Strength and Conditioning, Strength training

The Best Basic Strength Programme for Runners.

Well this one’s a bit off the beaten track isn’t it ladies and gentlemen!  I am currently walking through Holyrood Park in Edinburgh to get to Edinburgh Barbell’s training venue and it is a beautiful park which is incredibly popular with runners of all shapes and sizes.  I probably see in excess of 20 people of various levels running through the park every day.

What I never fail to notice is the lack of muscle tone and lower limb control that most of these people possess.  Everyone should lift weights but if you run on a regular basis regardless of your level if you’re an Ironman or you are just trying to do the couch to 5k programme to do something positive you need to lift weights!

 

Lifting will do a whole host of marvellous things for you

  • It will decrease your chances of injury.
  • It will increase your ability to run for prolonged periods at higher intensities
  • It will increase your running economy making you more efficient.
  • It will increase your bone mineral density and general bone health.

And you don’t even have to lift that often to get these benefits lifting 1-2x per week with a moderate volume and cyclical intensity will pretty much get you the benefits.

What elements should you have in our training?

  • A squat or deadlift variation you can do week in week out without suffering too much tightness or stiffness. This will be where you will see the most benefits from the least amount of time.
  • Unilateral exercises which will help to strengthen up the knee in areas/ways that heavier movements like squatting and deadlifting wont.
  • Glute, Calfs, Hamstring, Adductor and Lower back exercises – the muscles which are hugely utilised in human movement muscles of the posterior chain and muscles around the pelvis/groin will receive stimulus from the bigger exercises but require more attention as they are more susceptible to overuse.
  • Some general upper body training whilst you don’t want to get an upper body like Ronnie Coleman you still should do some general work on the upper body to encourage strength which will help with uphill or sprinting or anytime more cadence is required.

Setting up an easy 4-week programme you can run indefinitely.

For a programme to be effective you need some form of a shift in focus or variables to stop you running it into the ground.  This simple 4-week progression will help you to keep progressing without having to put much if any thought into it.

Exercise Cat Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Progression
Primary 3×8 @ 65% (12-15 rep weight) 3×6 @ 70% (10-12 rep weight) 3×8 @ 70% (10-12 rep weight) 3×6 @ 75% (8-10 rep weight) Rerun programme and add 2.5kg to all weights.
Assistance 3×15 @ 60% (10-15 rep weight) 3×10 @ 65% (12-15 rep weight) 3×15 @ 65% (12-15 rep weight) 3×10 @ 70% (10-12 rep weight) Rerun programme and add 2.5kg to all weights where appropriate.

 

The Programme 

SESSION 1 

EXERCISE ORDER EXERCISE EXERCISE CATAGORY
1 BOX SQUAT OR FRONT SQUAT PRIMARY
2 SPLIT SQUAT OR STEP UP PRIMARY
3A DB BENCH PRESS PRIMARY
3B DB ROW PRIMARY
4A RDL ASSISTANCE
4B COSSACK SQAUT ASSISTANCE
5 CALF RAISE (SEATED, STANDING & STANDING W BENT LEG) ASSISTANCE

CORE – 3X60 SEC PLANK / 3X30 SEC SIDE PLANK

 

SESSION 2 

EXERCISE ORDER EXERCISE EXERCISE CATAGORY
1 DEADLIFT OR TRAP BAR DEADLIFT PRIMARY
2 GLUTE THRUSTER OR SINGLE LEG THRUSTER PRIMARY
3A DB SHOULDER PRESS PRIMARY
3B CHIN UP PRIMARY
4A BARBELL HYPERS ASSISTANCE
4B HELL MARCH ASSISTANCE
5 CALF RAISE (SEATED, STANDING & STANDING W BENT LEG) ASSISTANCE

 

CORE – KNEELING ROLLOUTS X 10 X 3

And there you have it a simple 2x per week programme that will give you pretty much all the benefit you need from strength training and that can be done in pretty much any public gym.

Of course, if you only have access to your own bodyweight or some light weights there are a bunch of circuits or programmes you could do to build up some form of strength or performance.  Or you could just join a gym and start this programme J

Marc

 

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