Last Updated: October 28, 2020
Combining running and strength training is a great way for runners to stay injury free and improve their performance. However, adding strength training to an already packed training plan can sometimes feel impossible.
How do you combine strength training and running?
Just about every runner knows the importance of completing some form of strength training along with their running. However, creating a plan to combine them can bring up a variety of questions.
Some runners choose to dedicate an entire training day to their strength workout, but most find that they don’t have flexibility in their plan to give up a run.
Which is why many runners choose to combine strength training and running.
Should I do strength training before or after running?
If you find yourself needing to strength train and run on the same day, you’ll want to be careful about how you combine the two.
It is best to complete one of your short, easy runs on the days when you strength train as well. Most runners prefer to run first, and then complete their strength training exercises.
Following a running and strength training schedule provides helpful guidance for those days.
Working your way through a strength training program for runners helps prioritize those strength exercises without requiring you to completely overhaul your training plan.
As mileage increases, it can be tempting to skip out on the extra workouts and exercises to make up for the increased time spent running. However, strength is crucial for runners – to avoid injury, stay strong, and increase your performance.
How many times a week should runners strength train?
The answer to this questions depends on a couple of factors – namely, how involved your strength training workout is and the extent of your running.
Most runners find that they only need to strength train once a week. However, when doing so, it’s important that your strength workout targets all of the main muscle groups and does so very thoroughly.
Another option is to follow a strength training program for runners. These plans combine running and strength training by breaking up a typical strength workout and spreading it out over multiple days.
Sample Strength Training and Running Schedule
Many runners find that they are able to stay most consistent by completing a few minutes of daily strength training, as opposed to one lengthy workout. This schedule frees up time for running and other cross training workouts, as no day is taken up with strength training.
Here is a sample schedule to provide you with an example of how you can combine strength training and running in this way each week.
- Monday: Easy Run // Bridge, Clamshell, Donkey Kicks, Fire Hydrants
- Tuesday: Speed Workout // Plank, Side Plank, Bicycles, Russian Twists
- Wednesday: Cross Training // Squats, Lunges, Step Ups, Pistol Squats
- Thursday: Easy Run // Bicycles, Windshield Wipers, V Sits
- Friday: Easy Run // Leg Lifts, Hip Thrusts, Superman
- Saturday: Long Run // Bicep Curls, Tricep Dips, Arm Extension, Push Ups
- Sunday: REST!
This strength training schedule is straightforward and easy to follow. Completing 20-40 repetitions of the listed strength exercises takes less than 15 minutes each day. By the end of the week, you will have completed exercises targeting muscle groups throughout the body.
Use this sample schedule as a way to get started strength training. Once you have gotten used to wrapping up your daily workout with a few exercises, challenge yourself to complete 30 days worth of strength training and running.
This program provides all of the most beneficial strength exercises for runners by breaking them down into manageable “add-ons” each week. Rather than completing a full strength training workout, you’ll spend about 10 minutes each day completing the designated strength exercises.
Combining strength training and running is easier than ever. Download the strength training program pdf for free!
In this running and strength training program, you’ll complete your runs and workouts as scheduled in your training plan without adjustment. Each day, after your scheduled run or workout, you’ll finish up with about 5-10 minutes of strength exercises.
Exercises in the Strength Training Plan:
- Squats (+ jump squats)
- Lunges (+ jump lunges)
- Planks (with taps)
- Side Planks (with leg lifts)
- Bridge (+ hip thrusts)
- Single Leg Bridge
- Push Ups
These bodyweight exercises are perfect for runners. No equipment required for a great strength workout that targets all of the major muscles used when running.
How to Complete the Strength Training Program
This Strength Training Program creates a beneficial challenge for runners. For 30 days, you’ll complete a set of 4 strength exercises each day. The program is designed to naturally allow your muscles to rest, as the daily workouts alternate between various muscle groups.
One day might target the quads and glutes, while the next day targets the hips and calves. Over the course of 30 days, you’ll strengthen your feet, ankles, calves, shins, hamstrings, quads, hips, IT band and glutes.
This program makes combining running and strength training easier and more straightforward than ever before. Simply incorporate your strength exercises in your post-run routine or first thing in the morning.
Download the running and strength training program here for free!
Challenge yourself to 30 days of strength training and watch your running improve. As you gain strength, you’ll find that your running form corrects itself, endurance improves and power increases. 10 minutes a day is all it takes to build runner’s strength.
More running and strength training resources:
- At Home Strength Training Workout for Runners
- Essential Strength Training Exercises for Runners
- The Ultimate Pyramid Workout for Runner’s Strength