I have to admit – I did not always have this attitude about lifting and how it can benefit your running. It was my boyfriend who actually drilled it into my head about how good lifting was for running and for getting fit. Fast forward to now and I have dedicated 1-2 days a week to my training routine. Strength training not only helps you develop muscle but it also helps you build power which translates into running, especially for long distances. Follow these strength works outs and include them in your training routines:
1. Box Jumps
Enables leg and core muscles to “turn on” faster during a run.
To Do: Face a sturdy knee-high box, an aerobic step, or a weight bench. With feet slightly apart, jump onto the box, taking care to land as softly as you can. Step back down. Do three sets of eight reps.
2. Rotating Lunge
Strengthens hips for better balance and stability during push-off.
To Do: Place the top of one foot onto a bench about three feet behind you. Lunge and rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right, back to center, and then to the left. Do two sets of eight reps.
3. Straight-Leg Deadlift
Develops propulsive force in the glutes and hip extensors, which will help your push-off as you increase your pace.
To Do: Place heavy weights on the floor in front of you. Hinging at the hips, with back straight, bend over and grab the weights. Keeping your core and glutes tight, straighten up. Slowly lower the weights to the floor. Do two sets of eight reps.
4. Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch
Improves range of motion in the hips.
To Do: Step into a lunge and lower your back knee to the ground. Keep your upper body straight while you tilt your pelvis to feel a stretch. Hold for one minute. Do three times on each leg.