“body care”. This is what my former running coach and Hamburg champion, Andreas Hünerberg, calls the strength training for runners.
How effectively you can lose weight training is probably nothing new to you if you’re already a Dranbleiber.
And even run purists who actually want to “only” run profit from muscle building. If you pay attention to a few things.
Because there is a right and a wrong way of strength training for runners. What you should look out for in this article:
- Why does strength training make you a better runner?
- The 3 most common mistakes runners make during weight training.
- How muscle work not only makes you stronger, but also faster.
- Bonus: Free example training plan for download.
Let’s start with the first question.
Why is strength training important to runners?
In two situations, good runners often gleam with bad form : on the last kilometers of a marathon and on the weights.
When I talk to runners, they often just lack the right strength training strategy.
Even though I love strength and endurance sports myself, I know that many athletes are different.
The cliché runner prefers an extra round before lifting weights.
I understand that. Many strength athletes are no different, except that they are on the lookout for endurance training.
But just as strength athletes benefit from cardio training, the same thing applies the other way round:
Strength training is a critical success factor for runners.
Incidentally, I would not even call it “balancing sport”. Strength training is simply an integral part of a good running workout plan.
Here, the WIE is also crucial for strength training for runners.
If you want to shine in endurance sports, muscle building is not the number one priority. And health often becomes an issue only when problems arise.
Most runners I know are about the following:
- You want more powerful to run.
- You want to avoid sports injuries .
- You want to become faster .
And among us: Naked looking good has never hurt anyone, right? Especially not if you get it “free”, so to speak.
Runners who want to reach all three goals as effectively as possible need a different approach to training.
You’ll learn why this is different from the typical bootcamp training that takes place in many courses and city parks.
The 3 most common mistakes in strength training for runners
During strength training, runners easily make one (or all) of the following three training mistakes:
- They only train their strength endurance. A typical mistake is training in the endurance zone – so with 15+ repetitions per training set and correspondingly light weight.
The catch is that runners do not develop new physical abilities with it. Instead, they train what they do with each run anyway – namely, to improve their stamina.
- They use too light weights. Runners often still fear that they would literally mutate into heavy muscle monsters overnight with heavy weights. What will not happen.
Who wants to become stronger also needs weights that feel hard .
Here’s a rule of thumb: If you can do more than 12 reps with one weight, it’s too easy.1
- You’re working with too short sentence pauses. When we run runners, we usually look at their effectiveness through the lens of an endurance athlete: “Only when it feels hard and you get out of breath, it brings something”.
The thing has a catch: If you reduce sentence breaks to a minimum, you’ll be able to work up a sweat, but you will also increasingly slip into cardio training.
If you want to get stronger and faster on the running track, you need adequate set breaks. And as long as they are missing, you are wasting valuable time in ineffective training.
What is the solution? The good news is:
Effective strength training for runners also follows the 7 principles of proper strength training.
How convenient! This will kill several birds with one stone.
Q & A: “Does Muscle Workout Training Make Me a Lame Duck on the Running Track?”
Many endurance athletes worry that training with “heavy” weights would slow them down while running , After all, they would have to carry the “fat Muckis” with them all the time.
That’s right, you’ve got to keep the weight of your muscles moving, of course. In addition: Muscles are heavier than fat.
But the opposite is the case!
Because we’re not talking about natural bodybuilding, but about proper strength training for runners .
Strength training improves your intermuscular and intramuscular coordination, the “Mind Muscle Connection”. That is, weight training teaches your nervous system to address your muscles more efficiently.
Strength training is communication training for your musculoskeletal system.
This allows you to draw more power from your existing muscles. Result:
You can run faster.
Therefore, strength training is an integral part of the training program.
This is how strength training makes you faster, stronger and protects you from injuries
You know the wrong way now. What does proper strength training look like for runners?
You do not want to train your endurance in strength training, but your strength.
What Does It Mean Concretely?
It’s best to first take a look at the 7 principles of proper strength training, because that will help you become a stronger runner.
Let’s review the following four factors of success against the background of the article topic:
- Which exercises make sense.
- How many repetitions and training sentences make sense.
- How many weight you should use.
- With which sentence pauses you should work.
If you understand the four principles, you can put the muscle-building training plan for runners into practice even more effectively at the end of the article.
Strength Training for Runners # 1 – Exercises
Do You Know the Big Six? With these basic movement patterns, you’ll also find the right balance for strength training for runners:
You’re essentially training the basics.
These are multi-joint exercises that require as much muscle mass as possible. Squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and pushups are prominent examples.
With these muscle-building exercises you are basically correct. Bodyweight training is quite a possibility.
Since you can better control progression in barbell training or a pair of dumbbells, this is my preferred option. In addition:
Smaller muscle groups such as arms, calves, or abdomen are OPTIONAL.
Of course, if you have leisure, nothing speaks against biceps curls. Decisive, however, are the basic exercises.
Strength Training for Runner # 2 – Repetitions and Phrases
A medium rep range is ideal for runners:
- 6 to 10 repetitions per training set and
- 3 training sets per exercise.
This is a moderate training volume.
Not too little, then the training incentive would be missing. But not too much.
Strength Training for Runner # 3 – Weight
The training volume (number of repetitions x number of sets) of an exercise is now lower than in endurance training. This allows you to choose heavier weights.
What weight you can move, of course, depends on your level of training. Here is a general rule of thumb:
The last few repetitions of a sentence may well challenge you.
In the first sentence, you should rather focus on the upper end of the repeating spectrum. If you make more than 10 repetitions, you increase the weight in the next set.
Here too, clean technology takes precedence over weight.
Strength Training for Runners # 4 – Pauses (Regeneration)
For optimal strength development, you want to allow your muscles enough time to regenerate between training sessions.
During this time, new ATP will be provided, the energy source of your muscle cells.
1 to 2 minutes break between training sets are ideal.
You should pause for at least 60 seconds. It’s best to hit 90-120 seconds.
Because runners in particular tend to make sentence breaks too short. As a result, they lack the power in the next set and they can no longer set optimal training stimulus.
In addition, increasing fatigue can negatively affect the technique and thus the risk of injury.
A simple workout that gives you an “unfair” advantage while running
In one of the last articles, I introduced you to a minimalist split split schedule.
The advantage of this program is that it costs very little time and is ideal for runners:
In 60 minutes a week, you’ll be putting in effective strength training for runners.
Of course, you can also train longer. But that is not a must.
So that you can start directly, I have provided you a slightly modified version of the minimal plan here for free download.
You can flexibly integrate the workout into your weekly schedule.
For example, on days without running training. Or before a run of low to moderate intensity and distance.
If you want to do strength training after a run on the same day, there should be eight hours rest for regeneration.
There are runners who have been at odds with strength training so far. Most of the time it is because they use weights to train their stamina – and thus give away a lot of potential – or are afraid that the trained muscles will slow them down.
The opposite is the case. Proper strength training not only makes runners stronger, but also faster.
The good news is that proper strength training to look nude and proper strength training for runners carry the same DNA.