Ideal vs. Real: 3 ways to fit strength training into your real life

 

 

There is a lot of research in support of the performance benefits of strength training for endurance sports (Karsten, 2016; Skovgaard, 2014).  Most athletes I speak with know they should do strength training, but not many actually do it.  I will be the first to admit that a trail run in nature is more fun than lifting weights in our spare bedroom.  But many, many injuries later, I have dropped a run in place of a dedicated strength workout.  As with all things training related, each athlete has individual needs and strength training is no different.  Here are 3 ways to consider fitting in strength training into your routine:

 

  1. A 15 – 20-minute routine completed 4 – 6 times per week.

 

For what type of athlete? 

Good for people who want to / need to maintain a high running frequency.

 

Pros & Cons?

Pros:

  1. Short time commitment
  2. Can easily add to before or after runs so it’s all one workout
  3. Can decrease the risk of overuse injury
  4. Completing exercises with a high frequency provides a good neuromuscular benefit

 

Cons:

  1. No emphasis on power development
  2. No research to support this type of training improves running economy or performance

 

Types of exercises?

  1. Glute activation
  2. Thoracic mobility
  3. Shoulder stability
  4. Hip stability & mobility
  5. Abdominal exercises
  6. Mobility exercises

 

Sample Routines:

  1. https://youtu.be/0GXiXQwrQ6g (strength routine)
  2. https://youtu.be/ZeCZfBJsxHc (mobility routine)

 

 

  1. A 60+ minute routine completed 1 – 2 times per week.

 

For what type of athlete? 

Good for intermediate to advanced athletes looking to improve power and running economy and reduce muscular fatigue.  Takes some thought to plan the week as you may have muscle soreness for 1 – 2 days after completing the strength routine.

 

Pros & Cons?

Pros:

  1. Research shows improved performance (Skovgaard, 2014) and improved running economy (Millet, 2002) with heavy strength training.
  2. Reduces muscular fatigue in endurance races

 

Cons:

  1. Unless you have a good home gym, would require a gym membership
  2. May require the help of a strength & conditioning coach to teach proper lifting form

 

Types of exercises?

  1. Weighted deadlifts
  2. Weighted single leg deadlifts
  3. Weighted squats
  4. Kettle bell swings
  5. Suitcase carry
  6. Push ups
  7. Plyometrics

 

Sample Routine

  1. Jay DiCharry’s Performance Prep Routine: https://youtu.be/U5ls39vOoRU
  2. Highly recommend Jay DiCharry’s book, Running Rewired (https://www.velopress.com/books/running-rewired/).

 

 

  1. A 60+ minute routine completed 1 time per week + a 15 – 20-minute routine completed 3 – 4 times per week. 

 

For what type of athlete? 

Good for intermediate to advanced athletes looking to improve power and running economy and reduce muscular fatigue.  It takes some thought to plan the week as you may have muscle soreness for 1 – 2 days after completing the strength routine.  This type of program is also good for athletes prone to overuse injury or aging athletes.

 

Pros & Cons?

Pros:

  1. Research shows improved performance (Skovgaard, 2014) and improved running economy (Millet, 2002) with heavy strength training.
  2. Reduces muscular fatigue in endurance races
  3. Can decrease the risk of overuse injury
  4. Completing exercises with a high frequency provides a good neuromuscular benefit

 

Cons:

  1. Requires a large time commitment.
  2. Difficult to maintain running frequency.

 

Sample Weekly Schedule:

Monday:  15 – 20 min mobility routine + easy run

Tuesday: 60+ min strength routine (https://youtu.be/U5ls39vOoRU)

Wednesday: 15 – 20 min mobility routine + easy run

Thursday:  15 – 20 min strength routine + Interval Run

Friday:  OFF

Saturday: Tempo Run + 15 – 20 min strength routine

Sunday: Long Run

 

 

References:

Karsten B, Stevens L, Colpus M, et al. The effects of sport-specific maximal strength and conditioning training on critical velocity, anaerobic running distance, and 5-km race performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perf. 2016;11(1):80–5.

Millet GP, Jaouen B, Borrani F, Candau R. Effects of concurrent endurance and strength training on running economy and VO(2) kinetics. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34(8):1351–9.

Skovgaard C, Christensen PM, Larsen S, et al. Concurrent speed endurance and resistance training improves performance, running economy, and muscle NHE1 in moderately trained runners. J Appl Physiol. 2014;117(10):1097–109.

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