Benefits of Strength Training for Runners

Strength training for runners offers a range of benefits, including injury prevention, improved overall performance, better running form, and enhanced overall health.

Injury Prevention

Strength training is crucial for preventing injuries while running. When you incorporate strength training into your exercise routine, it helps to protect your muscles and joints from getting hurt.

Additionally, strength training can reduce the risk of running-related injuries such as sprains and strains. By strengthening the muscles used in running, you build stability and support around your joints, helping to prevent common injuries.

Remember, by properly applying strength training exercises that target key muscle groups used in running, you can decrease the risk of getting injured and stay on track with your running goals.

Improved Overall Performance

Strength training plays a crucial role in improving overall performance for runners. By doing resistance exercises, you can build stronger muscles and increase your power. This will give you an extra boost when running and help you go faster and farther.

Additionally, strength training helps improve running efficiency, which means you can use less energy to maintain your pace. This is important for long-distance runs where endurance is key.

Plus, by incorporating strength training into your routine, you can manage your weight better and reduce fatigue during runs. It’s a win-win situation that leads to enhanced overall performance and increased enjoyment of the sport!

Better Running Form

Having good running form is important for runners as it can help prevent injuries and improve overall performance. Strength training plays a key role in enhancing running form by targeting core muscles and improving stability.

When you have a strong core, your posture aligns better, reducing the risk of muscle imbalances or joint instability while running. This leads to more efficient and biomechanically correct movements, allowing you to run with ease and endurance.

So, by incorporating strength training into your routine, you can expect improved running form and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

A photo of fitness equipment surrounding a pair of running shoes on a track.

Enhanced Overall Health

Strength training for runners can greatly enhance overall health. By incorporating strength exercises into your fitness regimen, you can improve not only your running performance but also your physical well-being.

Strength training helps to increase muscle strength, which in turn supports joint stability and reduces the risk of injury while running. Additionally, it promotes bone density, which is important for maintaining strong and healthy bones as you age.

By combining strength training with your running program, you are taking a well-rounded approach to fitness that benefits both your body and overall health.

How Often Should Runners Do Strength Training?

As a running enthusiast, you might be wondering how often you should do strength training. Well, research shows that doing strength training twice a week can bring significant benefits to your running performance and overall health.

The American Heart Association suggests incorporating strength training into your workout routine at least two days per week. According to the U.S. physical activity guidelines, it is recommended to have two days of full-body muscle strengthening each week.

So, ideally, aim for 2-3 total-body strength training workouts in a week. Remember, even just two 15-20 minute sessions of strength training per week can make a difference in your running journey!

Integrating Strength Training into Your Exercise Schedule

To successfully integrate strength training into your exercise schedule, consider the following tips:

  • Choose a consistent day and time each week to dedicate to strength training.
  • Start with one total body workout per week and gradually increase to two or three sessions as you become more comfortable.
  • Prioritize compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once, such as squats, lunges, and planks.
  • Alternate between upper and lower body exercises to give each muscle group adequate rest.
  • Incorporate strength training on non – consecutive days to allow for sufficient recovery time.
  • Listen to your body and adjust the intensity and frequency of your workouts based on how you feel and any signs of overexertion.
  • Don’t forget to warm up before each strength training session by performing dynamic stretches or a light cardio activity.

Essential Strength Training Exercises for Runners

Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and calf raises to build a strong foundation for your running. Want to know the full list? Keep reading!


Squats are a super important exercise for runners. They help make your running muscles strong, improve flexibility in your joints, and enhance core strength. When you do squats, you work out key muscles that are used when you run, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes (your butt muscles), and calves (your lower leg muscles).

These muscles are really important for running because they help power your stride and give you stability. Squats also engage lots of different muscle groups at once, so they’re a efficient exercise for runners.

By including squats in your training routine, you can prevent injuries and support better running performance!

Lunges and Reverse Lunges

Lunges and reverse lunges are essential exercises for runners. They help strengthen the leg muscles needed for running and replicate the movements of the running gait. Lunges engage your quads, while reverse lunges target both your quads and glutes.

These exercises are a great way to develop strength and improve muscular engagement necessary for running. So make sure to include lunges and reverse lunges in your gym program to enhance your running performance!


Planks are an important exercise for runners to include in their strength training routine. They help strengthen the core muscles, which are crucial for maintaining good balance and stability while running.

Planks are especially beneficial because they work the abs without putting too much strain on the neck and back. By incorporating planks into your workout, along with exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges, you can improve your overall performance as a runner.

Remember to vary your routine and combine planks with other exercises to get the best results. So if you’re looking to strengthen your core and enhance your running abilities, give planks a try!

Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are an important exercise for runners. They can be done on one or two legs, and they target the glute and hamstring muscles. By doing glute bridges regularly, you can improve your running power and stability.

Having stronger glutes can also help make your running stronger overall. If you want to build even more strength in your glutes, you can add weights to your glute bridge exercises.

So start including glute bridges in your strength training routine to enhance your running performance!

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are an essential strength training exercise for runners. They work your core muscles, especially the abdominal muscles, which are important for stability and balance while running.

Mountain climbers help improve core strength and endurance, making you a stronger runner. They also provide a full-body cardio workout, helping to increase your cardiovascular conditioning.

Incorporating mountain climbers into your regular strength training routine can help prevent injuries and promote overall fitness. So, make sure to include them in your workouts!

Calf Raises

As a runner, calf raises are an essential strength training exercise that can help reduce the risk of injury and improve your running performance. Calf raises specifically target and strengthen the calf muscles, which are crucial for stability and power during running.

One popular variation of calf raises is the double-leg calf raise, where you rise up on your toes using both legs at the same time. This exercise is effective in toning and strengthening your calves.

Another variation to consider is adding a heel-drop to your calf raise routine. This involves standing on an elevated surface (like a step) with just the ball of your foot on it, then lowering your heel below the level of the step before raising back up onto your tiptoes.

Russian Twists

Russian twists are an important exercise for runners because they help strengthen the core muscles, especially the obliques. To do Russian twists, you sit on the ground with your knees bent and lift your feet off the ground.

Then, you twist your torso from side to side while holding a weight or medicine ball. This exercise is great for improving core stability and rotational power, which can make your running more efficient and reduce the risk of injuries.

It’s also effective for working the muscles that help rotate your torso and support lateral movements during running. So if you want to improve your running performance and prevent injuries, include Russian twists in your strength training routine.

Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance band exercises are an important part of strength training for runners. These exercises use stretchy bands to help strengthen and tone your muscles. They can improve your running form, boost power and strength in key running muscles, and enhance overall performance.

Resistance band workouts cover various areas like core strength, stamina, joint health, flexibility, and balance that are essential for runners. By incorporating resistance band exercises into your training routine, you can reduce the risk of injuries while improving your running ability.

So grab a resistance band and get ready to take your running to the next level!


Rows are an essential part of strength training for runners like you. They target and strengthen the muscles in your upper body, including your back and arms. The barbell row is a basic exercise that can help improve your overall strength and posture.

It involves pulling the weight towards your chest while keeping your back straight. Another important exercise for upper body strength is the bench press, which targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

And don’t forget about the overhead press! This exercise focuses on strengthening your shoulder muscles. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help enhance your running performance and support a balanced physique.

Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns are an important exercise for runners because they target the latissimus dorsi muscles, also known as the lats. These muscles are located in your upper body and play a crucial role in improving your posture and upper body strength.

Lat pulldowns can be done using a cable machine or resistance bands. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance to challenge your muscles and promote growth. Incorporating lat pulldowns into your strength training routine can help you become a stronger runner overall.

Comprehensive Guide to Starting Strength Training for Running

Starting strength training for running can be a great way to improve your performance and prevent injuries. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you get started:

  • Focus on functional exercises: Incorporate exercises that mimic the movements used in running, such as squats, lunges, planks, glute bridges, mountain climbers, calf raises, Russian twists, resistance band exercises, rows, and lat pulldowns.
  • Start with bodyweight exercises: If you are new to strength training, begin with bodyweight exercises to build a foundation of strength before adding weights or resistance bands.
  • Gradually increase weight or resistance: As you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercises, gradually increase the weight or resistance to continue challenging your muscles.
  • Include both upper and lower body exercises: Strength training should target all major muscle groups to ensure balanced muscular development and overall athletic performance.
  • Vary your routine: To avoid plateaus and keep yourself motivated, change up your strength training routine every few weeks. This could include trying different exercises or adjusting the number of sets and repetitions.
  • Work with a trainer: If you’re unsure how to properly perform certain exercises or want personalized guidance, consider working with a certified trainer who specializes in strength training for runners.

Other Factors for Optimal Health and Performance

Monitor your blood glucose levels with Nutrisense, incorporate zone 2 training into your routine, understand the importance of anaerobic exercise, discover the benefits of pickleball, and learn how strength training can benefit women over 50.

Read on to find out more!

Monitor Blood Glucose Levels with Nutrisense

I discovered that monitoring blood glucose levels with Nutrisense can be really helpful for runners like us. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can give us valuable insights into how our lifestyle factors, such as exercise and nutrition, affect our blood sugar levels.

Nutrisense combines CGM technology with guidance from a personal nutritionist to help us reach our wellness goals. By using Nutrisense, we can learn about the accuracy of CGMs, get user feedback, and find the optimal diet for our individual glucose levels.

It’s a great tool to optimize performance and make informed choices about our training and recovery.

Benefits of Zone 2 Training

Zone 2 training offers many benefits for runners. First, it improves your aerobic capacity, which helps you perform better during long-distance runs. It also supports weight management by burning calories and fat.

Zone 2 training aids in recovery, allowing your body to bounce back from intense workouts more effectively. In addition to physical benefits, engaging in Zone 2 exercise can improve your mental well-being by promoting a positive mindset and reducing stress.

Lastly, Zone 2 training improves insulin sensitivity, which is important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Importance of Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise is really important for runners like us. It helps to increase the strength and density of our bones, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis. This means that our bones become stronger and less likely to break or get injured.

Anaerobic exercise also supports muscle health maintenance by upregulating certain myokines and downregulating others. So it’s not just about having strong muscles, but also keeping them healthy.

Plus, anaerobic capacity is crucial in sports because it allows us to produce power quickly and efficiently. By doing anaerobic exercises, we can increase our muscle strength and power, which will help improve our overall athletic performance as runners.

Benefits of Pickleball

Pickleball offers a great workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a tennis alternative that provides cardiovascular health benefits, improves endurance, and builds muscle strength.

Engaging in pickleball can help enhance power on the court by incorporating power training exercises. Along with its physical advantages, pickleball also offers mental and emotional benefits, promoting overall wellbeing.

So if you’re looking for a fun and accessible way to stay fit and active, pickleball is definitely worth considering.

Strength Training for Women Over 50

Strength training is especially important for women over 50. It can help improve joint function, increase bone density, and enhance muscle strength. This type of exercise is crucial for preventing conditions like osteoporosis and maintaining overall physical performance as we age.

By incorporating strength training into your fitness routine, you can reap the benefits of stronger muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. So don’t forget to include weight lifting and resistance exercises in your workouts!

Tips for Effective Strength Training for Runners

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your strength training routine and improve your running performance! Want to learn more? Keep reading!

Work with a Trainer

Working with a trainer can make a big difference when it comes to effective strength training for runners. They can provide guidance and expertise to help you get started on the right track.

A trainer will assess your current fitness level, create a personalized workout plan tailored to your needs, and teach you proper form and technique for each exercise. They can also monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed to keep you challenged.

By working with a trainer, you’ll have someone there to motivate and push you during your workouts. They can help prevent injuries by ensuring that you’re using correct form and avoiding common mistakes.

Additionally, they can provide helpful tips and advice on how to improve your running performance through targeted strength training exercises.

Remember, trainers are experienced professionals who understand the specific needs of runners. They have knowledge of different types of exercises that target key areas important for running, such as leg muscles, core stability, and upper body strength.

With their guidance, you’ll be able to develop a well-rounded strength training routine that complements your running goals.

Follow a Guided Workout

Starting a strength training program can be overwhelming, but following a guided workout can make the process easier and more effective. A guided workout provides structure and direction, ensuring that you’re performing exercises correctly and targeting the right muscle groups.

It also helps you progress gradually, so you don’t push yourself too hard or risk injury. Whether you work with a personal trainer or follow an online program, having someone guide you through your workouts can give you confidence and help you stay motivated.

So find a reliable resource or professional to guide your strength training journey and start reaping the benefits for your running performance.

Focus on Form

Focusing on form is really important when you do strength training exercises. It helps prevent injuries and makes sure you’re doing the movements correctly. When your form is good, you can get the best results from your workouts and avoid hurting yourself.

Plus, when you have strong leg muscles from proper form, it can make you a more efficient runner, giving you more power and helping you run better. So always pay attention to how you’re doing each exercise and make sure to use the correct technique for optimal results.

Keep in mind that using good form is key to achieving your goals and staying injury-free as a runner.

Avoid Momentum

Avoiding momentum during strength training exercises is crucial for effective training as a runner. When we perform exercises with control and without relying on momentum, we engage our muscles more effectively.

This means that every rep counts and we can target specific muscle groups more efficiently. By focusing on proper form and controlled movements, we activate the muscles that are important for stability and core strength, which are crucial for injury prevention while running.

Additionally, avoiding momentum allows us to perform power exercises and explosive movements safely, improving our running efficiency and speed. So remember, when it comes to strength training for running, ditch the swinging weights and focus on using your muscles effectively by avoiding momentum!

Use Appropriate Weight

When it comes to strength training for running, using the appropriate weight is crucial. It’s important to find a weight that challenges your muscles without causing strain or injury.

By choosing a weight that you can comfortably lift for the desired number of repetitions, you’ll be able to build strength and endurance effectively. Using weights that are too heavy may lead to poor form and an increased risk of injury, while using weights that are too light won’t provide enough resistance to stimulate muscle growth.

By finding the right balance, you can ensure that your strength training program supports your running goals in a safe and effective way.

In addition to using appropriate weights, it’s also important to gradually increase the intensity as your strength improves. This allows your muscles time to adapt and grow stronger over time.

Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you feel comfortable doing so. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to seeing progress in strength training for running.

Vary Your Routine

Changing up your strength training routine is essential for runners to keep their workouts interesting and effective. By varying your routine, you can prevent boredom and ensure that different muscle groups are targeted, improving overall strength and endurance.

There are several ways to diversify your routine, such as changing the exercises you do, altering the number of repetitions or sets, adjusting the intensity of your workout, or even switching up the weights you use.

By making these modifications, you can challenge yourself in new ways and continue progressing towards your goals. Remember to consult with a fitness professional or running coach who can help design a personalized strength training program that incorporates enough variety to keep you motivated and seeing results.

Make it Fun

Strength training doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, making it fun can actually help you stay motivated and enjoy your workouts more. One way to make strength training enjoyable is by playing motivating music in the background.

This can make the exercises feel more exciting and entertaining. Another way to add some fun to your routine is by adding variety to your exercises. Instead of doing the same movements every time, try different variations or incorporate new exercises into your workout.

This can keep things fresh and engaging, making it more pleasurable for you as a runner. So remember, don’t be afraid to make strength training enjoyable and stimulating – it will help you stick with your routine and achieve better results in the long run!

Conclusion on How Do I Start Strength Training For Running

Starting strength training for running can greatly enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injuries. By following these tips, such as working with a trainer, focusing on form, and varying your routine, you can begin to incorporate strength training into your running schedule effectively.

Remember to start slow, listen to your body, and have fun while you work towards becoming a stronger runner. Get ready to take your running to new heights with the added benefits of strength training!

FAQs on How Do I Start Strength Training For Running

1. Why is strength training important for running?

Strength training is important for running because it helps improve muscle strength, endurance, and overall performance while reducing the risk of injury.

2. What are some simple exercises I can do to start strength training for running?

Some simple exercises you can do to start strength training for running include squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, and calf raises.

3. How often should I incorporate strength training into my running routine?

It is recommended to incorporate strength training into your running routine 2-3 times per week with a rest day in between sessions.

4. Can I do strength training on the same day as my runs?

Yes, you can do strength training on the same day as your runs if you have enough time and energy. Just make sure to space them out or prioritize one over the other depending on your goals.

5. Should I consult a professional before starting a strength training program for running?

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional such as a personal trainer or coach before starting any new exercise program to ensure proper technique and minimize the risk of injury.

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