Recreational runners all like to improve and most dont see weight lifting as a means to help with running. If you strengthen your running physique with resistance training you will reap the many benefits.
If you’ve been running for a while and have never managed to experience an injury. Or suffer from some niggles due to the wear and tear the typical runner incurs. I would probably say you are a quite fortunate or just plain lucky. Well done and keep on going as you are doing well. To become resiliant and strengthen your running physique is something you should strive for.
For some to be a runner is to constantly carry some sort of grievance like a badge of honor. How many times do you hear from a fellow runner how in pain they are? Usually after their long run sometimes bragging about it?
Most recreational runners unfortunately choose to run through the pain and hope it will run itself out. Or it will simply go away. Unless you are an active competitor I don’t see the point. At my age I can’t afford to get injured as the recovery will not only be long. But will carry over to my work and life activities.
Like most injuries you should do everything possible to prevent them. In my case I choose to reduce my chances by incorporating an all over resistance training program. It provides me with a balanced regime allowing me to particularly target the hip and leg region. Helping me build up a strong and durable running physique.
Weight training for runners
In the past it was thought of that adding some weight training will bulk you up and slow you down. Fortunately for us we are now in a better position with education and experience that this is not entirely true.
It is if you are training to simply pack on mass and muscle. For example usind a powerlifting or bodybuilding program you will slowed you down. Bacause all the inactive additional mass you have to carry. Movement and strength is king here. Not mass
However in taking a more proactive approach and embracing a complete strength and conditioning program. Will assisting your passion of running. It will strengthen the skeletal and muscular system and turn you into a more resilient runner. This means that you can enjoy your passion for running.
Theres nothing better than knowing you can tackle that last klms felling stronger through the hips and legs. As opposed to being in survival mode and crossing the finish line a wreck.
Here’s a few of my chosen compound movements that I’ve incorporated into my own and running clients full body programming. To strengthen your running physique you need to adopt some of these important fundamental lifts.
Trap bar deadlifts
The one movement that I prefer in the programming of runners is this classic floor pulling movement. It works the Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings together. The execution compared to the more technically difficult barbell deadlift is kinder on the spinal loading. Plus feels more comfortable to execute. It’s also easier to teach and allows for greater reps to be performed. Compared to the more technical Barbell Deadlift and Olympic lifting variations. Remember this lift was chosen for the runner in complimenting their program, not the pure strength trainer. In addition it can also be performed for higher repetitions due to the favourable position.
Single leg deadlift (SLDL)
In complimenting the trap bar deadlift the next exercise I’ll add is the SLDL targeting the Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower back. An excellent compound (intermediate level) Strength movement. My weapon of choice here is working the double kettlebells. They are easier to hold and assist with the balancing of the movement required. The feedback I get from this little gem is that the glutes get worked solid. Walking around for a few days later seems challenging. Ladies take note.
Another benefit is that it toughens up the ankle and helps with balance. The additional loading of the lower back within the overall movement allows the posterior chain to develop fully. Thus adding value to the running movement, In strenghtening the constant concrete/bitumen compounding of the joints during a run.
Kettlebell Front squats
These are by far my favourite movement for the active runner. The front rack positioning of the Kettlebells once learned allows for a more upright posture development. It targets the quadriceps directly muscles nicely during the squat. This front positioning allows for a deeper squat technique making it easier on the shoulder loading. It also ensures your core is activated due to the stabilizing required. And guarantees it receives a solid hit out. All up an excellent movement for runners compared to the barbell squat less the wrist flexibility required in performance. Once again the choice was for the runner, not the future Olympic lifter.
The above 3 compond lifts have been selected in complimenting the runner who has wished to get stronger. And engage in a resistance program with a clear direction on where to start. You are a runner first. Proper weight training can be of benefit for both running and overall health.
Once you strengthen you running physique Balance your workouts
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t as a Personal trainer mentioned that. An all over body program is the ideal way in training your body. I would never recommend a pure upper body or Lower body program and disregard a more balanced approach.
To fully strengthen your running physique. As a bare minimum balance both the Military press and Chin ups should be added. These two movements are not directly running related but will be of great benefit. By adding upper body strength and balance exercises to the lower body component. From a structural point of view they are a must.
Please ensure that before participating in any resistance program you are familiar with the techniques. Ensure you are are in an environment where professional guidance is available. The last thing you want is to incur an injury from the very program that you started. Remmeber this is the program preventing them in the first place.
Claudefit is an active runner who also balances own resistance training program for a fuller delivery of working out time.