Being a runner doesn't excuse you from hitting the weight room or track. Whether you plan on running a 5K or a marathon, strength and sprint training are critical for achieving your personal goals and staying healthy. (Learn how to train for a mud run.)
Endurance runners are by no means muscular. However, they must still build strength in the weight room. Stronger muscles will allow you to run faster and prepare you for the stresses of long-duration runs.
Runners should not look to pack on muscle, but they must focus on increasing overall strength. It's best to do two full-body workouts each week, featuring big lifts like Deadlifts, Squats, Presses and Pulls. Work in your strength range and keep the reps low and weight high.
- Kettlebell Swings - 5x10
- Deadlift - 2x5
- Overhead Press - 2x5
- Pull-Ups - 4xMax minus 2 reps
- Planks - 4x60 seconds
- Kettlebell Snatch - 5x5 each arm
- Front Squat - 2x5
- Dumbbell Bench Press - 2x5
- Chin-Ups - 4xMax minus 2 reps
- Crunches - 3x20
Sprint training will increase your max top speed and build your anaerobic energy system. Although you aren't running at max speed or at a high intensity during a race, you may need to sprint or tap into your anaerobic energy system to get an extra burst at the finish. Sprint training done in intervals will increase your aerobic endurance. (Try Chris Legh's 200-Meter Intervals.)
Sprint training can easily be added into your normal running schedule using Hurricanes from the Training for Warriors System.
Here is an example of a Category 1 Hurricane session:
- Set 1-3: sprint 15 seconds with 30 seconds rest between sets
- Set 4-6: sprint 20 seconds with 30 seconds rest between sets
- Set 7-9: sprint 25 seconds with 30 seconds rest between sets
Adding both strength training and Hurricane sprint sessions to your running program will help you make great improvements in your next 5K or marathon.
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