Health & Beauty

The best strength training workouts for runners

Add more strength training workouts to your routine and enjoy the benefits they offer

Once you start running, it’s difficult to go back to any other type of workout because it’s such an exhilarating experience. They don’t call it a runner’s high for no reason, after all. But one of the most commonly neglected areas of a runner’s fitness routine is strength training.

If you feel like you’re not sure where to begin, here are some strength training workouts and exercises that you can get started with as a runner:

HIIT workouts

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is a form of strength training that is intense, quick, and very effective. You can do HIIT workouts in your home, at the gym, or anywhere really, as long as you have some space, a yoga mat, and minimal equipment like dumbbells and barbells.

It’s a great form of working out and will give you some serious afterburn and a high metabolic rate and improve your athletic performance by a mile. However, when adding HIIT to your routine in addition to running, it’s important to balance things out. Don’t overdo it; don’t force yourself to work out despite injuries or muscle fatigue.

Basic bodyweight circuits

However, you don’t need to do HIIT in order to start strength training as a runner. Basic bodyweight workouts and moves are also an excellent way to build your way up, improve muscle definition and tone, and get stronger. Workouts can be designed to your needs, or you can follow along with existing programs, including those by some very popular trainers.

Perform pushups, planks, squats, lunges, and core stabilizing workouts that require little to no equipment for effective results. When performing bodyweight workouts, you can increase reps, intensity, and speed, so you’re still pushing your muscles to work harder without needing equipment.

A runner makes her way up the stairs during a strength workout.

Strength training workouts involving weights

Lifting is not something you should be afraid of as a runner. You won’t bulk up or become the hulk and lose your running ability and litheness and agility by lifting weights. Instead, your muscles will get stronger, and many areas of your body that are neglected, such as your chest, back, core, and arms, will get more focus too. Work with an experienced trainer who can help you enhance your running goals while building strength and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Outdoor resistance workouts

Many runners dislike going to the gym or find it more liberating to workout outdoors, and fortunately, strength workouts can easily be done outdoors too. Grab a yoga mat, a resistance band, and some lightweight dumbbells to work out in the park, backyard, or curbside. Warm up with some simple bodyweight movements and dynamic stretches, use your bands and equipment to get your heart rate up and add some resistance to your workout and add it to your running routine. Depending on your goals, the timing of your run will vary.  Strength building requires you to run before, and if you’re interested in building endurance, run after.  

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