Strength Training for Endurance

The Importance of Strength Training for Runners. Cyclists & Triathletes.

Strength training is something that a lot of runners know they should do and its also often something that a lot of runners have some questions on too! 

First off I would highly recommend trying to integrate both your running & your strength training together. Quite often it is looked on that one takes away or interferes with the other but if you can do it properly, thats not the case! I understand that people think that extra milage & big long runs give you more endurance and yes that is correct. However it also increases your risk of picking up a injury! 

There is scientific research studies out there that can help this argument too! Like this one here from the Athens Academy 

Implementing a good Strength program into your overall training blocks can help us to become more efficient runners. When a runner becomes more efficient, the runner reduces their risk of injury. Take it back to the long run. Being stronger overall & more efficient as your milage increases can help runners to stop "breaking down". 

So just a really quick re-cap, your running & strength work should compliment each other. Not take away from each other! I never keep any secrets when it comes to my training but if there was one, it would be how I utilise strength training. Going into the 24 Marathons I strength trained twice a week, in the "off season" that would be up to 3 sessions per week! I got through a 1012 kilometre run in reasonably ok shape! 

It is a common thought that running makes you faster, this is not entirely the case. Strength training can make a more robust runner, in turn you can then train harder & train more efficiently. Then you get faster! If that make sense! 

When you break it down, running is sort of a single leg sport? We are always only on one leg while we run unless you have gotten down to the dreaded marathon shuffle! Now it's not entirely a single leg support, you leg that is not in contact with the ground also has plenty of work to do but we have gotten some really good results by adding in single leg exercises into clients & members programs! 

I think if runners want to improve they need to work on the areas in which they are weak on or pay less attention to. These include strength work, mobility & flexibility work. If runners took a more comprehensive approach to their training they would start to see some decent results!

My top five strength exercises for runners are;

  1. Squat 
  2. Deadlift
  3. Single leg Deadlift (RDL) 
  4. Barbell Hip Thrust
  5. Single Leg Lunge

*Please note if you currently suffer from an injury or are injured your Strength program will be different. If you are currently injured I would recommend that you work closely with your physiotherapist or physical therapist, identify your issues/weaknesses and work from there!

We are working on recording a video series of our recommended strength exercises for runners as part of the launch of our new RunTrix online training platform!

We will be covering some Strength Training applications in our upcoming seminars in both Kilkenny & Dublin! 

Thanks for reading folks! Please feel free to share on to any friends etc!



Shane Finn